Romans 8:24-25 (NIV) 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
Luke 2:25-40 (NIV) 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”
As we continue to live and labor for the Lord daily, we wait patiently in the certain hope that has been secured for us in Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Prayer: “Thank you Lord for the certain hope we have to look forward to when you return. Help us to be faithful as we wait patiently and may it be evident in how we live today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Let’s worship to this song, “Hope for Everyone” (click here) by Matt Maher:
1 Peter 1:13-16 (NIV) 13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
Matthew 1:20-24 (NIV) 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.
Joseph filled with hope in what was spoken to him by the angel of the Lord, he simply woke up and obeyed.
Prayer: As we have been given such hope in the Lord, let’s pray for the Spirit’s help to live in obedience to him.
Let’s also worship with this song, “His Name Shall Be” (click here) by Matt Redman:
Romans 15:13 (NIV) 13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Luke 1:37, 45-55 (NRSV) 37 “For nothing will be impossible with God.”
45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”
Mary’s Song of Praise 46 And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name. 50 His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation. 51 He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. 52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly; 53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty. 54 He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy, 55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
Prayer: Let’s pray for the Spirit to fill us to live in this overflowing hope no matter what challenges or difficulties we may face today. “Nothing is impossible with God!”
Let’s close in worship with this song “Magnificat” written by Pastor Jason Park and Pastor Timothy Rapp (To listen, Click here)
Passage: Isaiah 9:6 (NLT) 6 For a child is born to us,
a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
“Christmas should be a time of renewed hope—not hope in a particular political concept, but Christmas hope; Christian hope; hope in Jesus Christ; hope that, despite our tangled bungling, God will bring order out of chaos.
And Christmas is not Christmas without the message of the death and resurrection of Christ. This is why He was born. This was the message of the first Christmas night: “You shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” The Christmas message says that God’s grace is greater than our sin. It says that the sin question was answered at the cross. Christmas says that the cross went as deep as our needs. The cross was the cure—offered, paid for and administered by a loving God in His beloved Son.”
[Billy Graham message – “Christmas – a Time of Renewed Hope”]
Prayer: Let’s spend some time remembering in much hope and thankfulness this wonderful Christmas reality that is alive and at work in our lives through Jesus Christ.
Let’s close with this song, “A Christmas Alleluia” (click here) sung by Chris Tomlin with Lauren Daigle and Leslie Jordan
Passage: Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
“The word ‘hope’ in ordinary English vocabulary is generally distinguished from certainty. We would say, ‘I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I hope it happens.’
When you read the word ‘hope’ in the Bible (like in 1 Peter 1:13—‘set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ’), hope is not wishful thinking. It’s not ‘I don’t know if it’s going to happen, but I hope it happens.’ That’s absolutely not what is meant by Christian hope.
Christian hope is when God has promised that something is going to happen and you put your trust in that promise. Christian hope is a conﬁdence that something will come to pass because God has promised it will come to pass.
Hope is a portion or part of faith. Faith and hope, in my mind, are overlapping realities: hope is faith in the future tense. So most of faith is hope.” [John Piper message – “What Is So Important About Christian Hope?”]
Are you discouraged, pessimistic, feel defeated or have given into despair about anything in your life?
Instead, what are the promises (word) of God that you are to turn to and put your hope in instead? Let’s take a moment to remember one promise of God in his word.
Prayer: “God, your word is true and you are faithful to your promises. I put my hope in you!” In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Let’s also worship to this song: “Cornerstone” (click here)by Hillsong (written by: Edward Mote, Eric Liljero, Jonas Myrin, Reuben Morgan, William Batchelder Bradbury)
Matthew 5:9 (NIV) 9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
“Of all the Beatitudes given in Matthew 5, there is one most likely to meet with the approval of almost everyone: ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God’ (Matthew 5:9). We all want peace in the world. Yet this is not a statement Jesus made to solely advocate working for global peace, although that is an honorable thing to do. I am all for peace, but not for peace at any cost.
The context of Jesus’ statement is not about working for peace in and of itself. It is speaking more about those who are bringing the message of the gospel because they want people to enter into a relationship with Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Romans 10:15 says, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!’
As people who have met God, as people who have experienced His mercy and have committed our lives to hungering and thirsting after Him, we will be true peacemakers.” [Excerpt from “True Peacemakers” by Greg Laurie]
As those who have received peace from God, let’s commit to be workers, artisans of peace bringing the message of the gospel! What this world needs is to be in relationship with Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 11:6 (NIV) 6 The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.
“Edward Hicks was a Quaker minister and a painter who lived in the 1800s known for his painting “Peaceable Kingdom” directly from this passage. He was obsessed with this peaceable kingdom of Jesus. He wanted peace. Somehow in this picture, with this child at the center leading the people, everything starts to harmonize. The predator and the prey, they start to collaborate. They start to be gentle with each other. It’s all around this unlikely little child, out of nowhere, out of stump of Jesse that is bringing this order into this chaotic world. He brings a peace like we have never known. He is looking to the child, this unlikely source, looking to Jesus. God, can you bring peace into my life, to my relationships, to my church, into my government, into my world? Can you do it again?” [Excerpt from P. Jason P’s message at Ecclesia NYC]
Let’s spend time worshipping to the song, “His Name Shall Be” (click here)by Matt Redman and let’s be in awe of Him who alone can bring peace!
Isaiah 11:1-3 (NIV) 11 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. 2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord— 3 and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.
“This imagery of the shoot coming from the stump of Jesse is talking about His lineage, and his background. There is this really old promise of God attached to that, but it got to the point in their world and in their situation where they were saying there is no way God is going to come through with all these promises to bless His people, send the Messiah. Instead of being this big strong oak with all these big branches, all they see is a stump that’s rotted, broken, cut down. That’s all that remains of God’s old promises. There is nothing to look forward to basically. Hope is gone and all of a sudden, within this dead tree stump, is this little shoot that arises out of nowhere. Life in the midst of death. Out of this hopeless situation, there is a little twig of hope. That’s where Jesus comes from, utterly hopeless situation.” [Excerpt from P. Jason P’s message at Ecclesia NYC]
From an unlikely place, Jesus came to be our peace, fulfilling the promises of His salvation! Spend a moment writing out a prayer of thanksgiving and adoration to God!
Isaiah 9:6 (NLT) 6 For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
John 14:1 (NIV) Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.
Idea of peace means whole – something that is broken is made whole. The idea that Jesus is the Prince of Peace is that He is the one who will restore order to this world that is so broken, so incomplete, so chaotic. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. We’re asking for peace that only comes from Christ. We’re not asking for a peace that you get from meditation, or whatever. Don’t come here just to forget about your problems for an hour. You can come here and you can have your problems resolved. That’s the kind of peace Jesus wants to give us, like the imagery in the cartoon – that wall being established. That’s the kind of peace that He wants to give to you, a real peace. [Excerpt from P. Jason P’s message at Ecclesia NYC]
Let’s watch the video of word study on peace. (click here) Spend a moment asking for the Prince of Peace to come and reign in us. Also, let’s pray for our friends and family who are going through tumultuous time right now that they might come to know Jesus, the Prince of Peace, personally.
John 14:27 (NIV) 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
We have this kind of serene image of peace, but many times in the Bible when God speaks peace to a situation, it’s very forceful and he is restoring order into a chaotic environment. He is saying “Peace Be Still!” He is not saying peace when we are in the countryside. He is saying Peace in the midst of an utter chaotic situation. And one of the situations in the like in the book of Psalms for example is all these kings are mounting a revolt against God basically saying, “We don’t care if you call yourself God. We are going to do what we want and we are going to create bigger kingdoms and bigger armies to fight off and kill off your people.” And God comes to them and says, peace be still. He is leveling everything – all of this rebellion, disorder, chaos, this riot. He is saying peace be still. [Excerpt from P. Jason P’s message at Ecclesia NYC]
Let’s worship to the song, “Peace Be Still” (click here)by Lauren Daigle and let’s look upon Jesus who speaks peace into the storm in our thoughts, our emotions, our circumstances and in our relationships with authority. He is our Prince of Peace!