The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

11/25/2009

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Hope Never Strikes Out


"Because when the plowman plows and the thresher threshes, they ought to do so in the hope of sharing the harvest" (1 Cor. 9:10).

A hope worth having is a hope worth sharing. A real hope is one in which there is an eager anticipation. This anticipation is an eager awaiting for the revelation of Jesus. The apostle Paul had this great hope as he realized that he had a dual citizenship. A citizenship here on earth and a glorious one awaiting him in heaven. The "perks" of being a Christian far outweigh those of the none believer. The Hebrew writer in speaking of Jesus' sacrifice for our sins, said; "and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him" (9:28). This eager hope that we ought to have is wrapped in a powerful desire for what is to come.

A vibrant hope does not just "kick back" and wait though...Real hope is an active one! Since our hope is grace and faith based, there is still work to be done here... "your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thess. 1:3). Our work is two-fold. There is the work we do daily to mature in Jesus in regard to our holiness, and the maturation reflected in our service to others. Nothing tells others about our hope more than our willingness to share it. We ought to share it first in our good deeds and then in our good words. It is very hard for people to hear if they are hungry.

Finally, with hope there ought to be joy! "And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God" (Rom. 5:2). "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer...Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality" (Rom. 12: 12&13). I see Paul in prison in Philppi, after being beaten, praying and singing hymns of joy to his Lord. One can only do that when they have a greater hope. When our hope is real and vibrant, nothing can steal our joy...If you have been following these writings on hope for the past three days, you will remember the "Casey at the Bat" hope. The hope that Casey would get to bat and that he would deliver. Well, through an unlikely series of events, he did get to bat. The last line of the poem reads; "But there in no joy in Mudville-----the mighty Casey has struck out." Our hope in Jesus never strikes out....

Have a great day...Let your hope show though... Love mark Phil. 4:11

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