3rd September 2017

A Time of Hope… 

“Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”
Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (NIV)

The Bible has much to say about that hope, mainly through the prophecies recorded about Jesus in the Old Testament.

We might begin with: “When Israel was a child… I loved him and out of Egypt I called my son” (Hosea 11:1), a simple sentence encompassing a specific fulfilled prophecy concerning Christ’s early life—he was a refugee in Egypt.

Another very familiar prophecy, Luke 2:26 and 24:21 adds more as summarised in this verse from a well-known hymn: “Our hope is in the Messiah. Immanuel, God with us.” But what we see daily, in our world—where does it lead us? Does it lead us to hope? Hope is not a feeling… Hope is not an object… Hope is not an idea. Hope is in Jesus Christ: “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us” (Isaiah 9:6).

When Christ came over 2,000 years ago to fulfil the prophecy ‘God with us’, he came in the flesh—‘very God with us’. He came as one of us, to give us hope. Not hope in ourselves, but hope in Him. Whoever heard of a god reducing himself to the status of his creation? But that’s what our God did—and willingly, because of his love for us. In such a God, prepared to meet us on our level, we can trust and have hope in him.

It was this God who fulfilled the ancient prayer of Israel: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, The Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your soul and with all of your might” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5, ESV). And only by Christ coming as one of us is it truly possible to love him and to have hope in him.

Prayer
Mighty Father, we can scarcely comprehend what you did with and through your Son, to give us hope. As he loved us, and demonstrated that love, with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, for you in helping us, so help us to love you in the same way too. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen
 

Study by Joseph Tkach

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About the Author: Joseph Tkach is the President of Grace Communion International (the Denominational name of The Worldwide Church of God UK), and resides in California, USA.

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