ADVENT | HOPE

ADVENT | HOPE

NEXT Family,

December is here! This is the last month of 2018 and I cannot believe it. My challenge to you this month is to finish 2018 better than you are going to start 2019. I believe God will honor the next season in how you finish this one. I know that the pressure of school is going to be intense for the next few weeks and I will be praying for you guys. Love you all. Merry Christmas!


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You can follow along with my teaching notes below.


Teaching Note’s

Hope (HOPE | PEACE | JOY | LOVE)

Throughout December we are going to recognize advent each week.

What is Advent? The arrival of a notable person, thing, or event.

We are going to look at 4 different things that the arrival of Jesus has taught us. HOPE | PEACE | JOY | LOVE

This week we are going to look at HOPE.

Hope – An expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.

I want you to imagine with me this morning that you were born in the early BC/ AD era. The voice of God has been silent for 400 years! You heard stories from your great, great, great, great grandparents about a God who spoke with his people in the temple and tabernacle, but not for your lifetime. In fact you heard the story of Pompey the great stepping into the holy of holies to prove that the God you heard of was not speaking.

The silent absence of God had produced in His people a hopeless religious sprit.

God had removed his presence from the world and religion sunk her grips into people. During the time Jesus walked the earth we see some of the most educated religious leaders the world has ever seen. They have memorized the law, but God is not speaking.

God in his Love and Mercy for humanity had an agenda restore HOPE.

Fear and Hope seem to be the opposite reactions to the same set of variables. Fear – lives on the, “what if,”
Hope – lives on the, “perhaps God,”

Could I suggest that the only difference is in our posture of who is in control”.

Hope Invites me to trust God in the process through every circumstance.

Fear Invites me to assess the circumstance and fantasize a potential outcome.

I would submit that one is natural (born with) and one is divine (Grown into).

We are born with fear of what we cannot control.

We have the access to allow hope to be grown inside of us.

Romans 5:1-11

1 Our faith in Jesus transfers God’s righteousness to us and he now declares us flawless in his eyes. This means we can now enjoy true and lasting peace with God, all because of what our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, has done for us. 

Our faith guarantees us permanent access into this marvelous kindness that has given us a perfect relationship with God. What incredible joy bursts forth within us as we keep on celebrating our hope of experiencing God’s glory!

But that’s not all! Even in times of trouble we have a joyful confidence, knowing that our pressures will develop in us patient endurance. 

And patient endurance will refine our character, and proven character leads us back to hope

And this hope is not a disappointing fantasy, because we can now experience the endless love of God cascading into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who lives in us!

For when the time was right, the Anointed One came and died to demonstrate his love for sinners who were entirely helpless, weak, and powerless to save themselves.

Now, who of us would dare to die for the sake of a wicked person? We can all understand if someone was willing to die for a truly noble person. 

But Christ proved God’s passionate love for us by dying in our place while we were still lost and ungodly!

And there is still much more to say of his unfailing love for us! For through the blood of Jesus we have heard the powerful declaration, “You are now righteous in my sight.” And because of the sacrifice of Jesus, you will never experience the wrath of God. 

10 So if while we were still enemies, God fully reconciled us to himself through the death of his Son, then something greater than friendship is ours. Now that we are at peace with God, and because we share in his resurrection life, how much more we will be rescued from sin’s dominion!

11 And even more than that, we overflow with triumphant joy in our new relationship of living in harmony with God—all because of Jesus Christ!

We are going to open up this rich letter each week in December and discover HOPE, PEACE, JOY, and LOVE.

The opportunity for HOPE.

Paul leads us into a reality: Hope can be grown inside of us.

How?

But that’s not all! Even in times of trouble we have a joyful confidence, knowing that our pressures will develop in us patient endurance. 

And patient endurance will refine our character, and proven character leads us back to hope

And this hope is not a disappointing fantasy, because we can now experience the endless love of God cascading into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who lives in us!

Another translation reads v3We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials

Hope is developed by choosing to rejoice in the midst of our problems and trials.

It’s a shift in posture towards our circumstance.

Rejoice – to vaunt, boast, be proud of, exult

Problems & trials – a pressing, pressing together, pressure, oppression, affliction, tribulation, distress,

James would later open his letter by saying when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.

Optimism is NOT the same as hope.

Paul is saying that you and I have access as believers to grow hope inside of us by shifting our posture towards our problems and trials.

Just facing a difficulty without shifting your posture does not produce hope.

When our posture changes, we learn to endure, and it develops strength in our character.

And patient endurance will refine our character, and proven character leads us back to hope

Lets recap:

When our eyes are taken off of my circumstance and we choose to rejoice in the midst of pressure, oppression, affliction, tribulation, and distress, hope is birthed and grown inside of us.

When we are silent and our eyes stay focused on our situation, we fantasize a potential outcome and invite fear to overtake us.

After 400 Years of silence, God SPOKE through his son and restored hope to humanity.

That is what we choose to observe this weekend in the month of the arrival of Jesus.

When we choose to rejoice we come out the other side with the reality of HOPE planted in us. He is HOPE, therefore, learning to face our trials with joy, invites a greater invasion of Jesus in our lives.

That is my challenge to you this week:

Invite the invasion of Jesus (hope) into every circumstance of your life.


Announcement’s

We will have NEXT throughout December on Sunday’s @ 11:45AM in the office.

Come early each week for breakfast!

NEXT will be having a Christmas party on Sunday, December 23rd @ 10AM in the office.

Bring your best UGLY CHRISTMAS SWEATER!

We will do a white elephant gift exchange ($3 MAX).

Everyone needs to bring a gift to exchange.

I cannot wait to see you guys.

Travis Horner 

Student Ministries Pastor | Vintage City Church


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