Laying Down Our LivesWhat sometimes holds you back from laying down your life for others?
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SATURDAY, DECEMBER 31
Hope Springs Eternal
Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased (v.14).
A mere half-hour watching the news today can fill one with despair as we witness the effects of greed, selfishness, and depravity. It pains the heart to see the utter devastation of the downtrodden. As we take in such brokenness it can lead us to lower our weary heads and simply trudge through life one day at a time—hope for a better tomorrow diminishing with each passing moment.
The shepherds watching their flocks the night Jesus was born might have felt the same way (Luke 2:8). On the lowest rung of society, their future prospects seemed dim at best. Imagine their awe when the night sky lit up with the radiance of God’s glory! (v.14). Unable to sit still after the angel’s joyful news, they rushed to Bethlehem to see this new hope for themselves (vv.10-11,15-16).
Every announcement of His arrival on earth expressed God’s intention towards mankind—peace, goodwill, and salvation (vv.10-11,14). At a time when Roman oppression made the future look bleak, Jesus came forth as a shining beacon of better times ahead.
Each New Year’s Eve—no matter how rough the previous 12 months were—we dig deep down and rustle up anticipation for a new beginning. While there’s nothing wrong with hoping for a happier year, it’s much better to base our hope on the one sure foundation—Jesus.
His birth, death, and resurrection provide us with real hope— hope far greater than a fingers-crossed wish driven by the calendar.
As we make our New Year resolutions for 2017, may we forge a commitment to the hope Jesus holds out. Drawing closer to the Savior of our souls and seeking Him in truth will cause real hope to abound and flourish as it springs us into an eternal certainty. —Remi Oyedele
Read Isaiah 9:1-7 to see the prophecy of hope based in Jesus and His coming to earth.
Does the prospect of a new year fill you with anticipation or trepidation? How does the hope Jesus offers factor into your response?
- Laying Down Our Lives - What sometimes holds you back from laying down your life for others?...read more
- A Little Farther - Do you hear much about lament in your local church?...read more
- Distraction - What’s your biggest distraction as you strive to follow Jesus?...read more
- Intentional Defiance - Be encouraged by a God who is with you to discipline and lead you away from wrong turns....read more
- The Family Name - How do you show appreciation for the reconciliation God has offered?...read more
- Unwavering Love - What does it mean for you to rest in God’s unwavering love?...read more
- Far Better - What are you most looking forward to when God calls you home?...read more
- A Good Name - When you consider your reputation, what might you change to better reflect Jesus to others?...read more
- Light the Path - How have others illumined the path for you to Jesus?...read more
- More Than Feelings - God created us to live in the fullness of His image—emotions included....read more
- Of Penguins and People - Who needs your committed, enduring love today?...read more
- Big and Small - What do you do with your worries?...read more
- A Way Out - Do you have a tendency to overestimate or underestimate?...read more
- Extravagant Love - When have you encountered God’s extravagant love?...read more
- Income vs. Investment - How will you be “rich in good works” today?...read more
- Famous in God’s Eyes - Who needs you to humbly, lovingly serve them today?...read more