Two small men were observed jumping over our neighbors’ wall and into their front garden last night. Thankfully, before these men could crawl their way to the house, they were scared away by our neighbors’ security measures – two, mammoth-sized dogs.
Unfortunately, three other homes were burglarized the night before and the outcome was similar to our own burglary experience two weeks’ previous. Damage was inflicted. Things were stolen. Lives were upturned. Sadly, these events are becoming more and more commonplace. Rarely a day goes by when we do not receive an alert that one of our neighbors has experienced some kind of intrusion – burglary, robbery, car hi-jacking, or violent attack.
Were these the same men who had invaded our home two weeks ago?
I don’t know.
I have thought about these men from time to time– especially when I hear about another neighborhood robbery or burglary. Is it them again? What compels them to keep robbing and pilfering from others? What is their motivation and drive to steal? Do they have a particular inspiration who urges them forward in this disreputable way?
I guess the same questions could be asked of us all.
What compels us?
What motivates us?
What drives us?
Who inspires us?
How would you answer these questions?
For the past year, I have focused my heart and mind on discovering as many truths as I can about the hope that is offered me as a follower of Jesus Christ.
I am compelled by Christ’s compassionate hope.
I am motivated by Christ’s enduring hope.
I am driven by Christ’s empowering hope.
I am inspired by Christ’s illuminating hope.
I am held fast by Christ’s strong cord of hope.
I believe that the hope of Christ offers us immeasurable truths and incomparable blessings if we would remember and embrace this powerful, life-affirming gift of Christ. I can’t stop learning about hope and all that the hope of Christ offers me!
It’s too exciting!!!
Paul agreed. He wrote:
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.
New International Version, Colossians 3:27
When Paul wrote these words, he was exhorting the Colossian church to grasp this wondrous revelation. All believers are redeemed and sanctified by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. All barriers to God the Father have been removed between Jew and Gentile by Christ. Everything that was once hidden is revealed and made available to all who place their faith and trust in Him.
What does this revelation of hope mean?
First, as Believers we understand that we are in possession of the Holy Spirit and the power of Jesus Christ.
Christ is in our hearts. Our soul is blessed with His majesty, His splendor and His riches! We are able to partake of His glorious hope. The word and mind of Christ is in us. We are one in His Spirit.
Second, as Christ is in us and working among us, He bestows His people – His saints – with amazing gifts of the Spirit.
He is able to enlighten our hearts with wisdom. He purifies our mind and our thoughts. Our motivation and desires are refined. He empowers us to live for God and His purposes. He strengthens us with His compassion. He shows us the way to justice, mercy, and peace. He graces us with His love. His redeeming message inspires us to share His love with all. He prompts us to forgive and to forgive again. He heals us with His touch. His sustaining Presence stills our souls.
Third, as Jesus Christ is revealed in us as our source of life, we remain focused upon His Kingdom to come.
This is our hope of glory. We understand that we are living a life of preparation on earth. We recognize that we inhabit an entropic world that is deteriorating and is ultimately finite. Thus, we grasp the things of this world with open hands. One day we shall experience an eternal union with God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit in the Kingdom of God. Whatever compels, drives, motivates, and inspires us is centered upon this Kingdom-oriented perspective.
Is it possible to live such a life – compelled by the hope of Christ?
In Christ, of course we can!
The challenge, however, is acknowledging His abiding Presence in our lives and allowing ourselves to be led by Him – even when it’s difficult.
There’s no doubt that loving others can stretch our heart capacity – especially when we have been hurt or betrayed. Our family recently experienced a burglary in which men infiltrated our home and stole from us. We had a choice before us after this invasion regarding our forgiveness of these men. Gratefully, each member of our family made the conscious decision to forgive – even though the thieves had inflicted emotional harm. We did not want bitterness, resentment, or fear to take root. For as I shared, our hearts and souls are occupied by the Presence of Christ. We want nothing to crowd Him out!
This is the vision we must embrace for our lives:
Jesus Christ is resident in our hearts. We are inspired to live for Him and for His purposes on earth; always looking toward His Kingdom to come.
Do you do that?
Do you consciously acknowledge the Presence of Christ in you?
Pause and reflect upon these words:
Christ is in you – you are in Christ!
This is the Hope of Glory!
Friends, there is no better time than now to embrace and live into this amazing truth! We live in a hurting and hurtful world which needs this incredible, redemptive gift of Jesus Christ. People are searching for community – for belonging – for love – for acceptance – for truth.
Does the Hope of Glory compel us to love, forgive, and show mercy to all and invite others into the Presence of Christ?
Will we share the glorious, magnificent hope of Christ with a world that so desperately needs Him?
This is my prayer for the two thieves.
It’s my prayer for us all. For if we do not, people will look elsewhere – and they are – just like the two thieves who broke into our home.
We have Christ in us – the Hope of Glory – an immeasurable, incomparable gift that is available to all!
We must open this gift and experience Christ in us fully! Then, as we do, let’s bless others as well.
The question is – will we do it?
Are we compelled to share the gift of Christ in us, the Hope of Glory?
Image retrieved from Christ In You The Hope of Glory