The Fruit of Hope
And so at our staff meeting this last Monday night we had a staff meeting we also a board meeting were sitting around we're thinking now what are we going to do when everyone goes to camp on July sixteenth you know it's probably going to be in our best interest to go to just one service because we send about one hundred people to camp and there's not going to be that many people here and so as a staffer thinking that's a good idea you know we probably should have thought about that you know months in advance again we're in the in the year of first you know trying to figure things out and then we also thought well what do we do about the next Sunday when everyone comes back that's a really powerful Sunday for us as a church and now we're going to do two services and then have some of the kids in the first service some of the kids in the second service and we thought campus such a big deal for our church it might be best for us to just all enjoy that camp wrap up at the same time and so we thought well maybe we should do choose one service on that Sunday as well and then we thought OK we know that we're going to have to go to one service in Labor Day And so we thought is it going to be too confusing to go from two services to one service back to two services back to one service back into service and we thought you know what for this summer only these next eight weeks let's just go back to one service and see how it goes so we're kind of in the in the data collecting phase without what maybe if you will my like this a little bit we're ramping up for some summer will be over at that point and then we'll be gearing up for the fall so we thought well let's try this this is no guarantee what's going to happen next summer but so on July sixteenth when everyone these for camp will have one service OK and I thank you in advance for your cooperation and your support we're still kind of learning how to do all of these things so that's the first announcement the second announcement is a big one and I'm very excited about this the board felt that it was now time for us to move forward in trying to purchase the house next door and so we were trying to look at our situation and we realize the two services are going very well we have grown since going to two services in fact we're not going back to one service because of numbers in fact we grow. Own And so that's not at all why we're doing one service for those eight weeks. We're almost out of Sunday school class space is special for the kids in our staff meetings we're trying to figure out where we're going to put kids and so we're very close to needing that space for Sunday School classes also if we were to purchase it right now interest rates are still pretty low we're probably going to have to get a loan and so this might be something we want to pursue right now and then also with the grace cos we're fellowship talking to us about coordinating efforts to do some kind of like a a ministry lab or some training of of leaders throughout the nation that they can come here to Phoenix without you know what this might be the best time for us to to pursue this again more seriously and so this last week I called our neighbor is name is Dave Cole and I said Hey Dave pastor Josh next door would you be willing to sit down and try to figure this out again he said yeah absolutely let's do it and so here's the plan in three weeks when I get back from vacation myself and three other members of a newly formed committee and we have to come up with a creative name for this committee but the committee members are going to be Steve McDonald He's chairing this and he's involved in. Appraising values of properties Joel Postma is going to be on this committee and Joel is involved with title work and loans and things like that and Matt Bennett who is also a board member who's involved with acquiring properties and fixing them up and renting them out so we have three individuals in our church who are very good at this we're going to sit down and talk with them and try to agree on a price at least start a contract and then we're going to ask for a really long inspection period usually it's about ten days we're going to ask for maybe even up to two months so that we can do our due diligence get an appraisal of the lot find out exactly how we're going to remodel everything and then also we have to come to the car nation if we're going to this is a car geisha and have a vote and then also raise the funds and so we're going to ask for an extra long period of time for that but he's willing and we're willing and so as the board we're thinking you know this might be the time to make this next step. And so we're excited about this and so I'm making this announcement but it's also a really big prairie Quest pray and let's all pray together that if this is God's will for our church and this is our new best interest that we'll get the house at the right time and that's especially for the right price OK so let's all join together and in praying for that so we're really excited about that you know right now I'm in a sermon series on hope and today is the last series on hope or last sermon on hope and. A couple Sundays ago I mentioned how I bought that lottery ticket knowing that I wasn't going to win but I spent all day daydreaming what would it be like to win all those hundreds of millions of dollars and it was fun to daydream and I knew that I wasn't going to women so my daydreams were kind of cut short but literally for the last couple years I and many people have been daydreaming what would it be like if we had that property next door and how would it affect our ministers what is the things that we're not able to do right now that we could do and so it's kind of exciting to think about those things and so I'm excited I'm full of hope that God will lead us to have that property at the right time and for the right price and it will be a blessing for a church and I'm also very full of hope for the future of our church it's an exciting time to be a part of Grace Bible Church Well last week we talked about the three things that we can be confident in when it comes to our hope. Two Sundays ago we looked at the cautions of hope that we're supposed to be very cautious when we place our hope in people and in money we're going to do that in this life but we're not supposed to put our hope in people in money thinking that it's going to supply everything that we need but last week we looked at three things that we can be absolutely confident about and just for as a reminder those three things or this number one we can be confident that God has a plan everything that's happening right now in human history is right on schedule and God has a plan of what he. Is trying to do and accomplish in this full history of redemption The second thing that we can be confident about is that we will live forever with Him We can be confident that if you raised his son from the dead that those of us who have placed our faith in Jesus Christ we too will be raised and have a turn of life and the third thing that we can be confident of is the Bible teaches us that God is going to fix everything everything that is broken in this world people civilizations cultures the earth itself all it tells us in Romans that everything will be redeemed and restored and so we can be confident about all of those things and all of those things are true then our hope should create a response in us you know when you're excited about something do you keep it to yourself or are you are you really willing to share it with somebody else hey I just want you to know something really exciting is happening Well today we're going to look at a handful of passages that tell us how our hope should cause us to respond and so let's look at our first passage for today which is that Hebrews Chapter six. Let's go over to Hebrews Chapter six.
Hebrews Chapter six beginning in verse seventeen.
Hebrews Chapter six beginning in verse seventeen it says this.
So when God desired to show more convincingly to the errors of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose he guaranteed it with an oath so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie we who have fled for refuge might have strong courage meant to hold fast to the hope set before us and now we have something interesting in verse nineteen it says. We have this this hope we have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain. And so this passage teaches us that the hope that we have connects us to what Christ did behind the curtain in the temple and so I kind of get this this visual image in here there's this direct connection and the passenger says an anchor an anchor something that's very strong and stable but we have this connection between our present lives and what Christ did in the temple after he shed his blood he went into the Holy of Holies in the heaven these and he shed his blood on the ark of the covenant so that our sins can be forgiven and there's a direct connection between us and what Christ did there and that cord or that string is strong and it's very tight I kind of think of like the cord on a guitar or a piano something that is between two points and it's very tight and so what happens using a kind of an example of a guitar or piano if you have a chord that is hold held fast between two different points and if you apply pressure to it what happens.
It makes a noise. There's a vibration and then it makes a sound and so sort of like a guitar or a piano we look at this passage here and Hebrews and I kind of get this mental image that here we have us here in this life and then we have this direct connection between what Christ did in the temple paying for our sins and that is a tight connection and what happens is during our lifetime we will experience temptations we will experience pressure we will experience tension struggles and every kind of that happens there creates friction on that cord that connects us with what Christ did and that is our hope and when our hope is. Challenge it should produce some kind of sound or some produce or some fruit and so I kind of have this mental image as I was reading through Hebrews five of the sound of hope that should be in our lives when we experience these things and so what I want to do this morning is look at a few different passages and there are plenty I had to kind of parrot down but there are plenty of passages that talk about if we have hope then it should produce this in our life and so I have three things for you this morning and so the first thing that we're going to look at is this first thing that hope produces in our lives is this it produces contagious service.
Hope produces contagious service.
You know where here this morning some of you probably would maybe rather have slept in I don't know but we're here this morning to think why did we come here this morning why are we here this morning is this is this worth it and the answer is yes this is worth it because our hope is real and because our hope is real it's worth coming together and serving our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ stay in Heber's and go to chapter ten.
Chapter ten a few years beginning in verse twenty two and you'll notice I have all these scriptural references already printed in the sermon notes but he was Chapter ten beginning in verse twenty two it talks about our hope and how what our hope should cause us to respond hope or excuse me Hebrews ten verse twenty two.
It says. Let us draw near with a true heart and full assurance of face with our hearts sprinkled clane clean 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 promises faithful so it's telling us there's this hope that we have hold on to what really tight and then the very next verse it. Tells us how to respond verse twenty four and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works so if you're holding fast to the hope that God has given to us our first response should be to steer each other around to get each other excited about this hope you know thinking of kind of this image that I have in my mind of a guitar or a piano and the hope that we have between us in this life and what Christ did behind the same jury in the temple you know we as a church I think we're very fortunate I think all the sort agree that we have some really good musicians at our church especially for the size of church that we have and one of my favorite things is early in the morning when I get here first and I'm in my office and sometimes the band will come in and they'll start practicing before they practice and it's really fun to listen to them play because one person will get on the piano and start playing and then some will say hey that's pretty good then they'll start playing guitar and then so be on the drums and they'll just start playing and one person starts playing in the other people are like I want in on that I want to play to I remember a few years ago I was up at camp and all the kids were coming in it was right before one of the chapel SESSIONS I think I was one of the speakers and we had Brian Clark and and making Cate and somebody else was up there and said Hey guys just just start playing your member and you probably do it every year and they just started jamming there was no music in front of them they just started playing and all the kids were bopping up and die it was great and it was contagious and that's what our hope should be if someone is serving because they have this great hope it should encourage all of us to want to join in as well and so why should our hope produce these good works the answer is simple it's because our hope is real and that means that he is worthy Jesus Christ is worthy of all of our effort and he's also coming back and will. Reward us for our faithful service.
You know if you walked into a church walked into a group of believers and no one was doing anything and it was just drudgery to get people to serve as a sort of deal like the anchor that connects them and what Jesus did behind the curtain in the temple that court is not taught it's slack and be kind of a depressing situation wouldn't it. It's one of things that I'm very appreciative here at this church you know one of our values one of our most important values as a church is faithful service and when I see so many people stepping up and serving because that's who they are and that's their identity in Christ I've seen how it rubs off on other people. If you have hope if you have hope in the future it should inspire you to serve and also encourage other people to serve and so that's the first thing that we see in the Bible that our hope should produce that you produce contagious service the second thing is probably the thing that's talked about most often in Scripture and that is this our hope should also produce holiness.
If we have hope in the future it should produce holiness in this life I have a few passages that I want to look at for this and the first one is and first John three verses two and four to three or four first John at the very end your bible almost the very end chapter three verses two three four.
If possible John says very specifically here.
It says beloved. We are God's children now and what we will be has not yet appeared but we know that when he appears we shall be like him because we shall see him as he is and everyone who does hopes in. Him purifies himself as he is pure and so again even in this passage we see the tension between what is and what will be what it is is that you and I are sinners in these temporary bodies all right amen to that or who are sinners in these bodies and what will be is when Christ returns we will be perfect and holy like him and so God is wanting us today to live up to who we really are that's what holiness is and that's what hope should do in our lives what I want to do is I want to kind of imagine I kind of had a little daydreaming this week in the sermon but I just want you to imagine let's say all of us are eighteen and we just graduate from high school it's kind of a good thought for some of us maybe not so much for others but let's say you just graduated from high school it's the weekend and then on Monday morning there's a knock on your door and there is a lawyer and he has the snipes huge blow when he hands it to you and he says I have some great news for you.
A distant relative has bequeath to you you are the sole inheritor of a distant family estate and it involves land it involves property involves multiple businesses and a lot of wealth and the soon as you turn twenty five years old so on about six or seven years from now you're going to acquire in a managed all of this all right so what do you do for the next six or seven years you basically have two choices right one is kind of act like the prodigal son and think Well I've only have a little bit of time with freedom to try to make the most of this life and get the most out of this and going to go live wild and crazy or. What you should do all of us should do is realize that we are going to be in this position someday of honor and privilege and so we prepare ourselves for that we learn how to manage the family business we learned how to be. Good stewards we learn by practicing living today based on who we will be someday. And that's the holiness that God wants us to live with right now we're not there yet but someday when Christ returns we will be holy like he is and so God tells us right now live up to who you are going to be someday you know with this kind of illustration I want you to turn over to Filippi and Chapter three.
Philippians Chapter Three beginning in verse twelve and this is a fairly common and popular passage that's read quite a bit and I know I've used these passages quite a quite a few times in my sermons but as we read through this passage I want you to think of this example that I gave this illustration of inheriting something great someday and I want you to imagine that Paul is talking in a similar way about this so think about your future hope as a read through these passages and see if if Paul is saying the same thing here Philippians Chapter Three beginning in verse twelve.
Paul says. Not that I have already obtained this or I am already perfect but I press on to make it my own because Christ Jesus has made me his own and so Paul saying I'm not there yet but I will be in so I press on to that the thing that I will be someday my hope brothers I do not consider that I have made of my own but one thing I do forgetting what lies behind in straining forward to what lies ahead I press on towards the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus let those of us who are mature think this way and if anything you think otherwise God will reveal that also to you only let us hold true to what we have attained live up to who you will be someday for seventeen brothers joined in imitating me keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us for many of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with cheers walk as. Enemies of the cross of Christ their end is destruction their god is their belly and their glory is their shame what's mind set on earthly things but our citizenship is in heaven and from it we await a savior the Lord Jesus Christ who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. So Paul is saying I'm focused on who I will be some day and I'm trying to live up to that that's what our hope should cause us to do to be holy today like we will be some day and so holiness in a way is sort of like a lion in our lives right now so that it is in step with the holiness that we have in Jesus Christ and that doesn't mean that we're not going to make mistakes in this life because we certainly are but it just means that we know who we really are and that we live according to that not according to like it says here in our passage today we don't live according to our bellies and trying to get the most out of this life one other passage I want you to turn to first Peter.
First Peter chapter one.
First Peter chapter one thirteen.
And Peter says the same thing we have John Peter Paul they're all saying the same thing about how our hope should produce holiness first Peter chapter one beginning in verse thirteen it says. Therefore preparing your minds for action and being sober minded set your hope fully on the grace that would be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ and then he talks about how we should be holy as obedient children do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance but as he called you is holy you also be holy in all your conduct since it is written you shall be holy for I am holy.
You know three weeks ago we talked about just simply the importance of thinking about our hope the Bible tells us to set our minds on those things and can you see how important it is because if you're thinking about inserting your hope and our future hope it should lead to holiness and so God tells us to think about it so we'll start living out our true identity now while the third thing that hope produces in us is this hope produces evidence.
If you have hope there should be evidence if you walked into a room and maybe a friend or a family member was in there and they were smiling from ear to ear they couldn't wipe that silly grin off their face how long would it be before you asked them what are you smiling about me you probably do that right away right and you probably ask because first of all you're curious but then you're hoping that that they're so happy about something that maybe you can share in that hope and that happiness is well right if you have this hope that you'll spend eternity with Christ forever in glory there should be evidence and that should be evident to the world around us see here and first Peterburg go to chapter three.
First Peter chapter three.
Apostle Peter tells us that if we have this hope be prepared that you're going to have to talk about it to other people first Peter chapter three beginning in verse fourteen.
Actually just pick up in verse fifteen first Peter three fifteen.
Says but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord is holy always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for the reason for the hope that is in you you do it with gentleness and respect having a good conscience so that when you are slandered those who are vile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. Always be prepared tell everyone why you have hope. Has anyone ever asked you that question.
Maybe along along with that question has it have you given anyone any good reason to ask you for the day they asked you for that question if you focus on your hope you and I should be able to rise above all the little problems in this life you know our world is pretty negative right now we like to focus on negative we like to focus on things that divide us but if we focus on the hope that God has for us there should be a joy in our lives that's evident to the world around us and if there is joy in someone's life people want to know what that's why the why that is and so someone's going to ask you some day why are you able to just rise above all these three circumstances and situations what are you going to say. This is kind of a serious homework assignment that all of us should have if you're not prepared to answer that question you should be this is kind of like I think in the business world or in sales they call this the elevator pitch you know an elevator with someone you know about thirty seconds to to explain something to them if you have thirty seconds to explain to someone why you have hope that allows you to transcend the problems of this life what would you tell them and there's probably several things that you can say but I hope that it would start with the fact that your Savior Jesus Christ he's not dead he's alive. And because he's alive you have the hope that you will spend eternity with Him in heaven. You know one of the ways that we can answer that question about the hope that we have is seen and what we're going to practice this morning as we celebrate the Lord's supper on the night that he was betrayed Jesus gave them the reason for their hope he said my body which is sacrifice for you is for your sins so that you won't have to pay them and my blood which is going to be shed on the cross is the new covenant and the new come. It includes the guarantee and the promise of eternal life and so this morning we're going to proclaim and celebrate this hope that God has given to us so I can have the men come forward.
And we'll have these I sure as they'll pass out the bread and the juice in just a minute.
But first as we pass of the bread which represents the body of Jesus Christ what I want you to do is just just take a moment and to yourself between you and God Think about what this represents specifically about the hope that you can claim for yourself as you hold the bread it represents the body of Jesus Christ and this means that his body was broken so that you will never have to pay for your sense.
That's a great hope you'll never have to pay for your sins he paid for them so that we can experience only the love and the grace of our God and so spend time thanking him for this incredible hope.
You possible wrote to us. Reminding us of those events on that night and he said for I received from the Lord What I also delivered to you that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread and when he had given thanks he broke it and said This is my body which is for you do this in remembrance of me
your father we do remember.
We remember the sacrifice that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ made that night.
That he willingly gave up. His flesh and his blood in his bones and his body. To pay the price for our sins and more we look back with great reverence and and wonder. And we thank you so much for giving us the hope after his one perfect sacrifice the sins of mankind are forever wiped clean for those who have placed their faith in him and so words are our prayer this morning as we focus on the death of our Savior that we will share this this message of hope with the world around us that they too can have their sins paid for by the death of your son your presence in Christ name that.
Now as we pass out the juice which represents the blood of Jesus Christ and sort of connection to the past and the future the Bible tells us that the blood was shed and placed on the ark of the Covenant and so when God views the law he sees us as centers and as law breakers but because the blood of Jesus Christ is on the ark of the covenant God sees the righteousness of Christ and not our sins so that's part of the past and the future that I can access to is that God has a plan and that Jesus Christ is going to reign supreme over all things and that someday when the time is right he's going to send his son to come pick us up to be with us with Him forever and that is the greatest hope that we can possibly have and so as you hold on to the juice which represents the blood of Jesus Christ thank you for the hope that you have which is connecting you to the past and also our great future.
The Bible also says in the same way also he took the cup after supper saying This cup is the new covenant in my blood do this is often as you drink it in remembrance of me for as often as you eat the spread and drink the cup you proclaim the Lord's death until you come.
Forward with great hope we do that this morning we proclaim the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ and we fully hope that you will come again because we have the great hope Lord as we've looked at your word this morning help us to produce in us the desired response help it to produce in us the desire to serve you and for that service to be contagious among each other Oh Lord I pray that it will produce in us holiness that we will live up to what you have already attained in our life.
The Lord that will produce in us evidence that people around us in the world will see that there is something different about us that we have a joy that most people don't have and so I pray that we'll have an opportunity to share the hope of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in our eternal hope of spending eternity with you. With others lower down as we go our separate ways and we go out in this week there are so many problems in this world but because of the hope that you've given to us we can rise above it so Lord we thank you for this hope and let it just dominate and change our lives we pray this in Christ name Amen now me the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ love of God the Father in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all amen.