Summary: When we understand "elpizo" hope and live it out, we will be united and be able to build up one another!
The Pilgrims left Plymouth, England, on September 6, 1620. Their destination? The New World! Although filled with uncertainty and peril, it offered both civil and religious liberty. For over two months, the 102 passengers braved the harsh elements of a vast storm-tossed sea. Finally, with firm purpose and a reliance on Divine Providence, the cry of "Land!" was heard. Arriving in Massachusetts in late November, the Pilgrims sought a suitable landing place. On December 11, just before disembarking at Plymouth Rock, they signed the "Mayflower Compact" - America’s first document of civil government and the first to introduce self-government.
After a prayer service, the Pilgrims began building hasty shelters. However, unprepared for the starvation and sickness of a harsh New England winter, nearly half died before spring. Yet, persevering in prayer, and assisted by helpful Indians, they reaped a bountiful harvest the following summer. The grateful Pilgrims then declared a three-day feast, starting on December 13, 1621, to thank God and to celebrate with their Indian friends. While this was not the first Thanksgiving in America (thanksgiving services were held in Virginia as early as 1607), it was America’s first Thanksgiving Festival. Pilgrim Edward Winslow described the Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving in these words: "Our harvest being gotten in, our Governor sent four men on fowling [bird hunting] so that we might, after a special manner, rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as... served the company almost a week... Many of the Indians [came] amongst us and... their greatest King, Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted; and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought... And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet “BY THE GOODNESS OF GOD WE ARE... FAR FROM WANT." – Mayflower Pilgrim Edward Winslow
If you’re a Christian, you are a pilgrim on this earth till Jesus Christ returns. Here’s the question for us Christians today, “Are we in want and are we truly celebrating as a church family?”
The Letter to the Romans tells us that we have everything we need from God! We have everything we need in our church family to grow in unity and hope! Romans 15 talks about these things and we will read this passage. But first let us commit to memory and to action Hebrews 10:25, Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Would you take a moment to quietly pray right where you are, and ponder about this verse. What does it mean to you? What does it mean to your church? Take a moment to pray………
As Christians and as a church, we are to live in unity and in hope. Let us talk about hope first. How important is it to have hope in life?
What kind of a life does a hopeless person have??
A life without hope is a life of depression! It is crucial that each one of us have hope and live with that hope in mind. Of course God knows this and He tells us how to have hope? Look again with me v4….. and v13….
Hope comes from God and He tells us through Scriptures, the Bible. And let us note that the type of hope that God gives us is “elpizo” hope. Elpizo hope is not the same as how we would define it today. Elpizo hope is not a wish. Elpizo hope is expected!
Whatever God says will happen. What God expects from us is to have faith in what He says! Therefore, to have hope, we must listen to God’s Word the Bible and trust it completely!
Are you reading the Bible daily?
Are you trusting what you are reading?
And what is the most important thing we are to trust?
What does v13 tell us? We are to trust in Him! Who is Him??
We are to trust in Jesus Christ! And why should we trust Jesus Christ?
Look at v3 again with me…..
The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ is God who created everything. Jesus Christ lives and belongs in heaven; but this Jesus left heaven for a while.
What was the main reason for Jesus Christ to come to earth??
Jesus Himself said in Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” Jesus Christ came to this world to save us from the eternal judgment of us sins. John 3:16 tells us, “For God so loved the world that He gave his One and Only son, that whoever believes in Him shall have eternal life!” God said it! Believe it! Have you fully trusted in Jesus Christ as your only Savior and God? If not, please do it today!