It's been WAY too long since I posted at this blog. So I thought I would share the devotion that I gave at our homeless shelter last weekend when it was our church's turn to supply a meal. We feed them lasagna and applesauce, but my prayer is that they come away filled with more than that :)
Hope has been on my mind a lot lately. At First Church this year our theme is 'Suprised by Hope'. The motto of this very mission is 'Homeless, not Hopeles'. Hope is all around.
How often, though, do we use the word 'hope' in our conversation. I HOPE I make it to the store before it closes. I HOPE I don't say something stupid while I'm standing up here! I HOPE the Vikings win a game soon (which they did this afternoon)!
We toss that word off sometimes like it doesn't mean anything more than something we wish would happen but don't think it really will. I would propose that when that was is used in the Bible it means something a whole lot different.
Jeremiah 29:11 was written while the Hebrew people were held in captivity. But in the midst of a seemingly hopeless situation, the prophet Jeremiah was given a word from God to tell the people: "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."
Because I belive that God never changes, those promises from the Old Testament still hold true for us in the New Testament church. I belive that God knows my future. And not only that He knows, but that He CARES what happens to me. I have HOPE that my life will be better, yes, someday in Heaven, but I can have a better life right now here today.
Remember that HOPE is not just a wish or a dream, but a real desire and an EXPECTATION that God is at work in your life and the life of everyone here in this room.