God's truth for today's world

Waiting and Hoping Message Introduction

Today we begin a new message series called “Christmas Brings Hope.” Of course, we’re not talking about the Christmas holiday per say, but about what it represents, the birth of Christ.

We live in a world that has a lot of hopelessness in it. Sin has brought many problems into the world. Many people fill hopeless and anxious in the light of the increase in terrorism. Economic problems, employment issues, relationship difficulties all cause stress and hopelessness. Why do people turn to various addictions such as alcohol, drugs, gambling and sexual perversions outside of marriage? Why do people harm themselves and others? Why do people commit suicide? Because they feel hopeless. The problems they face seem too big to overcome. So they seek to escape their problems with sin that destroys their lives and the lives of those around them.

Where can we find hope in our world today? The Bible tells us that outside of Jesus Christ, there is no lasting hope.

Ephesians 2:12 (NIV) remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.

People who do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ are without hope and without God in the world. Oh, they may try to fool others that they have their lives all together, but deep down lies a core of hopelessness. People without Christ always attempt to put their hope in the things of this world. Might be money, new job, new relationship, but nothing outside of Jesus brings true hope.

Romans 15:12 (NIV)  And again, Isaiah says, “The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles will hope in him.”

This is a prophesy from the Old Testament which speaks of Jesus as the Root of Jesse. Jesus Christ will rule over the nations and the nations will find their hope in Him. A relationship with Jesus Christ brings hope in this life, for God has a perfect plan and purpose for your days upon this earth.

1 Peter 1:3 (NIV)  Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

When a person becomes a believer, it is a new birth, out of hopelessness into a living hope through Jesus Christ. The hope of a believer extends beyond this life to eternal life with Jesus Christ who is risen from the dead. When you live life with a confident hope in Jesus Christ, you then have a wonderful opportunity to share your hope with those who are struggling with hopelessness.

So, today, we’re going to look at a story to answer the question: How can we experience God’s hope in our lives in a greater dimension? Today, we are going to look at circumstances surrounding the birth of a baby 6 months before Jesus was born. A baby for whom God had a wonderful plan and purpose. His name was John.

Message Audio, Outline & Study Guide

Christmas Brings Hope Message Series

Living in Community (Ephesians 4)
A Christian's Responsibility to Vote
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