Summary: There are many things in life we can hope for, but only Jesus gives us hope that we can count on.
Today’s scripture is packed with words from which to elaborate on.
Paul is so thankful for the church at Colossae because he has found faithful people there.
In his prayers for the church and the people there, he thanks God always.
When I was a student at Lancaster Theological Seminary, I had a class on Spirituality.
We learned to pray without ceasing – that is always (spell).
But we also learned a variety of ways to pray. That is all ways (spell).
You can pray with exhortation.
You can pray with scripture.
You can pray with meditation.
You can pray with the mantras of the early Christian Church Fathers.
You can pray with the words of the Lord’s prayer.
You can pray with the Psalms.
You can pray with music.
You can pray with poetry.
There are prayers of thanksgiving.
There are prayers of intercession.
There are prayers of praise.
There are prayers of petition.
It is important to develop a life of prayer so that when adversity hits your path, you are ready, and in God’s presence, so that God can help you endure all things.
Paul prayed prayers of thanksgiving for the Colossians because of their faith in Jesus Christ and because of the love that they had for all the saints, because they had hope laid up for them in heaven.
There is hope for these new Christians because of God’s grace and because they have taken on the faith of Jesus as their Christ or savior.
What does this wonderful word hope mean to many people today?
Let’s try on some hopes and see how they fit.
I hope I get a raise this year.
I hope my new recipe turns out okay.
I hope I will win the lottery.
I hope my stocks go up this year.
I hope my plant doesn’t wilt.
I hope it rains.
I hope the sun comes out.
I hope it doesn’t snow.
I hope we win the basketball game or baseball game or football game or soccer game.
I hope I get a strike.
I hope I get a spare.
I hope I don’t get another gutter ball.
I hope my marriage works.
I hope I don’t have to send my mother or father to a nursing home.
I hope I live long enough to see my grandchildren graduate.
I hope I can get away with driving 70 mph in this 60 mph speed limit zone.
I hope this chocolate cake doesn’t add extra inches to my hips.
I hope our new baby grows up to be a success.
I hope our son does well in college.
I hope my surgery goes okay.
I hope I get rid of this soar throat soon.
I hope I don’t get the flu this year.
I hope I can watch Star Trek tonight.
I hope I can get this dog house trained real soon.
I hope our taxes don’t go up.
There are many hopes we have in life.
But how often do we think about our spiritual life?
Do we ever say to ourselves, I hope I’m going to heaven?
How do we know for sure what happens to us after we leave this earth?
Our faith tells us that belief in Jesus Christ gives us entrance into the kingdom of God, here on earth and in heaven.
When we have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, we are in touch with the kingdom of God, right here on earth.
Many people go through life not knowing what’s going to happen to them.
Will they get into a car accident?
Will they get married?
Will they have children?
What am I here for?
What is my purpose?
When you have discussions with God, God reveals the spiritual answers to spiritual questions.
We know that heaven exists because of truth.
Jesus Christ gave us truth.
And Jesus Christ gave us a glimpse of the kingdom of God.
In our text this morning, Paul is praising the people of Colossia because of their faith in Jesus Christ.
Paul knows where they are going.
Paul knows their faith has released them from sin.
And because they are released from sin by the power of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Paul knows that they are in good hands.
They are in God’s hands.
It is the grace of God which has saved them from death and given them eternal life.
I am your pastor, but I cannot save you.
Only God can save you through belief in Jesus Christ and by asking for God’s forgiveness for your sins.
I can only share the good news with you.
I cannot make you hear or receive the good news.
That is your part.
We have a two way street here
When the words I share with you are received by you, something miraculous happens.