November 27, 2007

The Gift of Hope

Titus 2:11-14

We wait for the blessed hope-the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Titus 2:13


Advent and Christmas are just around the corner. In this season of the year we not only look back to the reality of Jesus' birth, God's great gift of salvation, but we also look ahead with joy to the second coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

In his short letter to Titus, a pastor on the island of Crete, the apostle Paul emphasizes how we are to live between Christ's first and second comings. Paul touches on many of the matters we have discussed this past month. He says that "our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives" (Titus 3:14).

To help us stay on course in our Christian living, the apostle also reminds us of a great gift we have been given through Christ's coming-namely, the gift of hope. Because of this precious gift we are able to press on as God's people, "eager to do what is good" in spite of the many obstacles and difficulties we face in our day-to-day lives.

Let us rejoice, and, as Advent children, let us live in such a way that no one will despise us.

May our lives always bring praise and glory to our Lord and Savior, whose coming we look forward to with eager anticipation.

Jesus, thank you for coming into our world to bear our sufferings and burdens. As we look forward to your coming again, may we be filled with hope. In your name, Amen.

About the author — John Van Schepen

Dr. John Van Schepen is a retired pastor who served churches in Washington, Wisconsin, Indiana, Oregon and California. He and his wife, Willie, have been blessed with five children and several grandchildren.

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