If Our Hope is in Christ…

I’ve been wondering and asking a few questions about life… you ever do that? Since we, as Christians, talk about our hope being in Christ, (1 Corinthians 15:9, Ephesians 1:12, 2:12, Philippians 1:20, Colossians 1:27, 1 Thessalonians 1:3, 1 Timothy 1:1, Titus 2:13, Hebrews 3:6, 1 Peter 1:3, 13, 3:15), what do I really hope for? Take a look at what I found in 2 Corinthians 5:

I hope that I long for heaven (2 Corinthians 5:1, 2-3, 4-5). Do I look forward to the time when the Father calls me home and I can dwell in the place that Christ has prepared for me (John 14:3)? Am I doing all that I can to help others make it into heaven? Do I allow the Holy Spirit to remind me every day of my mission and purpose on this earth?

I hope that I have the courage to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:6-7). Do I see that there’s more to this life than just living or existing? Do I see God at work around me and through me and my church? Am I confident and willing to takes steps of faith even when I cannot see? Will I still believe even when the burden of life gets so heavy that I doubt and question the reality of Christ and what He’s done for the world and for me?

I hope that my goal is to always please Him (2 Corinthians 5:9). Do I think about Christ when I’m making decisions? Do I really ask the question “What Would Jesus Do?” and mean it? When sin tempts me to follow after it, am I reminded of the sacrifice of Christ for my soul, and that He set me free from the slavery of sin? Do I act in order to receive applause from Jesus or applause from men?

I hope that my actions on earth will reap a reward rather than condemnation (2 Corinthians 5:10). Do I act upon thoughts of compassion for others, or keep it to myself? Do I believe that I am the answer to someone’s cry for help or do I expect someone else to step up? Do I really believe that the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) and the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:37-40) are the mission and purpose of God?

I hope that my understanding of God will continue to grow (2 Corinthians 5:11 NLT). Do I have a high view of who God is? Do my theological convictions match my actions and words? Do I always look for God within a situation, even when it has been hurtful? Do I realize that I cannot conduct my ministry without His guidance and direction? Do I lean of God as I seek to persuade others about Christ?

I hope that my ministry is all about Him and not about me (2 Corinthians 5:12). Do I give God the credit due Him for the things I do in His name? Do I recognize that nothing good dwells in me (Romans 7:18) and that I am strong only when I am weak (2 Corinthians 12:10, 1 Corinthians 1:27)? Do I remember that it is through my weakness that the power of God is unleashed (2 Corinthians 12:9, 1 Corinthians 15:43, Hebrew 11:34)?

I hope that I will never be considered normal (2 Corinthians 5:13). Do those in the world think I am crazy about Jesus? Do they think that I am just crazy? Do I stand firm that it is logical and rational to believe there is a God who created the universe and that Christ was raised from the dead? Can I give all men a reason for the hope that is in me (1 Peter 3:15)? Do I demonstrate my dependence in an age of radical independence?

I hope the love of Christ controls me (2 Corinthians 5:14-15). Do I always seek the most loving thing to do, or say? Do I remember that it is because of the love of Christ that He died and that I was also crucified with Him (Galatians 2:20)? Do I have the needs of a lost world on my heart, so that love compels me to be a positive witness for Christ? Do I live for myself or do I live for others or for Christ? Do I make Jesus a part of my life or do I make Him my life?

I hope I see other people as God sees them (2 Corinthians 5:16). Do I have a God perspective on the lostness of the world? Do I see hurting people all around me and respond as an ambassador for Christ? Am I helping believers around me to see people as God sees them, and act on behalf of the “least of these” (Matthew 25:40)?

I hope that my life and those in my congregation have experienced real life change (2 Corinthians 5:17). Transformation of life is what this earthly life is all about, so am I a changed person? Am I encouraging or helping others to change in ways that pleases God and brings Him honor and glory?

I hope that the mission of God is caught by all those at King’s Grant (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). Do I understand that I am in the business of reconciliation? How can I get across to others the mission of God and cast a vision for what His mission is on the world?

I hope that I never get tired of the same old story of salvation (2 Corinthians 5:21). Do I ever just read over some passages because I know the story? Do I read the Bible to connect with God or just to prepare for another lesson? Am I open to the leadership of the Spirit as I read His Word, and allow Him to guide my thoughts, beliefs and actions? Do I hear the voice of God speaking through the written words on the page?

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