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This is the Gospel 2014: Day 7

Our living hope

by

Today's Text: Romans 8:12-30, Revelation 20:1-15, Revelation 21:1-27, 1 Peter 1:3-4

Text: Romans 8:12-30, Revelation 20:1-21:27, 1 Peter 1:3-5

For those of us who’ve come and for those of us who will, did you know that our redemption is a forever thing?

The Bible describes the hope we have in Christ as a living hope, more alive than these bodies that carry us through each day and more certain than our own death. 1 Peter chapter one says our inheritance in Christ is “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for [us], who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3-5, emphasis added).

In other words, friends, we can’t mess this up. When we are His, we are His. Always. Period.

Our salvation – our complete trust and hope in the saving work of Jesus Christ – has been called “the already and the not yet.” It is complete and it is ongoing, all at the same time.

So, what does that mean for us who believe?

It means our pain and our trials are real, but so is our future glory that outweighs them all. (Rom. 8:18)
It means Christ’s “rightness” before God is indeed fully ours, but we are also working out our salvation with fear and trembling. (Phil 2:12-13)
It means I can and should repent of my sin each day, each moment, ever aware of my need for him while also rejoicing in faith that I am completely forgiven. (1 John 1:9)
It means God saved me before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:3-6), He saved me when I first called on him (John 3:16), and His salvation will endure forever when I’m home with Him in Glory.

It means the original glory God created me for in the beginning has been restored and is being restored.
It means I am a new creation, renewed daily by His grace and mercy so that I might walk in the calling to reflect Him, to bear the very image of my God. (Genesis 1:27, 2 Corinthians 3:17-18)

The living hope Peter speaks of is ours today and ours tomorrow, and then it gets even better. Revelation tells us of an indescribable, unfathomable glory that will never end.

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’”
(Revelation 21:3-4)

This eternal hope, too, is ours.

And the One who is the Beginning and the End, the Wiper Away of All Tears and Sadness? He is with us even now. Here, in the midst of our mess. He is making all things new, starting with our hearts. Every glimpse of wholeness of heaven we are given here on earth is only a hint of what is to come.

I’ve always loved the following scene from Tolkein’s Return of the King. The relief is almost palpable. Oh, how much more glorious the eternal glory of our God will be, and how much more beautiful is the grace and hope of Christ to our weary hearts.

“Gandalf! I thought you were dead! But then I thought I was dead myself. Is everything sad going to come untrue? What’s happened to the world?”

“A great Shadow has departed,” said Gandalf, and then he laughed and the sound was like music, or like water in a parched land; and as he listened the thought came to Sam that he had not heard laughter, the pure sound of merriment, for days upon days without count.

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

7

  • Blair W

    Thank you for this truth, this is what I needed!

  • Wow, I so needed this today. For so many years I lived under the bondage of believing I could fall out of God’s grace; as though salvation was my doing. No more. His grace is enough ❤️

  • Such a beautiful picture. I cannot even FATHOM what that time will be like when He returns!

  • Amy Boyer

    Reading these truths every day, and living by them, is causing a revolution of godly women who are rising up against the lies and schemes of the devil and are declaring freedom and taking back what is rightfully theirs! Be bold sisters! Christ is in you and works through you to speak hope to the nations!

  • Erin Latham

    Did anyone else pick up on the Revelation passage and its statements? What stuck out to me were ‘those souls who were beheaded due to their testimony about Jesus and how they’re now in heaven”. Makes me think about what’s going on in the Middle East, (ISIS). This passage Gives me the strength and shows it would be an honor to be killed by a group like this because you were stating your testimony and your faith fearlessly! Amen!

  • Amen!

  • I am so unworthy, but Jesus is worthy! I wish everyone could know Christ. We serve a generous and loving God.

  • jackie clark

    Praise God that He will never leave or forsake me! To think that His grace is unending is truly humbling and leaves me in awe!

  • Amber_Ps139

    It’s awesome what God has done for us! Once we have said “yes” to God His own “yes” meets ours and we are His. But it is the daily, continual “yes” to Him that we die to the flesh and its desire to have and go its own way. We read in God’s Word that we can frustrate His grace by ignoring the Holy Spirit. The continual deafening of our spirit to His does not by default result in life to the fullest, but spiritual death. So we can unfortunately “mess this up” if even after we’ve invited Christ into our hearts we still desire to live our own way instead of His. Thank God His Spirit is relentless in His pursuit of us, but we still have free will to respond to what we desire most.

  • Obsessivelaffer

    “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. 7‘He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son…”

    These particular scriptures picked out today have caused me to feel an overwhelming excitement to worship our God. These hard days exist BUT “IT IS DONE!” He has won and I rest in that truth and living hope.

  • We have “an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade.” (1 Peter 1:4) “…Christ as a living hope, more alive than these bodies that carry us through each day and more certain than our own death.”
    There is so much comfort in our eternal, living hope. Reading this brought a little peace to my weary soul. Thank you, Lord.

  • I love that we have a “living hope”!

  • Hannah Dessel

    I love the line: “we can’t mess this up.” Thank you for telling truth! It has really helped me in this time of feeling down on my failures.

  • I am “renewed daily.” That is so powerful to me as I read this at the end of a long day. Some days I go to bed feeling like a bit of a mess, that I didn’t live up to what God is asking of me. It’s so comforting to know that God understands my groans and sees my tears. He knows my prayers when I can’t articulate them. In God’s eyes tomorrow is a new day and I’m totally forgiven. Through His forgiveness and grace I can try again tomorrow.

  • I accepted Christ at a very young age and am after nearly 20 years just now starting to understand the gospel. Thankful for God’s grace and that there is no sin that it can’t cover. Thankful he will never leave me! These devotionals are such a blessing and exactly what I need to grow into a deeper relationship with The Lord! Thank you!

  • I read this devotion two days in a row, and I still found it so powerful and gleaned hope from it in unique ways. What a blessing to return to the same passage and find reassurance and hope in it.

    • SheReadsTruth

      Bea, so thankful for what The Lord is teaching you through these words! We love having you in our community!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • How comforting today that I don’t need words of prayer – that God hears my groans and sees my tears.

    • SheReadsTruth

      So thankful for this truth, Heather! Thanks for joining us today!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • I am just sitting here in awe of the fact that I have been chosen. God chose me!!! From the beginning of the world… And I can’t screw that up.

    The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. Jer 31:3

    • Sarah Lahoda

      Jess, thanks so much for your comment! I feel like The Lord wanted me to hear that today. I have often reveled in the truth that I am chosen…that He would choose me…but I LOVE the verse you shared from Jeremiah 31. I’m so thankful that He has “…drawn me to himself with unfailing kindness.” So beautiful. Thank you.

  • Stephanie

    thankful to knowing how Great our GOD is! :) He is a rich in mercy and is full of loving kindness. by His Grace, i have been saved forever. His Promises and His Spirit living in me allow me to live the Life He has predestined for me. wow. I am in awe. I am filles with joy, knowing the glory has been restored. Amen! :)

  • I love how she pointed out the points of disparity in scripture- we are forgiven of our sins once for all, but are told to continually confess and forsake and we will receive mercy, that Christ did all the work on the cross but we are to work out our own salvation. I am comforted by all God has done for me and also that I cannot fully comprehend how this tension all works! Our God is so great! Looking forward to heaven one day!

  • Romans 8:20-21 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

    I had never noticed these verses, how Creation and US fell not by our own freedom of choice, but by the WILL of our sovereign God in hopes that we would be liberated or redeemed by our King for His honor and glory! It was always ALL part of His perfect plan! I love that God is truth and we can place our trust & hope in The God who oversees and is sovereign over ALL! ❤️

  • I had never noticed how in Romans 8:20-21

  • MeredithLeanne

    A hope that can’t be lost!

  • Kiristan

    It’s crazy to think that we must die to ourselves everyday yet still remind ourselves that God has already paid the ultimate price! Also, it’s wonderful how God works because just this morning in Sunday School we read these exact same verses in Romans 8! I am actively listening to God as He undoubtedly has something to say to me about hope…

  • How we crave His return to call us to our true Home! The nearing wars and rumors of, the riots, foreign waters turning red, increase of natural disasters. Choosing Christ may soon have a deadline!! Put everything you’ve got into following Jesus :) He is so good

  • Love how the scriptures tie together. I have been studying by book the last couple of years, but have enjoyed these plans that show connections between the books.

    • Lindsay

      I agree! I have loved seeing the Scriptures intertwined-all being pulled together so beautifully and intricately.

  • Corrie Glover

    Blown away by Gods power. Glory to God in the Highest!!!!!

  • Emma Brattain

    Wow I found this to be so very powerful!

  • What a beautiful hope. we can’t mess up God’s plan!

  • So desperately in need of this devotion today, have been going through a difficult, teary struggle to tear away from sin and compromise for my relationship. I know that God wants to bless and protect us, and I'm so thankful that God renews those who confess their sings. This is exactly what I needed to start connecting to God again. I cannot love if I do not know I am loved, and if I am not connected to the one source of all true love.

  • Stephanie

    I actually HAD to continue reading on past 1 Peter 1:3-5. 3-7 was just TOO amazing.

  • Rachel Nordgren

    Revelation 20-21 makes me think just how beautiful beyond words heaven will be. No more tears, no more pain, streets of gold and the presence of our Savior dwelling with us. I don't know about you, but I can hardly wait! Heaven is such a hard concept to grasp sometimes, but these verses make it clear that even if we don't know exactly what it's going to be like, it's going to be more awesome that we could come up with anyways.

    Amanda, THANK YOU for quoting Samwise. "Everything sad is coming untrue!" is one of my favorite lines of the whole series :)

    What struck me is this: in Christ, we have been restored to God's original intention for us: "So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." – Genesis 1:27. Christ restores us to the way God intended us to be all along. It's a humbling thought, considering how ill-deserving we are for such grace!

  • I wept while reading Revelation 21:3-4 as well.

    “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

    God's original plan from the beginning.. to be with us! How He loves us! How He wants to wipe away our tears!

  • Hazelmaddie

    Thanks for quoting Tolkien :) I love a good story that points back to Jesus.

  • "So don’t you see? We don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!
    This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!" –Romans 8:1-17, The Message
    "God spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!" Yes, Lord! Praise you for making all things new! For forgiving me and throwing my sins as far as the East is from the West. Help me to not look back as well; help me to stop bringing things to the table that you've already long since cleaned off. Praise you, papa, for ensuring our salvation and enabling us to serve you in righteousness and without fear all of our days!!! I wrote more about this passage in my blog, because of how boldly God spoke to me through this: http://graceandphysics.wordpress.com/2014/02/02/w

    Father, help us to walk in your grace today, completely near to you. Let us live the life you've beckoned us to live. Happy Sunday, sisters! I love you all!

    • Mary Sue

      Amen!! That scripture is PERFECT! It answers “so, what do we do now? After we know we have this living hope??” –we move forward! Waiting with faith that all things, God is working together for His glory and for the good! –and I especially love how dear this line is— “What’s next, Papa?”

  • We live in such a fast paced disposable society. Patience has never been one of my stronger characteristics , I want my answer now and by that I actually mean yesterday. I struggle so much "waiting on God"… I rationalize," well God you are busy with much bigger things, you've created me with the skills and abilities to figure this out and get it done". And without fail I fall far short and "screw up" everything to where they were worse than before. I struggle with my salvation, that once mine is forever. I fail so often, I keep feeling He has to have an out clause that we use up all our wild cards. Yet He is so loving and kind. Yet He is always there and never abandons us as we so often do to Him. Why does He care about someone like me. Our trials and tribulations refine us, make us stronger, and yet we cry for them to end. For God to remove them from us.
    Father help me to trust and rest in you every second of every day. Help me to trust in the process, not to want a quick fix, help me to remember that although I see only the google driving map view of my life and it's plan, you see the entire global map of my life and will correct my lost wanderings back to your path to get me where you are guiding me. I may take a little longer to get there, but if I am patient you will always give me a little blinking blue dot to follow. Thank you Father for loving and carrying even me.

  • I never get tired of reading these passages and the hope and promise they hold.
    The Lord has done it all…all for you and me….amazing.

  • God has given me a reservation, and nobody can cancel it! Love 1st. Peter 1:4.

  • In awe! That is all. :D

  • "He is with us even now. Here, in the midst of our mess. He is making all things new, starting with our hearts. "

    I'm glad to be reminded of this right now. Last night I was sobbing to a friend because I'm just so frustrated in the situation that I'm in. And I'm questioning God's purpose in all this right now. Because it seems to be nothing than me getting hurt over and over even when I try to do the right thing, when I try to go a different path than what I used to, when I try to follow what God wants me to do. And instead I get hurt and no one can explain why it's going this way for me. I don't have answers and I am frustrated at God because he seems to be keeping me from knowing the reason behind all this. I know he's here but it feels like he's so far away not because what I want isn't happening but because it feels like I am going through this alone.

    So I'm glad to be reminded of this today. The passage from Romans really spoke to me today, and Romans 8:24-25 is one of those verses I've memorized to help me during rough times like this so I'm really glad that I got to read this today.

    • AnnaLee

      Praying for you now, sister. I COMPLETELY get where you're coming from about frustration. I pray God would give you insight, comfort, and strength, and that you'd truly understand that His grace is sufficient for you in all things.

    • Catherine_K_L

      I understand your frustration, and I understand how difficult it is at times when I choose the right thing, yet there is still no answer. All I can tell you from what I've learned is that when you make choices that honor God, there is always a blessing with it. And, even though we don't always see the purpose in it, he gives us peace. The deceiver wants you to feel alone, but you are not. Keep your eyes focused on God, stay in the Word, and walk each day gripping the hand of Christ. Thinking of you today

  • It's sometimes hard to think I can't mess it up, that I couldn't lose my grip on His amazing grace and it all be lost. It's so amazing to think that, just as I didn't have the power to save myself from my sins, I also don't have the power to dismantle my salvation. That just as I can't earn my way into heaven, I also can't unearn my way out. But i's never been about what I do or don't do; it's only ever been about what Christ did on the cross.

    • AnnaLee

      Amen Jessica!! "I can't unearn my way out." It reminds me of what my old youth pastor Nat once told me… "Your salvation for the afterlife is sealed. You can't touch it. God hasn't ever loved you any less based upon who you are, and that will never change. Now, it's just about living a full life, one that He himself will help you to live." Praise Jesus!!

  • Candacejo

    So thankful that as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us! And yes we must repent of our sins, for even though we are under Grace, it doesn't give us license to sin. "For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin , because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid." Romans 6:14,15.

    Thankful we can go boldly to the throne of grace with not only our confessions of repentance but with our needs and He will hear the cry of our hearts! ♥

  • What a wonderful picture revelation 21 describes, The Lord God living/dwelling among us, His hand wiping away our tears, HIS HAND….. I can not tell you how my whole being is excited about that…. during Moses time, The Lord passed by and the people were in awe, in Ezekiel, God breathed over bones and they came to life, the woman with the blood issue, she touched the hem of Jesus garment and her life was changed, forever, we, believe, by faith that Gods hand is in certain situations……but to be in his presence and for Him to wipe away my tears, those tears that have gone side by side with my broken heart, those tears that have accompanied rejection, lack, bad news, shame, uncertainty, misfortune, brokenness, those tears will be wiped away by the Almighty, His Hand will touch my tears, my face for real…….WOW….what a hope …….What a gift, what a future, what a hope……Awesome, mind blowing thought…..but truth…
    Thank you Lord God for this living HOPE, that we have, a promise worth hanging on to, with dear life, thank you that I am yours, first and foremost, for always, thank you Lord, that you are my living HOPE, that I am a new creation each day, by your Grace and Mercy….Thank you Lord for this new day, knowing that yesterday is yesterday, today is a new day with new Grace and mercy, thank you Lord….

    Happy SONday, sisters, May the Lord turn His face to shine on each and every one of you this new day, with new Grace and mercy….x x x

  • What a beautiful article! Well written. All thanksgiving be unto the Lord…He came to make all things new.

  • I can and should repent of my sins everyday while also rejoicing in faith that I am completely forgiven. AWESOME! A strong reminder that when I confess my sins and they are put under the blood of Jesus, and I mention it to God the next day, He doesn't know what Iam talking about. Its been forgiven and forgotten. It no longer exists. Thank you Jesus.

    • AnnaLee

      "He doesn't know what I'm talking about." Wow. That is so crazy! The love and forgiveness of our God is so mind-blowing!

      • Rachel Nordgren

        Ha! I love that mental imagery…that God removes our sin as far as the East is from the West

    • Libby

      God chooses not to hold our sins against us (forgets) — as far as the East is from the West, we are forgiven!
      But our All-knowing God does not have amnesia, he knows the exact sin we commit time after time and knows that we will do it again and again – as we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive 1 John 1:9. He is faithful to strengthen, straighten, and sanctify us.
      He knows what we are talking about, He just doesn't hold it against us because of the work of Christ – He took it for us.

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