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Summary: THE HOPE THAT WE HAVE IN CHRIST THAT ALLOWS US TO LIFT THE LOAD OF GUILT THAT WE OFTEN CARRY TOO MUCH OF. WE NEED TO LEARN FROM THE INNOCENSE OF CHILD-LIKE FAITH.

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HOPE BEYOND GUILT

1 PETER 2:4 – 2:12

I WANT TO VISIT TWO MORE ASPECTS OF HOPE BEFORE WE TURN OUR ATTENTION TO CELEBRATING THE ADVENT SEASON. THE FIRST ASPECT, AND THE ONE THAT I AM GOING TO SPEAK ON TODAY, IS THE HOPE THAT WE HAVE IN CHRIST THAT ALLOWS US TO LIFT THE LOAD OF GUILT THAT WE OFTEN CARRY TOO MUCH OF.

A CHANGE THAT HAPPENS AS WE GET OLDER IS AN INCREASE IN GUILT. IT COULD COME FROM AN INCREASE IN RESPONSIBILITY, PERHAPS A REALIZATION THAT WE HAVEN’T ACHIEVED SOME OF OUR LIFE GOALS, OR A MIRIAD OF OTHER REASONS, BUT THE ONLY THING I CAN SAY FOR SURE, IS THAT THERE IS AN INCREASE IN FEELINGS OF GUILT.

I THINK THAT THIS IS WHY JESUS SPOKE A LOT ABOUT THE FAITH OF CHILDREN, AND BELIEVEING IN HIM AS CHILDREN DO. JESUS SAID:

MATTHEW 18:3-4:

“3 AND HE SAID: "I TELL YOU THE TRUTH, UNLESS YOU CHANGE AND BECOME LIKE LITTLE CHILDREN, YOU WILL NEVER ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. 4 THEREFORE, WHOEVER HUMBLES HIMSELF LIKE THIS CHILD IS THE GREATEST IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.”

AS A CHILD WE APPROACHED GOD WITH AN UNRESERVED INNOCENSE. WE KNEW THERE WAS NOTHING HE COULD NOT DO, AND JUST ACCEPTED THAT FACT. AS A RESULT WE WOULD PRAY ABOUT ANYTHING.

HANK (AGE 7): THANK YOU FOR THE NICE DAY TODAY. YOU EVEN FOOLED THE WEATHERMAN ON T.V.

DAVID (AGE 7): I NEED A RAISE IN MY ALLOWANCE. COULD YOU HAVE ONE OF YOUR ANGELS TELL MY FATHER?

HARVEY: CHARLES MY CAT GOT RUN OVER. AND IF YOU MADE IT HAPPEN YOU HAVE TO TELL ME WHY.

CHILD (AGE 7): CAN YOU GUESS WHAT IS THE BIGGEST RIVER OF ALL OF THEM? THE AMAZON. YOU OUGHT TO BE ABLE TO BECAUSE YOU MADE IT. HA HA.

NOW IF WE WERE TO PUT TOGETHER A LIST OF ADULT LETTERS TO GOD, THERE WOULD BE QUITE A CHANGE WOULDN’T THERE. SHAME, GUILT, REGRET, AND FAILURE WOULD DOMINATE THE PARAGRAPHS.

THIS IS NOT THE WAY GOD WANTS US TO BE. CONSIDER OUR RESPONSIVE READING THIS MORNING. WHAT A LIST OF BLESSINGS! WHY IS IT THAT A CHILD CAN RECOGNIZE THE AWESOME POWER OF GOD TO ANSWER ANY PRAYER, AND WE AS ADULTS FEEL THAT WE SHOULDN’T BOTHER HIM WITH OUR TROUBLES, AS IF WE COULD MONOPOLIZE HIS POWER, OR HAVE A PROBLEM THAT WAS TOO BIG OR TOO SMALL, TO TAKE TO HIM.

JESUS DOES NOT WANT US TO LIVE UNDER A LOAD OF GUILT. HE HAS PROMISED THAT WE SHOULD HAVE LIFE AND HAVE IT MORE ABUNDANTLY IN HIM. HE TOLD US THAT WE ARE TO GIVE HIM OUR BURDENS AND OUR GUILT. WE ARE NOT TO PICK IT UP AGAIN AFTER WE DO. JESUS SAID:

MATTHEW 11:28-30:

“28 "COME TO ME, ALL YOU WHO ARE WEARY AND BURDENED, AND I WILL GIVE YOU REST. 29 TAKE MY YOKE UPON YOU AND LEARN FROM ME, FOR I AM GENTLE AND HUMBLE IN HEART, AND YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. 30 FOR MY YOKE IS EASY AND MY BURDEN IS LIGHT."”

SOMETIMES WE CAN PICTURE GOD ONLY IN HIS ROLE AS JUDGE, AS IF HE IS LOOKING AT ALL OF OUR ACTIONS THROUGH A MAGNIFYING GLASS, WHEN THIS IS NOT THE CASE AT ALL. THE BIBLE DECLARES THAT GOD BECAME GUILT FOR US. AS PART OF HIS SACRIFICE ON THE CROSS HE TOOK ON THE GUILT OF OUR SIN, SO THAT BY ACCEPTING HIM AS LORD AND SAVIOR, WE CAN TAKE ON HIS INNOCENSE.

COLOSSIANS 1:13-14:

“13 FOR HE HAS RESCUED US FROM THE DOMINION OF DARKNESS AND BROUGHT US INTO THE KINGDOM OF THE SON HE LOVES, 14 IN WHOM WE HAVE REDEMPTION, THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS.”


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