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Summary: A Sermon of encouragemnet for the Christmas Season

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1 Peter 1:13-21 Hope when the night grows long and the wind blows cold.

Jellico First Baptist Church, Jellico Tennessee.

Web Site: www.jfb.faithsite.com/default.asp

Bro. Michael Blankenship: Pastor

Sunday Morning December 24, 2000

When Christ our Savior came as a baby to the manger at Bethlehem, he came to a cold desolate world that had no hope. He brought hope to the common shepherds in the field. He brought hope to the educated Magi who studied and taught. He brought hope perhaps most relevantly to the untold millions who have followed him and entrusted His direction since that first day. He brought Hope. Hope is a precious commodity today, we need it, we crave it we seek it.

There is a broad contrast between the two words hope and hopelessness. The Bible uses both terms. The word hopeless, describes the terminal condition of the sinner, “as having no hope, and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12). Hopeful describes the repentant sinner who experience the reality of “Christ in you, the hope of glory” Colossians 1:27. The hope of the gospel Colossians 1:23, assures him of forgiveness of sin and everlasting life.

Eternal hope should be the rallying cry of every church in every community in America.

The Hope of Jesus is not held out only to the desperate drunkard only. The hope of the gospel is held out openly to the little mother of two who is struggling to make ends meet who does not really sin very much. It is held abundantly out to the liar who weaves a web of deception in and out of folks lives, who tears at emotions and leaves the carnage for someone else to repair.

It is held out even to those who follow a pagan movement whether it is wicka, Satanism, or some

Other group or cult that denies the deity and place of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as the only redeemer between God and man.

The hope is calling out to you and I today, perhaps your life has been torn down, you know what it is like to have been battered and betrayed along the wayside of life. In our hour of greatest need, we must posit for ourselves the true meaning of life, the inexplicable substance that humanity has over all of the rest of creation: Hope! Jesus is calling you today, will you come? Are you ready to submit to Him? Casting aside the burdens and despair of life, in exchange for hope.

1. WE HAVE A LIVING HOPE: IN THE HOLINESS OF CHRIST JESUS.

a. By What Christ Jesus did for us: 2 Corinthians 8:7-9

He left Heaven to come and fellowship and partake with us. We should be sober because of what we have become; we are no longer part of the rat race. Peter is saying that we must be sober with (ana zonymt) which translated means rolling up ones sleeves and getting busy at hard work.

B. We should be sober in our thinking, outlook determines outcome. Attitude determines action. When we begin to worry about frivolous things, we are soon drawn into the muck and the mire of sin. The bible says that Abraham had his eyes of faith on that heavenly city, Hebrews 11:8-11. Lot opted for the worldly pleasures the well-watered plains of Sodom. I ask you, today what was the result of their variance in visions? Abraham brought the blessing of knowing and serving God into his home. Lot, brought sin and judgement. Outlook determines outcome. Hope will help us endure the persecution that Satan and his servants attempt to destroy us with. At times, I think we have all felt a little like we were a hopeless case.

There is a story that comes out of World War 2. It seems that a b-17 Bomber was flying a mission of Germany, the plane encountered enemy fire and was hit by shells from the anti-aircraft weapons. The fuel tank took several hits but by the grace of God did not explode. When the plane landed eleven, 21-millimeter shells were removed from the fuel tanks; each shell was empty except for this note written in Czech, “ this is all we can do for you now.” Underground operatives had made at least eleven shells, and may have never realized what they had accomplished, and yet there was hope. My friend there are no hopeless cases with God, no brokeness that cannot be repaired, no emptiness that cannot be filled, no confusion or fear, only love that manifest itself through hope in us.

2. WE HAVE THE HOPE THAT WE MAY CHANGE VS 14.

We become a new creation through Christ and our pattern of life is changed. The old pattern having a cavalier attitude that keeps us from serving and cause us to look to be served likewise drives us toward fleshly desires that are unhealthy. Our flesh becomes our master and we become subservient to it. I think often it is a lack of trust that keeps us from fully surrendering to Christ Jesus. We see the benefits, we want to be saved but we just cannot let go of that comfortable hold we have on sin. I am reminded of a story about Annie Sullivan who gained notice after she worked with Helen Keller breaking through and teaching Helen.

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