As we begin the season of advent, preparation for the coming of Christ, as it leads us up to the birth of Christ, I wonder what is on your Christmas List. What do you hope for? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
What do we hope for? The weeks of advent give us a clue as to what is truly important in life. Hope, Joy, Peace and Love. Those are things that a fulfilling and satisfying life is built on. When we talk about hope it is important to remember true hope can only be found in someone who has the power and authority to change things. The process of figuring that out is the journey we take in life.
Peter, one of the Apostles, took that journey and figured out a few things the hard way. He learned what it was to have hope in Christ. Before you recognize hope sometimes you need to be hopeless. Peter knew what it was to be hopeless, he denied knowing Christ. He experienced both extremes, being a close companion of Jesus and being totally separated from him.
Peter understood the difference that having Christ in your life makes. He knew that without Christ, life was not worth living. Without Christ the blessing of God would not be on his life. Without Christ he had no hope.
Peter took the time to encourage us to tell people of the hope we have in Christ. He knew that it was important for everyone to know that life is different when we have hope in Christ. For those of us who have accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior he gave us some instructions on how we should share that hope.

1Peter 3:8-10; Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

If we have a hope in Christ we will live like it, we will be humble, show compassion and sympathy. We will value what God values and be focused on the things of God. Let me ask you, how has your life changed because you have hope in Christ?
Each of our lives has a story, we have a history. When we come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ our lives’ direction changes, we do an about face and head down the road that leads to God.
We have three aspects of our lives that tell the story of hope. We have the person we were, when we lived by our own rules, when we directed our own path, when we determined what was best for us.
The next step along the journey is our encounter with Christ, someone, some place, somehow we are introduced to Jesus. We came to understand the hope, forgiveness and the life he offers. Our heart was led to accept the gift of His grace and we become a child of God.
Then life begins anew, we are born-again. The life that God has for us begins and now we let God direct our path and determine what is best for us. We grow to understand that this is a life worth living; this is a life full of hope.
The preparation for the coming Savior begins with hope, hope that comes with a fresh start. The world only has hope when we take Christ to them. We need to share our hope with others. True hope; that we can only be set them free from the burdens in life by Christ. True hope is found in no one else. We should share this hope, the hope that comes with the forgiveness of our shortcomings.
We can do this by responding to the hope we have received. In this season of hope the hearts of men are tuned to receive the gift of life that comes from knowing Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Take this opportunity to proclaim the good news of great joy! Take this time and be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks. Take this time to give a reason for the hope that you have.

1Peter 3:15; But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.

Pastor Don

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