December 1, 2019 – Hope
Scripture: Romans 5
Hope does not disappoint us. Hope is never what disappoints us in this world. People disappoint us. Outcomes disappoint us. But hope does not.
Hope is already right here. What we hope for may not be here yet, but the Source of our hope is already here, He’s already come.
Jesus CHrist has already conquered, already come, is already abiding with us daily. He brought redemption and the idea that anyone and everyone can be saved, is loved.
We are Christians should be thankful and share the gift, the hope we have already received.
Hope for someday that will come is of no use to a world that has no hope. The worlds needs the hope that is already here, the love that is already here.
We cannot be disappointed by Hope because the Lord of Hope and Love has already come, is already here. The Advent, His arrival already happened, and He is here. We can hold onto Hope now.
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December 8, 2019 – Peace
Scripture: Ephesians 2
We so often try to look at the big picture of peace and forget to focus on peace in the “small places” closer to home. The reason for this is we lose focus on the basics: Jesus.
The people we often have the hardest time being at peace with are those closest to us. It is a universal truth that no one can push our buttons like the people who are supposed to love us.
The only thing we truly have to get right, to focus on in life, is Jesus and what He gave and taught us. The unity we need is what He brought us through His death. Jesus sought our unity and peace among us all, not our division(s).
Paul is trying to remind us that Christ is what makes us family and brings us peace, not the insignificant things, actions, committees, etc., that ultimately not matter in the long run. We live in a world where Christ is actively working against these divisions and for our peace.
vs. 14a – “He himself [Jesus] is our peace.”
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December 15, 2019 – Joy
Scripture: Philippians 4:4-13
Joy starts with us. We cannot care for other if we do not care for ourselves as well.
“Rejoice” – Greek – χαίρω – chairō –> a greet for someone you see after a long while. You greet them with “joy”.
The story doesn’t end with Jesus’ ascension. Jesus is still active with us, as He alone of all powers and entities can speak to our condition. He came back to several believers after His resurrection/ascension. They rejoiced at being together with Him again.
We need to remember that Jesus is always near. A lack of Him requires us only to reach out to Him again, and there He is.
Christ is active within the hearts and minds of people within the world. Will we step up with Him to be one of those people? We are needed to be active, too, as there is still great need amidst the joy.
It’s not that we can do anything and everything but that, whatever we do, we can do it through Christ. He’s with us in the doing; we aren’t alone. It doesn’t change the nature of the work; it just means that you aren’t doing it by ourselves anymore.
Our great joy: that Jesus is with us, our Friend has come again to us. Let us Rejoice!
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December 22, 2019 – Love
Scripture: I John 4:7-21
Quakerism = Christianity “writ plain” = Love. 1) Quakers wanted to get back to the basics of belief, and 2) to always remember that God is Love.
If anyone ever tells you that God is anything but love, they are not speaking from a Godly perspective.
Ultimately, everything that we have and are as Christians comes through Jesus. However, we live in a world that doesn’t recognize what Love is.
Love is not conditional. Love is not fair-weather. Love is not dependent upon our circumstances. Love is a commandment. I John 4:21: “…who loves God must also love their brother and sister.”
What makes Quakers different is our pushback against the idea of retaliation and writing off. We are willing to love because we can do that, though we cannot do anything about the world’s hate.
Though all the world hate you, let Love be your faith, your practice, and your vocation.