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Posts Tagged ‘hope’

FOUNDATIONS OF FAITH #4AM Hebrews-11-1-web

Have you ever been in a situation where something happened and you said, “I knew that would happen!” If something’s not likely to go well, it’s easy to predict the failure, but does it make a difference what you’re expecting?

Let’s say I’m fixing an old car and I need a part. So I call up the manufacturers service centre and I ask for spare parts. While I’m waiting on the phone for the parts person to pick up, what am I thinking? This part will be hard to get, the car is old, it’s probably out of stock, I wonder how many calls I will have to make to find a part. It could take me days, weeks to locate this part.

OR

I could be thinking, they will have this part for sure. It’s a part that wears out often and they will have plenty of spares. That’s how these guys make money, on spare parts. I should have it all done in a couple of hours and then we can go out for dinner.

What’s the difference? – Your expectation! What you’re expecting makes a difference. Why do you think people so often refer to others as “cup half empty” or a “cup half full” kind of person? There’s two ways to view most situations. One way is expecting the worst, that’s being a pessimist. The other way is expecting the best. That’s an optimist. If you’re going to be a person of faith you cannot be a pessimist. You must decide that you are going to be an optimist! It’s not about the abundance of evidence, we are always making up our mind to believe something without the luxury of all the facts. You just can’t get all the facts all the time, you need to make decisions based on your best judgement. That’s where wisdom comes in. The more optimistic you are the more your faith is in action creating the future you desire to see come to pass.

You’re going to have an outdoors BBQ next weekend. What’s the weather going to be like? One thing we all know is, don’t bother checking the weather forecast. They get it wrong often and it can change. What are you expecting?

What you’re expecting makes a difference. It’s not just being positive or negative, it’s creating the future for you. Look at this verse: Proverbs 24:14(AMP)

14 So shall you know skillful and godly Wisdom to be thus to your life; if you find it, then shall there be a future and a reward, and your hope and expectation shall not be cut off.

God says your expectation will not be cut off. It has power, so let’s understand how this fits in with faith because we know that faith can move mountains right?

Here’s a story.

Acts 3:3-8 (AMP)

3 Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour (three o’clock in the afternoon),

2 [When] a certain man crippled from his birth was being carried along, who was laid each day at that gate of the temple [which is] called Beautiful, so that he might beg for charitable gifts from those who entered the temple.

3 So when he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked them to give him a gift.

4 And Peter directed his gaze intently at him, and so did John, and said, Look at us!

5 And [the man] paid attention to them, expecting that he was going to get something from them.

6 But Peter said, Silver and gold (money) I do not have; but what I do have, that I give to you: in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!

7 Then he took hold of the man’s right hand with a firm grip and raised him up. And at once his feet and ankle bones became strong and steady,

8 And leaping forth he stood and began to walk, and he went into the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.

In this story, a crippled man is expecting some money, but it puts his heart and mind in the right place of expecting to receive, and Peter James and John deliver something better than money – a miracle healing! This man’s position of looking up and expecting to receive opened him up to receive the biggest miracle of his life.

So often our frame of mind is to expect the worst. Many people even voice all their negative expectations. It’s almost a sport to see who can be the most negative and so create a joke about it. But all jokes aside, what you’re really expecting makes a difference.

Let’s go back to the definition of faith:

Hebrews 11:1(AMP)

11 Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].

Faith is being sure in our heart, that what we hope for, is already ours. Faith means that we have taken possession of the thing that we hope for. Now hope in the bible is a very strong and positive word, not like the way we use hope in the modern vernacular. Bible hope is a strong and confident expectation.

The bible links hope with faith. It says faith is the assurance of things hoped for.

What are you hoping for? Ladies, when you hope to buy a new dress or top, don’t you have something in mind that you want? Haven’t you pictured the desired article in your mind’s eye?  Guys, is there something you hope for? A new car perhaps? What man hoping for a new car has not pictured the exact model and colour he desires? It’s in his mind’s eye.

Faith is the assurance of what you hope for. Faith is the confidence that you have in your possession the very thing you are hoping for. Faith reaches out and takes hold of what you are hoping for and brings it into reality. It’s almost like faith has a hold on one end of the rope and the other end is what you are hoping for. Faith just pulls it in!

All this will start to make sense when I tell you that the word for hope and the word for expectation are the same words in the original languages of both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Not only that but the word for hope and expectation in the Old Testament means literally a cord or a rope.

Now does it make sense that the bible says your expectation shall not be cut off!

The nuts and bolts of faith. Now let me put it all together for you. You can change your expectations. Your future and what you want to see happen is what you are hoping for. That hope is a confidence and strong sense of what you desire to receive and see take place. Now because it is your hope, you can visualize that outcome. Your hope or confidence is like a rope or cord. You have hold of one end and the other end is the expected outcome. Now don’t let go! Don’t give up! Don’t think up all the reasons why it won’t happen. Expect the best. Expect that you will have the outcome you desire. Now faith is the assurance of things you hope for. Faith is the supernatural ability to lay hold of that hope, if you like, one end of the rope and receive or bring into reality the things you hope for and expect.

So there is usually an element of time involved. It takes time to pray and believe and work through any doubts and get more and more confident that what you are believing for will come to pass.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. What is a typical negative expectation that you often have?

2. Do you find that you expect the best generally or do you often expect the worst?

3. Do you believe that you can change your expectation?

4. What things are you expecting for this year?

5. If your mind constantly goes to the negative, how could you change that?

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INTRODUCING JESUS – THE GREATEST GIFT OF ALL – SUNDAY 15TH DEC 2013 AM Introducing Jesus

Choose someone you would like to meet. Who would you choose? In all of human history, if you could choose to meet anyone, who would it be? Many of us have met Jesus, and we feel we know Him. But how well do you know Him? Would you like to know Him better? Listen as I share about the other side of Jesus.

What was Jesus like?

What was it like to meet Him and know Him? Can we get an insight into the experience that the 12 disciples of Jesus had as they met and travelled with Jesus for three and half years? He was, and is, the greatest figure in human history, He and His followers have made a bigger impact than any other person in history. Especially when you consider that he only walked the stage of life publically for three and a half years.

There was the people-person Jesus who preached simple but powerful messages, healed countless people and gathered the little children in His arms to bless them. This approachable Jesus, who healed foreigners even when He said He was called to Israel primarily, raised children to life from the dead, and gave a son back to his mother from the dead; had another side to His persona.

Jesus was incredibly focussed.

He had a mindset to that was unrelentingly pointed to one great purpose. His death.

The story began before the earth was formed.

Rev 13:8 And all the inhabitants of the earth will fall down in adoration and pay him homage, everyone whose name has not been recorded in the Book of Life of the Lamb that was slain [in sacrifice][a]from the foundation of the world.

In the beginning before time; the conversation may have gone something like this… The father says to the Son, Let us make man in our own image, male and female shall we create them. And they shall have dominion and rule the earth that we have made. Our love for them shall be complete. It is a love that shall cost us. What price shall we be prepared to pay for them? They shall need redemption. They shall need restoration and these things shall come at a cost, but whatever is of great value, our offspring, shall be bought with a price; and the price shall be that of blood. Jesus accepted the call and the charge pre-empting the words of Isaiah centuries later when asked who shall go for them?

Isaiah 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send? And who will go for Us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

Then that which was written before the beginning of time but recorded by John was established: John 3:16 For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten ([a]unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.

The die was cast; the purpose set; the life of Jesus was destined for death and separation from the father for a time. He was now a man with a mission. And so He said:

Matt 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Luke 9:51 Now when the time was almost come for Jesus to be received up [to heaven], He steadfastly and determinedly set His face to go to Jerusalem.

John 12:27 Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.

Even when His well-meaning disciples were reticent to accept is impending death, He spoke strongly against their opposition:

Matt 16:21-23 21 From that time forth Jesus began [clearly] to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders and the high priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised [k]from death.

22 Then Peter took Him aside [l]to speak to Him privately and began to reprove and [m]charge Him sharply, saying, God forbid, Lord! This must never happen to You!

23 But Jesus turned [n]away from Peter and said to him, Get behind Me, Satan! You are in My way [an offense and a hindrance and a snare to Me]; for you are [o]minding what partakes not of the nature and quality of God, but of men.

Jesus single minded in His pursuit of His purpose was unassailable. He was a man born for purpose and nothing was going to dissuade Him from that purpose. Tell me if you can, what man is bent on death and the sacrifice of His life for others from the moment of His birth? Who in human history has determined to give His life for others as a long standing goal for their life? Can you think of one?

But this man, this God-man, who came from heaven was single minded and fixed in His purpose, so that the reason He came was clear and he remained unflinching to the end. His reason to live was that he may die, and not just die but die as a substitute, a ransom for many. There was the people-person side of Jesus but then there was this focussed, unflinching side of Jesus concerning His purpose. Every minute of every day He thought about why he came and He thought about what lay ahead of Him in Jerusalem at the last Passover.

Matt 16:21 21 From that time forth Jesus began [clearly] to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders and the high priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised [a]from death.

Was He focussed? Yes. Was He intense? No, because even at His moment of death He gave a criminal on the cross beside Him the answer for eternal life. No power on earth or in heaven would be able to dissuade Him from the grand purpose of His life and that grand purpose was death.

What now?

Do you know Him?

And more than that what is the purpose of your life?

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