For the next three Sundays, I will be speaking to you about living every day with hope in a world that seems hopeless in so many ways. ‘Inspiring Hope’ is both about how our lives are positively and profoundly affected by possessing unshakeable hope and how living this way can impact and inspire the people we connect with regularly.
I will talk about the reason we as Christ followers have hope and how our hope is very different from what people generally put their hope in. I believe the chaos that we see in our world today is driven by a sense of hopelessness. When you feel like all hope is gone, you are capable of doing things you wouldn’t otherwise do out of desperation.
Those of us with hope in Christ are potential change agents in our daily environments. We see things differently than those who are hoping in the here and now. We live confidently and peacefully because we trust in the One who is in control. And because we approach each day like this, we are living proof that Jesus is alive and active in us. Over time, others will take notice and some will ask us why we have this hope.
The title of this Sunday’s message is ‘The Halo Effect’ which I took from the name of a couple of studies that were done in the US and the GTA. The impetus for the research came from a desire to find out, in concrete terms, the positive social and economic contributions that churches make on their communities. The results were impressive to say the least, as the services provided by churches at their own cost made a huge impact on the quality of living in their areas. You can check this out at haloproject.ca.
“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give and answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” 1 Peter 3:15
To prepare for listening to the message this Sunday, read over and think through the implications of this scripture:
What does someone look like that sets Christ as Lord in their hearts?
How do you do that and how often will it be necessary?
How do you prepare yourself to be ready at any moment to tell someone who asks you why you have such unshakeable and inspiring hope?
How many people in your everyday life are trying to live without the hope you have in Christ and are therefore candidates for hearing our good news?
Remember that Sunday evening is Deep Roots, our monthly time of praying together as a church family. I invite you to come and pray with others for God to continue to do amazing things in our church so that we can further impact our community for Christ.