Advent – A Season of Hope Still

Vol. 8-53 – 12-31-2023 – Advent—A Season of Hope Still

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore, God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the Name of Jesus every knee shall bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. –Philippians 2:5-11

The birth of Jesus, the Christ led to His crucifixion. And, then to the Resurrection. All three events accomplish what no one else could or can. The Scriptures tell the story.

A special pastor says this about the Scriptures:

What you hold in your hand is a unique book. There is no other book in the world or in history like it. When you pick it up and read it, it is actually the voice of God speaking to you. When he finishes preaching, he reads a benediction and pronounces we are sent.

Out into the world, we are sent, to spread the fame of Jesus, the Christ. The hope of the Gospel is still available for those who will respond. We should not ignore what God has sought us to do through His Word.

I lace Scripture throughout my blogs because it is unique. True. Reliable. Directional. From His heart speaking love, grace, and mercy. God is the author; He selected men to write what He has said. If you want something that will teach/preach, here are some points:

  1. Supreme
  2. Significant
  3. Strong
  4. Steadfast

He is all those and more. Jesus has a name that will make demons tremble, darkness to fade, and enemies to flee. He stands every test thrown against Him. In His name, death has shuddered and turned to life. His power has broken the prison bars asunder. He sets prisoners free. He is holy, righteous, sovereign, all-knowing, everywhere present, all-wise, just, compassionate, loving, merciful, and One of great grace.

He is hope still.

His name is like no other name. He gives to all who believe in Him life eternal. All who call upon His name will be saved.

There is hope still in Jesus, the Christ.

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. You have multiplied the nation; You have increased its joy; they rejoice before You as with joy at the harvest, as warriors are glad when they divide the spoil. . . For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over His Kingdom to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. –Isaiah 9:2-7

There is no doubt that our times are dark. Violence. Murder. Riots. Injustice. Abandonment of peoples’ protections. People taking their own lives and damaging the lives of others. Wars. Suffering. Earthquakes. Hurricanes. Floods. Famine. Terrible treatment of other humans. And more.

It is the residue of sin. The world is broken. People hurt. It is night here. Darkness is upon us.

Is there really hope? Hope still? Yes.

There is a light shining in the darkness. The Savior still chases the unredeemed with His grace, love, and mercy. Scripture tells us that He gives light to all who trust Him.

Christ has come. Sent from God. Born in a manger. He came for the sin-sick souls. Paid their penalty with His life. Was buried. Rose again; resurrected with victory over death. He is chasing all who will come. Do you know someone who needs to be introduced to Him. The Savior is waiting.

Make this Christmas song personal for you and the one who crosses your path:

O come, O come, Emmanuel,

And ransom captive Israel

That morns in lonely exile here

Until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice!

Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

O come, O Dayspring from on high,

And cheer us by Your drawing nigh;

Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,

And death’s dark shadow put to flight.

Rejoice! Rejoice!

Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

Who you become while you are waiting is as important as for whom you are waiting!

And He is Hope Still, for He is coming again to receive us unto Himself. Are you ready?

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

December 31, 2023

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