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A Living Hope- Wednesday, April 11th, 2007

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not face away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
1 Peter 1:3-5

Currently, life feels as if it is a whirlwind. What is the next thing to do for the day? What email should I write next? Who should I call after the next meeting? The to-do list is piling up. In fact, if you saw my desk right now, you would wonder how anything gets done. And one of the things I was to do yesterday afternoon was go to the security office (located at the local hospital) and pick-up a parking pass for the 3-story parking garage. As I was on my way, I forgot to bring the paperwork that said where the address was. So I went back to the office to get the paperwork. On my way back, I got a call that said someone was at the TENT to replace our 360 searchlight. (It wasn’t spinning.) So I turned around and went back. I unloaded the heavy light, and was getting ready to drive back to the office to get that address I originally forgot. And I knew I had to get going because it was getting late in the afternoon. But I felt the Holy Spirit say, “Don’t go. Don’t drive off without talking to the security guard.” I thought to myself…NO WAY. I am in a time crunch here. I need to get things done before the evening worship service. I will talk to the security guard when I get back. Therefore, I hopped in my car. I began to drive off. AWWWW. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t leave.

So I turned my car around and went INSIDE THE TENT. I acted like I needed to do some work around the tent, but then he approached me. He asked me if I needed some more help. I said no. But then I finally agreed to the Lord to slow down. I needed to set everything aside and love this security guard by having a conversation with him. Everything else in life needed to stop. This was where God wanted me to be, at this very moment and time. So I opened up and began asking him questions. Questions to get to know him more. These questions weren’t in any manner confrontational or far-fetched. I just wanted to get to know him. Where is he from? How did he get to this point of doing security? What other things has he done? All of this lead up to one question. I asked him, “Do you believe the Bible to be true?” He looked at me, and said, “I knew that this was going to come up.” But from that point on, he was very honest and real with me. He admitted he was an atheist. Keep in mind, he is watching guard over a “tent of meeting” for the body of Christ of Dallas. He knew the language to talk about God. He was well-versed about the Scriptures. But yet, he was comfortable relying upon his own state of mind, and not upon the Lord. I addressed a couple of questions I had for him. We continued our conversation and it was good.

No he didn’t come to know Jesus. Yet, he admitted, “This world is in desperate need of HOPE. He knew we needed something to look forward to. He said, “Humans need to create HOPE for the world.” Isn’t this an interesting comment? My only comment for him was, I have found the HOPE you are looking for. And that is why we are doing this 40-day tent revival. We want others to realize that HOPE has been made available to all who are looking. Yet, we look in the wrong places. We find our HOPE in the temporary. We find our HOPE in our jobs. (In his case, it was the technology world.) But the Bible says we can find a living HOPE through Jesus Christ. However, this HOPE does not “imply a wishfulness but rather a dynamic confidence that does not end with this life but continues throughout eternity.” The disciple Peter referenced this HOPE when he wrote, ““Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” Praise the Lord! We have HOPE.

So the security guard asked, “If this is the case, then why don’t Christians live like we have HOPE?” Good question, eh? Our lives should exemplify of what we expect to come. That is not what I said at the time, but after thinking about it, I realized that how we view HOPE determines our everyday actions. C.S. Lewis agreed. He said, “Hope is one of the Theological virtues. This means that a continual looking forward to the eternal world is not (as some modern people think) a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do. It does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is. If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. The Apostle themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth ‘thrown in’: aim at earth and you will get neither.”

With Lewis’ understanding of HOPE, we all should make an impact on those around us. If our mind is on the living hope of Jesus Christ, we will naturally make a difference here on earth. Therefore, will you join me in keeping our eyes on the eternal so we may have an impact on the temporal? Also, please join me in sharing with others about the HOPE that we so strongly believe in. We can make a difference, we just need to take the time and let others know about the HOPE we have in Jesus.
- klm

" We cannot organize revival, but we can set our sails to catch the wind from Heaven when God chooses to blow upon His people once again."

- G. Campbell Morgan