Hope Tag

The Fullness of Empty

The manger is empty so we can be filled with the truth about God. The cross is empty so we can be filled with forgiveness. And the tomb is empty so we can be filled with hope. To put it another way, the manger, the cross, and the tomb are all empty so that Heaven can be filled with people who trust Jesus.

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Yesterday: What Do You Believe In?

When you drive you have a tiny rearview mirror and you have a huge windshield. Which one are you spending most of your time looking into? Living life looking in the rearview mirror can be dangerous. Yesterday is a great place to visit, but a terrible place to live.

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The Best LET US in God’s Garden

We used to live in a world that was totally literal. You had literal friends and literal experiences. But today we live in a virtual world. You can have virtual friends and you can have virtual experiences. Some people today are looking for a virtual church experience but the writer of Hebrews stresses that we need to have a literal experience of gathering with other believers.

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The Life-Changing Touch of Faith

When the woman suffering from bleeding grasped Jesus’ robe, the Bible says, “At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him.” I studied this miracle for many years before I picked up on this amazing nugget of truth. There were dozens of people crowding around Jesus. How did Jesus know someone touched Him in faith? He told Peter He literally felt healing power flow out of His body. That really opened my eyes to the fact that every time Jesus performed a miracle, power flowed out of him.

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Standing Firm in an Unstable World

You’ve heard the expression, “Don’t just STAND there, DO something.” But we can turn that around when it comes to the Christian life. “Don’t just DO something; STAND there.” Because the Christian life doesn’t start with action, it starts with conviction and belief—standing on truth. That truth always leads to action, but first we must stand firm on what we believe. As Martin Luther said when he was charged as a heretic by the Catholic Church, “Here we stand. We do no other. God help us.” Someone said that if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.

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The Life of a Model

Faith is one step with two consequences. When a person turns to God, they are turning from their sinful past. Take your hand and place it front of your face with the palm facing you. Now, turn your hand around so the palm is facing away from you. The backside of your hand is now facing you, and the palm is facing away. That isn’t two separate actions; it was only one. Even so, you cannot turn to Christ without turning away from your sin. That turning is repentance. Four different ways we should model the Christian life to others.

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Hope to Hang in There

Are you tempted to give up and quit? Maybe God has given you a dream or a vision and it hasn’t happened yet. You want to give up—but don’t. Hang in there. Maybe you’ve been praying for something to happen for a long time and God hasn’t answered your prayer—don’t give up. Keep on praying. Keep on trusting. You may be in a bad situation, and you don’t know how you’re going to make it. Hang in there and hang on. Don’t give up!

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The Echo from the Empty Tomb

This planet is littered with the graves and tombs of millions of people—some are famous tombs, but the majority is obscure. The pyramids in Egypt are really tombs, the Taj Mahal in India is a mausoleum, and the Ming Dynasty emperors are buried in massive tombs, with each complex covering almost 100 acres. Go to the tombs of religious teachers and call roll: Mohammad? “Here.” Buddha? “Here.” Moses? “Here.” Confucius? “Here.” Jesus? (silence) Jesus? All we hear is the echo from an empty tomb. Even if you’re a skeptic, you’ve got to answer the question: What happened to the body of Jesus?

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Hope for Your Broken Heart

One of the most valuable commodities in this world is hope, because it’s so rare. And the Bible promises you can find hope in Jesus Christ. In our vocabulary, we’ve reduced the meaning of hope to something that may or may not happen. We say, “I hope I’ll pass that test.” Or “I hope we’ll win the game.” You can ask someone, “Are you going to heaven when you die?” And their answer is, “I hope so!” We’ve diluted the word hope until it’s something you want to happen, but you aren’t certain that it will. But in the Bible, hope carries the meaning of absolute certainty.

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Finding Hope for Your Future

Five years after 9/11 I am a man full of hope. Have you ever stopped to think if you had added up all the employees at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the capacity of those four jets that crashed, there was a minimum of 75,000 potential casualties? The final fatality count stands at a little less than 3,000 people. That means 96% of the potential casualties survived. Belying engineering logic, the two towers stood long enough for almost 20,000 people to escape. The section of the Pentagon attacked was the first of five sections newly rebuilt to stronger standards to resist terrorist attacks. Three of the four jets had only 25% of their passenger capacity and the fourth was only 1/3 full. When was the last time you flew in an airliner that was mostly empty? Even though it was a terrible day, I can see the hand of God there preventing it from being much worse.

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Hope in the Midst of Pain

Job used his tears as telescopes to look ahead to what God had in store for him. Even in his pain, Job confessed his belief in the goodness of God. He believed he would meet God and that God would forgive his sins. As we join Job on his journey in this lesson, notice his temptation, testimony and trust.

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Is There Any HOPE When I Feel Like Quitting?

We all have problems. Some are big problems and some are small problems. Do you know the difference between a big problem and a small problem? A big problem is anything I’m going through and a small problem is anything you’re going through. It’s like minor surgery–it’s never minor when it’s on you! If you isolate yourself from others, you become an easy target for the devil’s discouragement.

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Is There HOPE When I’m Afraid?

If you let your mind run away, you can start entertaining all kinds of thoughts about bad things that could happen. As you look toward the rest of this year, is there a feeling of fear of what might happen? As you look toward the next couple of years, is there uneasiness in your spirit? That feeling didn’t come from God. The Bible says in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and a sound mind.” God is not the author of fear. The devil is the sinister minister of fear. He knows that if he can keep you in fear, you’ll be ineffective as a Christian.

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Is There HOPE When I’ve Messed Up?

There are no beauty contests when it comes to God’s love. There is nothing you can do to earn God’s love. He knows me for who I really am, and He still loves me–warts and all. I think that’s one reason why the animation movies Shrek and Shrek 2 are so popular. Fiona was once a beautiful princess who lost her beauty. But ugly old Shrek loves her for who she is on the inside, not on the outside. And in a way, his love makes her beautiful. That’s the kind of love Jesus has for you.

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Is There HOPE for My Broken Heart?

Hope is what gives people the reason to go on even when their hearts are broken; that’s exactly what Jesus does. He gives out hope to everyone who encounters Him. Has there been such pain and disappointment that you’ve wondered, “What’s the use?” Jesus is willing and able to heal your broken heart, but you’ve got to be willing to give him all the pieces.

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Is There an “Out of Order” Sign on Your Life?

We expect life to be fair. We can’t understand why good people suffer, and bad people seem to be getting all the breaks. We want to say, “It just isn’t fair!” No, life isn’t fair, but God is good. And when it seems like your life is out order–when life malfunctions, there are four ways to respond.

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The World’s Greatest Gospel Quartet

Every quartet has a lead singer who carries the melody line. In much the same way, faith leads the way in the Christian life, Hope is the first tenor, love is the baritone and the Word is the bass singer.

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Facing the Future Without Fear

You may wonder, “How can I face the future without fear? I don’t know what’s going to happen!” Take a moment and write the word “LIFE.” Circle the two middle letters. Life is full of “ifs.” There is so much uncertainty. Pastor, what are we going to do IF there are more attacks on American citizens? What are we going to do IF our economy takes a nosedive? IF, IF, IF. My response is we need to do the same thing we would do IF none of those things happen. We need to completely place our lives in God’s hands. We must keep on trusting God and work on developing an intimate relationship with Him.

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Where There’s Death–There’s Hope!

One common thread running through these miracles in Luke 9 was that everyone was at the Point of Total Desperation. They were all “POTD.” Do you need God’s power? Do you want to see a miracle in your life? Then you’ve got to be “POTD” as well. What do you do when you get to the end of your rope? What do you do when your rope breaks?

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A Church With an Open Door

We’re all so different. We come from different backgrounds, different convictions. But when we all love each other and open arms to all kinds of people, that’s when the beauty of unity is seen. And God wants that here. And we can never stand and say to anybody, “You cannot come to the body of Christ.” Because that’s what Jesus would do. He opens His arms.

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Hang on to Hope

The Apostle Paul said if you take all of the suffering you’ve ever endured in this life, it is like a drop in the bucket compared to a vast, deep ocean of glory that’s going to come. And so today, we’re going to look into the future and talk about the future glory. Paul will give us three examples of why we ought to have hope and the words drawing these three together is the word “groan.” First of all, he talks about creation groaning, then he talks about how we groan, and in the third example the Bible says even the Holy Spirit groans in us in prayer.

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