Series: Resetting Yur Compass
Title: Where Is Your Hope
Wednesday February 1, 2012
It was a trial that lasted 10 days. It had to do with back home honor and hope for a future after a wealthy family from Afghanistan moved to Ontario. And it took a lot for a Canadian judge to say what he said after a conviction of multiple murders.
Last Sunday a jury found guilty of first degree murder 58-year-old Mohammad Shafia, his second wife 42-year-old Tooba Mohammad Yahya, and their 21-year-old son Hamed. All three family members found guilty of four counts of first-degree murder in a purported “honor” killing in the drowning deaths of four other family members — including three teenage sisters. It came out in the trial that the father had expectations of life to be like life back home in Afghanistan, while the daughters wanted the freedom to choose different lifestyles.
It took a lot for Ontario Superior Court Judge Robert Maranger to look out over the bar and say to the guilty, “It is difficult to conceive of a more heinous, more despicable and more honorless crime. All after the convicted father, thought he was keeping honor.
Welcome to HT, I’m CM sharing the GS that’s all about Jesus as we take a few days to talk about Resetting Our Compass. Whether you are a Muslim family trying to keep the old rules in a new country, or you are living a much more ordinary life, all of us need to find some degree of hope. I also know that all of us need to reset our compass, but how do we do that?
This week we are listening to music written by Graham Kendrick, the father of praise and worship music. As we began the week, we met up with Graham Kendrick in his native England. Nine of the top 25 praise and worship songs sung every week around the world are written by Graham and if you want to get a copy of his Best of Graham Kendrick – 27 songs – you need to head over to our website to hear samples of all these 27 songs and be blessed. That’s where you can also make a gift to this ministry and learn afresh how to not just be a sparkling star, but to be shining like the sun for your savior Jesus. Just go to haventoday.org. That’s haventoday.org. Or call us after the program at 1-800-65-HAVEN. If your soul is in need of stirring so that you can shine for Christ, get in touch with us. This 2-CD set can get you back to resetting your compass in life.
SONG – There is a Hope so Sure – Graham Kendrick
Where Is Your Hope? That’s what we’re calling this HAVEN Today. You can find your hope in music, like the song we just heard from Graham Kendrick. But may I suggest you start by finding your hope in God’s Word to us. First we need to look up and beyond ourselves. We live in a world today where too many people believe this life is all there is. We all know someday we will die and too many people live a life like someday all life will cease to exist. Common thinking is we die and, “that’s all she wrote.” Well Jesus did not buy into this kind of thinking. He taught that there are two destinies after this life, after we die. He offered a hope of heaven, but there was also the prospect of eternal death. Two points I’d like to make in our time together. I want us to know first of the hope to come. Second, I’d like us to know of the hope that’s now. First, a glimpse of the hope to come. Revelation 7:
“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.
And they cried out in a loud voice:
¶ “Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”
¶ All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,
Praise and glory
and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength
be to our God for ever and ever.
¶ Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?”
¶ I answered, “Sir, you know.”
¶ And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
¶ “they are before the throne of God
and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne
will shelter them with his presence.
‘Never again will they hunger;
never again will they thirst.
The sun will not beat down on them,
nor any scorching heat.
For the Lamb at the center of the throne
will be their shepherd;
‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’
‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’”
Revelation 7:9-17. If we want to reset the compass of our life, it’s a good place to start, looking into eternity, after this life, to heaven above. The Bible make it clear what happens after death. There are great blessings in store for those who accept God’s forgiveness through the death of Jesus on the cross for their sins and follow. Such people will enter heaven, the perfect place where God reigns. But let me warn again that the Bible teaches there is a place of punishment for those who do not follow God and that place is called held. Jesus called everyone to turn from sins and receive forgiveness so that they could one day enter heaven after this life and live with him forever. More than a mere enticement to follow the Living God, the promise of heaven gives God’s people great hope – assurance that there is reward beyond this life so that we don’t need to worry about the trials we may be called to encure today.
What can we learn from that passage we just shared that gives us a picture of heaven?
First, we will live without fear and worry. Heaven is a place of safety and protection. In heaven we will also ive without need. Heaven is a place of complete sufficiency. Another wonderful truth is that we will live without pain. Heaven is a place of comfort. Finally, in heaven we will live without sorrow, for heaven is a place of boundless joy. In heaven we will be free of this life’s cares and filled with the joy of being in God’s presence.
But what about today? That’s the second point I want to make today. There is a hope that’s now. How do we reset our compasses so we don’t just think about a hope to come? Well if we think about the future and the hope to be found there in heaven, we must start with today. Let’s look back to another day, a day 2000 years ago and that day can just as easily be the same for us today. Let’s go to a day with Jesus and listen in on a conversation with early disciples. Jesus is the one speaking first in John 14:1:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’ Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.”
Jesus speaking to us today in John 14:1-11
If you want to know what the future holds and begin to apply that today, go to Jesus, don’t go to Hollywood. Too much fiction is out there depicting the gates of heaven as the place where you plead your case for the right to enter. But Jesus clearly explains that the only ones who will enter heaven are those who have accepted him as the way, the truth, and the life – not those who have the best arguments or who have performed the most good deeds. Heaven is not a court but a prepared place for prepared people. Those who believe in Jesus Christ can rest assured that their confirmed reservation for heaven is made. And when it comes to accommodations, we need not worry, for Jesus himself has promised to prepare a place for us. He’s leaving the light on for us. Now maybe you’ve never met Jesus. You’ve never heard him speak to you. This life is all you’ve thought about. May I invite you to join me right now and come and see?
SONG – Come and See – Graham Kendrick
I hope you did come and see as we heard a song by that name by Graham Kendrick, Christian musician and the father of praise and worship music around the world. We’ve done two things together as we turned to scripture in Revelation 7 and John 14. First, we talked about how Christ-followers have a hope to come. Second, we talked about the hope that’s now. I pray you’ve come before him and confessed your sin and found Jesus as your friend and savior, all because of death on the cross for you.
I want us to pray for hope in each of our lives, but first, let me share a prayer that John Wesley pray and somebody wrote down:
I am no longer my own but yours, Put me to what you will Put me to doing, put me to suffering. Let me be employed for you or laid aside for you. Let me be full, let me be empty. Let me have all things, let me have nothing. I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things to Your pleasure and disposal And now glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, You are mine and I am yours. So be it. And this covenant now made on earth, let it be satisfied in heaven.
We could end there, but don’t just listen to me read a prayer by a famous preacher. Let’s pray together: Father in heaven, we must always worship you in prayer and ask again for you to forgive because of the lamb who was slain. Lord may we worship now at your feet. As see our sins born on the cross, only then can we can ask to live lives of forgiveness, lives of hope. But hope is born out of faith and both are gifts from above. So from your great throne of grace, would fill us with hope? Would you let us reset the compasses of our lives to see Jesus and lives filled with father, because of the cross. Then we know we can hope.
In Jesus name, amen.
SONG – There is a Hope for Us – Jim Cole – Walls & Doors
Don’t take my word for it. But I do want to invite you to visit our website and see how many praise and worship songs you know that are written by Graham Kendrick. We have 27 of his best songs posted for your sampling at haventoday.org. That’s haventoday.org. If you want to be blessed by The Very Best of Graham Kendrick – a 2 CD set of worship music, visit our website or call us in a moment, make your gift to Haven Today and ask for the music. Call us at 1-800-654-2836. That’s 1-800-65-HAVEN.
The Very Best of Graham Kendrick
For a gift of any amount
For more than 30 years, Graham Kendrick has been at the forefront of Christian music in the UK having written and recorded hundreds of songs, many of which are well known around the world. Featuring 27 of Graham's best-loved songs, including re-recordings of...
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One Thousand Gifts
For a gift of any amount
Drawing heartbreaking beauty out of the simplest of details, Ann Voskamp invites you into her grace-bathed life of farming, parenting, and writing---and deeper still into your own life. Here you will discover a way of seeing that opens your eyes to ordinary amazing grace, a way of living that is...
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