THE LIVING WORD TRANCRIPT
Program Air Date - 12-30-12
LESSON TITLE: “WALKING IN HOPE.”
Happy Holidays, and welcome to the Living Word Program during this wondrous Lord’s day morning. We are glad you have chosen to be with us this morning for this time of offering to God. I hope you’re ready to worship God, for today it will again be our privilege to study from God’s Word and to sing praises to His wonderful and magnificent name. I trust we will each do our part to glorify and praise our Creator. At this time, let’s approach the Father’s throne together in prayer!
Let me ask you a question this morning, “Are you ready to meet God? We are going to start with a song today that reminds us of our need to be prepared to meet our Creator when the end comes. So, at this time, won’t you join in with the congregation as we sing together, “Prepare To Meet Thy God.”
(SONG # 1)
Well, all the giving and receiving of presents is now past. Also, most of our gatherings of family and friends are near an end. What fun it was to have the opportunity to be with others and to give to others, seeing the great joy that it brought them. Furthermore, what fun it was to get things from others and to be surprised with what we got. We probably all are about worn out from the holidays, but they’re not over yet!
I guess old Santa has put up the sleigh and reindeer for the year and I’m sure the elves are already busy making preparations for next year. And now, you and I stand in the face of another new year. I guess we all have the feeling of excitement and intrigue on one hand, but on the other, we may be feeling a little uncertain and unsure about what this New Year may hold. This is such a special time and hopefully a time of new beginnings, new blessings, new goals and new achievements.
As always, during this time of the year, everyone starts looking back and seeing how the past year went. At the same time, we all try to think of ways we can improve or make the next year even better.
As some of us look back we see a good and prosperous year. However, as some look back they see a year of trials, tragedy and heart ache.
No matter what your previous year was like, let me assure you that in Christ, the next year will be better. If we will only learn to rely on Him, trust in His will and to be obedient to our calling - God will care for us, bless us, and give us all that we have need of.
I love the way John put it in his 3rd book, chapter 1, and verse 2. There he said, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” Wouldn’t it be a great commendation to know that someone like John was acknowledging that we were doing such a good job spiritually! That is exactly what he is saying concerning his “beloved,” brothers and sisters. He saw their good works and prayed that they would prosper physically, just as they had spiritually. Oh, to be that type of servant for God.
Brethren and friends, the fact is, we will be blessed according to our offering to God. If we give our best He will bless us accordingly, but if we give sparingly we will also receive from Him sparingly. Isn’t that what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 9:6, “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”
So the choice is yours. Will you make this New Year one for the record books, will it be same as always, or will you make choices that send you down the tubes? You see, the choice is each of ours to make, but I can assure you with God by your side you will make history!
We are happy to have brother Jerry Sullins with us today as our guest speaker. As you know, Brother Jerry Directs the Bible Institute of Missouri. We thank him for being with us today and look forward to him leading our thoughts from God’s Word.
As far as our study, we will again continue with our series entitled “That You May Walk Worthy Of The Lord.” Our specific lesson of the morning is, “Walking In Hope.” So please stay with us and in a few minutes we will go to God’s Word for this important study. But for now, let’s all join in our next song, it’s name, “Purer In Heart O God.”
(SONG # 2)
By Jerry Sullins
I’d like to welcome you all again to the living word broadcast, it’s always a pleasure to have you in our audience every Sunday Morning. This program has been going on for many, many years thirty five plus, and we always get good comments from you from time to time who view this program. Please continue to do that so that we can encourage those who support this program every week and have many of them throughout the so many years that it has been on the air. We have been discussing the subject that pertains to living the Christian life and having things within us as Christians that God expects to have within us as we seek to serve Him and present ourselves to the world. I understand that this program will be the last Sunday of this year and so some of the comments that are said might help us to enter into the New Year with a greater desire to do the Lord’s will. That is just exactly what we want to do as we strive to walk in the Spirit of Christ.
One of those important things that make it possible to walk in the Spirit of Christ is something that maybe you haven’t thought of recently and something that all of us could use throughout the New Year and that is the great hope that is offered in Jesus Christ our Lord. As you know we are living in a world of great Godlessness and materialism under, what we might say, the humanist influence the humanist manifesto or just humanism itself. It has been going on very strong for the past century, and especially 1937 and 1977, where people of that persuasion sat down and decided how they wanted this world to be. They wanted a world without the true and living God, living in a world that makes each individual their own God. So we see the principles that these people taught being taught to our children and schools, being taught to our grandchildren, and being taught throughout our society. On every television show and newscast those principles are everywhere destroying our faith and destroying the one who died upon the cross to save us from our sins. In all of this we find a people who are involved and who themselves experienced broken homes, they experienced divorce, sickness, and death. These are due to sometimes idolatry and immorality and many others sins of the flesh as have been mentioned on this program just recently. These things cause all of the problems in our lives that deal with us personally and that destroy our faith in everyway many people have rejected the blessings that are available in God through Jesus Christ. But there is a great blessing that is available to all of us. The Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:13, “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” Now we know faith and hope continue on throughout this life and they will be fulfilled that is there will be no more need for faith and hope when Jesus comes again and when those of us who are faithful enter in to that blessed kingdom love will last forever. But now we need faith and we need hope.
Now you may not have thought of it in this way but in order for us to live the Christian life that God wants us to live we must have faith and we must have hope. But they have a special relationship with one anther just like faith and works. If there is no faith there will be no hope and if hope is not demonstrated it is indicative of one having no faith. So let’s look at hope from a biblical perspective. It is that anchor of the soul that is mentioned in Hebrews 6:18-19. Where is this word described for us in the word of God and it is important that we understand definitions from the biblical text itself according to the original language so I want to try to define this hope as it is revealed for us in God’s word. First of all look at Romans 15:13 the Bible says, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace and believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” So God is a God of hope and he desires that we abound in hope. I call your attention to Hebrews 6 beginning with verse 17 where hope is fully described in many ways, “Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the hers of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by and oath, that by two immutable things in which it is impossible for God to lie we might have string consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to he order of Melchizedek.” Now the scripture says here that this hope, this possibility for salvation, and the blessings of salvation were confirmed by two immutable things. Those two immutable things were a promise and an oath taken by God to Abraham back in Genesis 12 that through his seed all nations of the earth would be blessed and that see of course physically and spiritually is Jesus Christ our Lord. That is where our hope can be found.
So as we look into the pages of God’s word we see further evidence of the characteristics of that hope. Let’s look at Colossians 1:27 where the scripture says, “To them god willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the gentiles: which is Christ in you the hope of glory.” So there we see again that Christ in us, being in us as His children that is God’s children, we have that hope of glory and we have something that people of this world do not possess. Now how do we gain access to that great hope so that we can walk with that hope throughout this life and make it possible for us to achieve what we want to achieve and that is happiness through Christ in this life. There is a great need for this hope throughout the world. I lived in Africa with my wife and even with some of our children for a period of over 20 years; we actually lived in several different countries establishing training schools for preachers of the Gospel. And in a third world, as many of you have been to the third world already know, there is a lot of pain and suffering. I don’t know if you have ever experienced the pain of hunger. Now you might say, ‘Well I am already hungry this afternoon,’ and you know if you live long enough you will be eating something tonight and you ate something probably at noon, you at something after you slept last night, you ate breakfast. Three meals a day is the general norm for what we experience in the United States of America but my friends in the third world it is not nearly always the case in fact in many instances throughout the world that is never the case. In Zambia where we worked for so many years and also in Kenya the average Kenyan and Zambian are just happy to have one meal a day. If you looked at what they ate and considered to be a meal it would not be in anyway anything that you could imagine as being a meal. These people feel hunger on a daily basis; I’m talking about real hunger. So they are looking for something in this life because the economy makes it impossible for them to get a job and to make what is necessary for them to eat and have all the material blessings that we have in this life. What about the fear of death? Some have asked me before, ‘Well, brother Sullins what happens when you get over there in Africa and you get sick with certain illnesses are their any medical services?’ Well basically in Livingston, Zambia there are hardly any if any at all. There may be a few clinics around who could treat Malaria and things like that but if you get a serious illness you just as well say well Lord receive me home because there is really nothing much available unless you are a multi millionaire to get to some big city like Johannesburg or somewhere like that. So you put your hands in the hand of the one who created you. Not being able to provide for your family as people would want to in the third world, this is something that they struggle with on a daily basis. You might be amazed and you may not have heard of this old hymn that we sing from time to time, well it is actually a spiritual song, but we sing a song that is called, “Burdens Are Lifted At Calvary.” See we as Christians have a great hope in Jesus Christ our Lord and we have access to that hope because we have obeyed the Gospel.
You might be asking yourself and a good question indeed for you to ask, ‘How can I have this great hope that is found in Jesus Christ our Lord?’ Again I call you to the Bible to the book of Ephesians 1:18-20, where it says, “…that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the gory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places.” We are called to that great hope, we are called by the Gospel as Paul stated in 2 Thessalonians 2:14. We are called to that one hope of our call as is stated in Ephesians 4:1-6. That is the calling that we are called to and clearly we can see it today in the lives of New Testament Christians this hope that I’m talking about. You have seen it among your friends, who bear the storms of life much better that anyone else, those who are in Christ. In the home how do we deal with problems, because we are in Christ and we know how to deal with those problems. In the Church we deal with problems because we use the principles of Christ and the principles that He has left us that we need to follow. In our financial struggles, in the times of sickness we turn sometimes to the only one who can give us great hope and it must be beyond this life, and that is through Jesus Christ our Lord to our heavenly Father. In the times of death even this week as many other weeks throughout the past year one who is faithful to Christ passed from this life. Now how did that widow deal with that death and how did faithful Christians deal with that death. We dealt with it because we knew that this person was a faithful child of God and because of our great hope that this person has the opportunity for a heavenly home we are able to bear the sorrows of this life. Many people have said in times past that Christians who follow the principles of Jesus Christ can deal with the problems of life better than anyone else; I believe that to be true. Paul was ready for anything but whatever happened in his life as he states in Philippians 1:20 he said he had that earnest expectation and hope that in nothing he should be put to shame and he said that whether it be by life or death with all boldness he was going to magnify God in his body. That’s what we do as children of God and we can see that clearly in the life of the apostle Paul. If you have time this afternoon read 2 Corinthians 11:23-28 and we can see how he put into his life his walk as a Christian in glorifying God in everyway. My brother and sister in Christ we know that that hope that is found within Christ is something that can sustain us throughout this whole life.
The writer of the book of Hebrews said in Hebrews 10 and I’d like to read this in closing our thoughts this morning, he said, “Let us draw near with a true heart…” This is Hebrews 10:22-23, “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” Let us hold fast the confession of our hope that is within our lives as we are striving to put on the spirit of Christ. It is thought that we as brothers and sisters in Christ are able to deal with every problem that may come in our lives. We invite you this morning to have that same hope by a simple believe that Jesus Christ I s the son of God and by repenting of your sins. Then being baptized into Christ for the remission of your sins after you have confessed that he is the son of God you can have that blessed hope that is found within that body of Christ and actually become a member of the body of Christ. It’s your decision, no one is keeping you from doing it in this free country which we live and no one would want to keep you from doing it if you truly believe that that is God’s will for you. So we encourage you today to take advantage of those great and wonderful blessings that are found in God our Father through Jesus Christ our Lord. Then if you obey what Christ wants you to do and you do what He wants you to do you can have that blessed hope of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.
(SONG # 3 - “Redeemed!”)
Thank you again for being with us this Lord’s Day. Let me invite you to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to growing in God, by studying and doing things His way!
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May this coming new year bring us all the blessings and joys which are deserving of those who are striving to please God by doing His Will and putting Him first in all things!