Hope of Glory

THANKSgiving 

Hope of Glory

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Welcome:

How do you feel when you allow yourself to fix your thoughts and more so your heart on Jesus, all that He is to you?

When we sing worship songs of praise and thanksgiving to our Lord, do you let your heart engage and feel the love He has for you? Do you allow yourself to extend love back to Him? When you read His Word, do you let the promises of His love settle over you? Do you let His Presence strengthen you and uplift you? Can you sense Him near to you? It’s really wonderful when we do right? 

This is what our Lord and Savior desires to be for each of us:  present, near, and covering us in His love. This is living in hope, for Christ himself is our hope. He is the Hope of Glory! 

If we only engage our mind when we read or listen to His Word and sing songs, we miss the very essence of the greatest promise and truth we have in this life- Christ in us. If we believe in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are told He comes to dwell in our hearts through the Holy Spirit. So if He dwells in us, we have all of who He is with us at all times. How marvelous is that? 

We can choose to keep ourselves distant and choose to keep His Word as some historical text, an interesting story to listen to here and there, or maybe even a bunch of rules that are impossible to live up to…but why would we want to do that?

We can live here and now, and for all eternity, fully alive with Christ in us!

We can be aware of His guiding presence and realize all that He does is out of love and for our good. We can realize that it’s so much better to walk with Jesus and feel His presence daily than to try to manage this life on our own in stubborn ignorance. We have all made the latter choice and some of us choose the latter for far too long… but the truth is, we have a choice. 

Christ lives in you as you believe in Him. That’s a fact. 

When we engage our heart and let His love wash over us-there is really no good reason any of us can come up with as to why we would want to ignore Him and not look to Him as our hope in every aspect of our life. He’s the Son of God, the Prince of Peace, our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, and Immanuel- God with us. 

There is no greater source of comfort than in the arms of Jesus. There is no greater wisdom to guide you in every question you have, than in His Word and listening to His Spirit guiding your heart. There is no one else more faithful, patient, kind, and understanding of who you are and what you need. 

We have a choice on whether we choose to let Him into our hearts and experience all these truths, or if we will keep Him at bay. 

This month as we talk about reasons to be thankful and offer THANKSgiving to God, let us praise Him today for the gift of Jesus, our Hope of Glory. Let us open our hearts to fully receive His love this morning and His promises for us. Let us increase our awareness and knowledge of who Christ is in us. 

Let’s pray: Father God we thank You that You are a personal God who chooses to make our heart His home. You dwell among us and while we can’t fully fathom how You do, we can absolutely experience You and have daily encounters with You as we tune to Your Spirit in us. Speak to us today Lord about Jesus as our Hope of Glory. Show us what that means for us even now, in our day to day living. Grant us greater understanding of what this hope we have with Christ in us means. We thank You for the gift of hope. We thank You for sending Jesus to be our hope. We thank You for making us more and more into Your glorious image as we walk closely with you. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen. 

 

Last week we focused on God’s abundant grace found in Ephesians 1. This week we’ll continue on in this chapter and look to see what we learn about Christ as the Hope of Glory. 

Last week’s text ended: With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

We’ll pick it up there. 

                                                         Ephesians 1: 11-20 NIV                                                                         

 11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory. 15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms. 

As we believe, we are marked in Christ with a seal, the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is our deposit and guarantee of our inheritance we share with Christ in God’s kingdom. We are forever fused together. 

The apostle Paul prays, and know that I too pray for each of you as we continue in our faith, for God to give us all a Spirit of wisdom and revelation-growing wisdom and increasing revelation of His glory, majesty, and power. So we might know Him more. I pray along with Paul for the eyes of our hearts to be enlightened-notice he isn’t praying for our physical eyes to be enlightened, but the eyes to see in the spiritual realm what is happening around us-to be enlightened…why? So we might know the hope to which He has called us. The hope is Jesus himself! 

This has always been God’s plan since the creation of mankind, to be in a close relationship with His children. Walking with them, talking with them, guiding them, and filling them with the fullness of who He is. So may this prayer be realized today for each of us in growing measure, today and going forward. 

Let’s look more closely at who Christ is and let our hearts be thankful today for such a wonderful Savior we have. 

  • Hope of Glory

Isaiah 40:5 NASB Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, And all flesh will see it together;
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”        

This is a prophecy spoken through Isaiah. The glory of the Lord is Jesus Christ in the flesh. Jesus is the visible image of our invisible God. 

Last week we read about the Supremacy of Christ found in Colossians before we shared in communion together to remember why we partake in this sacred covenant. The apostle Paul who wrote that text went on to share this truth in vs. 25-27  25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people.                                     

 Colossians 1:27 NIV To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

For all who hear the Gospel message, that of Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection and believe, they have been given revelation to the riches of God’s great mystery- Christ in us!    We can’t fully understand it, but we can believe and experience Christ in us because it’s true. But it’s only available to those who believe. Those who reject this message of truth- miss this and will not have the revelation. Faith is about believing.

We encounter and experience our living God because we first believed.      

Paul was given the honor and mighty responsibility to teach the early churches and set them up in the truth of the Gospel message. These were pagan nations who believed in many gods at times, who had great corruption in their culture, and who were also very receptive to this message of hope. They weren’t hung up in rules, but their hearts were open and receptive to the truth Paul and the others taught them to live with Christ in their hearts. 

Listen to what Paul shared with them: 

2 Corinthians 3: 15-18 NLT 

15 Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand.

Notice Paul said their hearts were covered with a veil so they would not understand. Not their eyes or their heads-their hearts. God works in our hearts. Jesus meets us in our hearts. If we don’t engage our hearts, we will never know and understand the Hope of Glory. God doesn’t want us to be religious or store up knowing that we can spew out for the sake of looking holy. He wants our hearts, and He wants to remake our hearts all the more to be like His heart-holy, loving, pure, kind, and compassionate. 

16 But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom18 So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.                                                                                                                

2 Corinthians 3:18 NLT  So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.

This is God’s desire and will for us to be like Him. This is the Hope of Glory at work in us. 

  • Light and Salvation

2 Corinthians 4:6 NLT For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.   

Notice where God shines this light in our hearts, where Christ dwells. We know the glory of God seen in the face of Jesus. The visible image of our invisible God.         

Paul taught the Hebrews who Christ is and the awesome and sovereign power Christ holds. He also revealed the plan for salvation and victory in that plan as we read in Hebrews.                                                                                                       

Hebrews 1:3 NIV The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory-the Light of the World. Light in the darkness, this is who Jesus is. He is the sustainer of all things by His Word. He holds all things together. We just spoke about this in our small group study. Everything is created in and through Him and held together by Him. 

Notice the revelation of salvation for all. After He provided purification for sins- His death on the cross- it was finished. The work He came to do was done and final. He sat down at the right hand of Majesty-God the Father. The victory was His. As we believe in Him and receive His gift of salvation, victory is also ours. 

Let this be our proclamation and prayer of thanks today and always. Let us believe and walk in this truth for this is why Christ died on the cross for us- this truth applied in our lives. 

Psalm 27:1 NIV The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?       

Having salvation in Christ, even victory in Christ does not mean we won’t face great hardship, trials, and even deep sorrow in this life. The truth is we will all of us. No one is exempt from the difficulties of this world-not even Jesus was. He felt and encountered all that you and I do. He experienced death in a loved one and felt that deep sorrow and wept. He felt rejection and persecution. He was faced with temptations. He felt the abandonment of those He trusted and thought would have his back and they left Him. He knew personally, the great brokenness of this world. Remember while He is the Son of God, He is also the Son of Man.

There is no darkness we will encounter that Jesus didn’t personally encounter. 

This world is broken because of sin. That is true. When sin entered in, so did death and all the things that lead to the death of physical life, death emotionally, and death of relationships that break and divide.  

BUT let us remember who Jesus is, the Hope of Glory! 

He says to us in John 16:33 NLT 33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows.

But take heart, because I have overcome the world.

This is a promise from our Savior that He has defeated death once for all.

While we experience it and the effects of it here and now, He is with us, He is for us and this is not the end. Glory is here among us! 

  • Promise Keeper

Jesus says this world will have darkness but My Light shines within you. The world will bring pain and suffering but My joy unspeakable flows within you-for I am within you. I have promised to come back for you and bring you to be with Me in paradise. 

John 14:1-3 NIV “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

Jesus also says I breathe life into you. I breathe spiritual breath into you. The life I give you is lasting.    In Me, you will find strength, peace, and even joy in the midst of your hardships. In Me, you will find healing for your soul. In Me, you will discover life abundant-that is not of this world or dependent on your circumstances or your plan working out as you thought it should. Life abundant is found as you walk with Me.

The promises always involve Christ in us. These are not promises we have apart from Christ. These promises do not say “by yourself, you will find strength or healing or have all wisdom.” In Christ, we have all these things and victory, even in our sorrow and hardship. If you’re struggling in some aspect or feel like darkness has been closing in on you lately, have you considered the promises we have in Christ? Do you believe them? Do you proclaim them over your life? Do you invite Him in? Do you thank Him for these promises? 

Let this be a prayer from our heart that we stand in as darkness rises and trials come:   

Exodus 15:2 NIV “The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.
He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him. 

 

Jesus invites us to drink deeply of Him and He will surely satisfy us. In Him, we will search no more and be full. In Christ we have assurance and promises to hold tight to that cannot be broken. This is His gift to all He loves, the gift of Himself-fully. The gift of hope. 

ConclusionJesus Christ in us is the Hope of Glory! This hope we have is eternal and not affected by this broken world. In Christ, we are fully satisfied and will search no more. In Christ, we have the assurance of victory over every trial we face. In Christ, we rise in glory to join Him in the heavenly realms! Let us believe and give thanks to Jesus, the Hope of Glory!  

Let’s pray.  Thank You Lord for sending Your Son, the Hope of Glory into this world, that we may know You, our One, True, Living God. This is eternal life-knowing You and knowing Your Son whom You sent. Draw our hearts into You more and more Father. Teach us Your ways and help us all walk by faith, standing in the promises You have spoken. In Jesus’ name we trust. Amen. 

 

Final Blessing: Numbers 6: 24-26 “‘“The Lord bless you  and keep you;  25 the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; 26 the Lord turn his face toward you  and give you peace.”

 

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