It hit me like a bullet of truth. Hope is not just about the future, it is anchored in the past. I was driving home from our Thanksgiving celebration and thinking about our Sunday morning worship in our house church. We would be celebrating the first Sunday of Advent and the theme that goes with that first candle is HOPE. . .from Thanksgiving right into Advent. . .That is exactly how it should be.
Certainly our HOPE is focused on the future: Jesus is returning as King and will rule and reign with us in perfect justice and righteousness. We will be clothed in the power of Christ’s resurrection. There will be no more sin or sickness. And the joy will be unspeakable. But our HOPE is also anchored in thanksgiving for what Christ has done in the past. We have HOPE because Jesus came to Bethlehem and took on flesh just like us. We have HOPE because Jesus displayed power to heal every sickness. We have HOPE because Christ gave himself on the cross as the perfect sacrifice for our sin. We have HOPE because He conquered the great foe of death through his resurrection from the tomb. And we have HOPE because Jesus is alive right now and rules over this earth, perfectly orchestrating the events of the end of this age so that the Church becomes a radiant bride ready for His return.
Paul declares this truth about hope in the first chapter of 2nd Corinthians. He references the tremendous suffering that the early church was experiencing; then with confidence he encourages the Church: “He (Christ) has delivered us…and He will deliver us. On Him we have set our HOPE that He will continue to deliver us…Then many will give thanks…for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.” 2 Cor. 1:10,11
As you prepare for Christmas, this is your HOPE: Christ has come with power, Christ will come with power and Christ can come right now with power. Let thanksgiving blossom into HOPE and then watch it lead you right back into thanksgiving!
I want to ask you to prayerfully consider giving a very generous gift to the Malachi Network as this year ends. We have 40 young leaders in mission and church planting serving all over the earth. We have two new applicants ready to come on board. They are giving themselves to our purpose: “Making the name of the LORD great among the nations.” Malachi 1:11. And they are living our values: 1). The convergence of mission and prayer-Mal. 1:11 2). A deep knowledge of God-Mal. 2:7 3). Preparation for the Lord’s return-Mal. 3:1 4). Investing in the next generation-Mal. 4:6.
We want to raise $50,000 for the General Fund as soon as possible. $20,000 will go towards an emergency fund to quickly get a family home in the midst of crisis. $10,000 will be allocated for my travel to 4 fields in 2014, so that I can be on site with these leaders. $10,000 will be directed towards the increasing costs of administration. $5,000 will be used to develop a web based training program. And $5,000 will be invested in new church plants. Would you pray and believe with us for this amount? Would you please give a very generous gift towards this goal and designate the General Fund?
You can donate online at http://www.malachinetwork.org. Please type General Fund on the notation option. Or you can send your donation to: The Malachi Network – PO Box 368 – Avalon, NJ 08202. We are a 501c3 Non-profit ministry. You gifts are tax deductible.
Thank you for your partnership in this ministry.
In Christmas HOPE that is Anchored in Thanksgiving,