Summary: We are able to sacrifice because of the hope we have in Christ.

Four weeks we started our new series … ‘SACRIFICE’ … and we learned three principles about sacrifice – 1) Sacrifice requires love, 2) Sacrifice requires trust, and 3) Sacrifice requires obedience …

Sacrifice is NEVER easy, but God has asked us to sacrifice our time, our talents, and our treasures.

A few weeks ago we talked about RISK … we learned the 3 reasons why we should take risks for God … 1) God has a proven track record, 2) God has a powerful plan, and 3) God is a personal friend.

And because of that reason we are willing to RISK our time, our talents, and our treasures for Him!

Two weeks we had a discussion on tithes and offerings!

Proverbs 3:9: “Honor God with everything you own; give him the first and the best” (MSG).

Last week we spoke about VISION … we learned that vision is a mental picture of a preferred future … and that God has a VISION for this group and each of us!

Tonight, I would like to speak on HOPE.

I spoke at a funeral service on Monday night … I looked into the eyes of those in attendance. It was like staring into hopelessness … 99.5% of those there did not have a relationship with Christ (I guess) … there was a lostness in their eyes …

What a terrible thing to live without hope!

Clarence Darrow, a famous attorney in the early 1900’s – said on the saddest statements I have ever heard: “I wish I could believe in the Bible, like you people—I just can’t. And I wish I could get hope out of it like you do. I’ve got no hope.”

Tonight, I want to FILL you with HOPE … I believe in every single person in this room … and more than that … God believes in you!

How do I know that?

LIFE PRINCIPLE: “You are God’s Plan A”

God made no one else like you … we are all different … we all have different gifts and abilities … we all have been through different things in life …

YOU ARE GOD’S PLAN A!!! You are not an accident or a misfit … You are God’s!!!

Romans 12:4-5: “Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others” (NIV).

God wants to use each and every one of you! God has a plan for your life!

We are all different … so you are God’s Plan A!

We all need hope!

Hope does several things for us:

1.Hope gives us a reason to get up in the morning

2.Hope gives us direction for our lives

3.Hope gives us a positive outlook on life

4.Hope gives us something to reach for

Parade Magazine wrote a story of self-made millionaire Eugene Land, who greatly changed the lives of a sixth-grade class in East Harlem. Mr. Lang had been asked to speak to a class of 59 sixth-graders. What could he say to inspire these students, most of whom would drop out of school? He wondered how he could get these predominantly black and Puerto Rican children even to look at him. Scrapping his notes, he decided to speak to them from his heart. "Stay in school," he admonished, "and I’ll help pay the college tuition for every one of you." At that moment the lives of these students changed. For the first time they had hope. One student said, "I had something to look forward to, something waiting for me. It was a golden feeling." Nearly 90 percent of that class went on to graduate from high school.

What changed this student body? HOPE!!!

There are 2 things I strongly believe tonight about HOPE …

1. Christ is the Hope of the World

Psalm 71:5: “O Lord, you alone are my hope. I’ve trusted you, O LORD, from childhood” (NLT).

Daniel … found himself in a cave filled with lions … his hope was God and he was unharmed!

David … being pursued by the King who wanted to kill him … his hope was God and he survived to become King!

Rahab … risked her life to hide the spies he were checking out the promised land … her hope was God … she was given a fresh start!

Stephen … as he was being stoned for being a follower of Christ still hoped in God … and in his final breath looked to heaven and saw His Lord!

Christ is the HOPE of the world!!!

Romans 15:13: “Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope” (MSG).

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