Will We Share the Hope of Glory?

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.

I wondered.

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?

Yes!

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

8 Comments

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  1. another wonderful post! I can just know that Christ is in you because you express so much love when talking about the Lord.

    Forgiveness. I usually do, but there were a couple of peoplem that I could not find anything good about them. Last year I fnally forgave everyone.
    that felt so amazing!

    • Thank you Harley. My desire is to follow Christ and His way – one day at a time!

      • Me as well! I just started reading the New Testament again. Taking my time and thinking about what I read.

        This week at church we’re having a children’s series of ministry. It’s been wonderful! I check everyone in and stamp their “passport” for the kids to have something to keep. After that, I sit and watch the service. I told the assistant pastor after the first night that I got something I didn’t know I needed. Every chance to be nearer to Jesus. And the children are loving it and so are the adults. We’ve had two people come to Christ as well. God is amazing..

      • Fantastic! Thanks for sharing with me!

  2. I hit the wrong button again, and I have no idea how to edit comments, so… here’s another!

    Right now me, and a lot of Christians, are torn. One one hand we should forgive, as it says in the Bible. On the other hand, however, the horrible things going on and me basically praying.

    There are some people I can’t forgive. They do not any of my IRL of online friends. It’s the White supremacists, the alt-right, the KKK, and the neo-nazis. And they never have remorse for anything they did/do. They aren’t even remotely apologetic. And their views are atrocious, and evil.

    So… what do I do? I am repulsed by them all. My black friend was assaulted in, of all places, a supermarket bc of them. I have a very diverse group of friends as well. About 50% of them were scared that they would be assaulted too. They are now terrified about all the “White power” rhetoric that gets thrown into their faces.

    So, if I forgive, I would be giving these groups a pat on the back. “Yep! White American here!” I would not be the victim of speeches, assaults, or other types of attacks. I would be thought of as a “comrade” of the alt-right way of thinking. That alone makes me want to puke.

    I cannot lay by the wayside hoping it will get better. I’ve prayed about it. I’ve looked at the balance on the scales. It’s like I can’t have an opinion anymore while with my “friends” because it makes them feel uncomfortable. I’m sorry… I guess. What should I be doing? Sitting in a lawn chair drinking cheap beer that, for some reason is making me extremely drunk (note: I do not drink alchohol anymore bc of the meds I’m on)? Should I work towards making my hair into a mullet?

    The Bible says forgive. The Bible is truth. But I can’t stand behind it while people are still scared, when kids in 2nd grade ask questions they shouldn’t know yet, when rascist slurs are now the norm, when whole religions are practically barred from entering the US. I can’t do it. I pray that God will give me the right words if I ever do have an encounter. Even Trump is better than them.

    • It’s pretty interesting for me living over here – as a white person who is definitely in the minority. I love people of color! When we return to the States on home assignment, we miss seeing and hearing the diversity. It’s absolutely lovely!!!

      Honestly, I believe there is a ton of fear that is behind all of the stuff going on at the moment – people afraid that they and their children will not have a place in the future here on earth. My feeling is so what? We shouldn’t be so worried about our place on earth – but rather focused upon our place in the Kingdom of God and seeking His way and purpose. God is at work in all places, at all times, and with all people. And the fact of the matter is that this world is pretty messed up – with a lot of self-absorption at play. I’m sorry your friends are afraid. That’s not what any Christ-follower should do to another – make them afraid. Just the opposite. Keep speaking love. Keep praying, Harley. It’s the most important thing we can do! Blessings, heather

  3. You’re right about seeking and learning to think of how wonderful it will be in the Kingdom of God. I’ve actually been quite anxious free lately… I used to worry and think of the worst possible things that could happen, and I was a mess. I hadn’t yet given my anxiety to the Lord. One day I did, in the middle of a panic attack. Not only did the panic attack quickly stop, but since then I can’t even think of a time where I felt anxious. Instead I feel free.

    There is definitely an element of fear here. And when I spoke about the fact I couldn’t forgive those groups, I also prayed for them. I’e been praying for them to see the light. And I pray for my country and the state it’s in.

    Speaking love, to me, is very important. It’s actually gotten to the point where my friends notice how happy I am. Of course I’m happy, I have an amazing savior, I read the word, I pray, I’ve been blessed by the Holy Spirit. I did tell them that, and some laughed at me, a good chunk respected my beliefs, and a couple talked with me about it.

    I’ll still pray. I’ll find the beauty inside what seems to be rotten, and be a person who loves unconditionally. I need to follow the Lord through everything in life, and praise Him. Every day I feel like I’ve gotten just a bit closer to Christ, and it feels wonderful.

    God Bless.

    • Hi Harley, it sounds like you are on quite a transformational journey with your God! The fact that your friends are noticing a change speaks to your active pursuit of Christ and desiring to be near Him and and desiring Him to work in your life!

      It’s great to be in a space where you are content and happy – enjoy that for all its worth!!!

      And truly, when you forgive someone you are allowing yourself to be set free from the chains of bitterness, regret, and more. No one wants to be besieged by such harmful and destructive attitudes of the heart. Alas, we live in a very messy world where things happen – some within our control but many things well outside of our control. We are responsible for how we respond – you’re choosing to respond with grace – even when it’s hard. The Lord will honor that. He will.

      May the Lord continue to guide you in His glorious room of grace – you are always safe and protected there. Always.

      With love,
      heather

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