Thursday, March 28, 2013

Brokers of hope

Hope inspires me, juices me up, gets me out of the bed in the morning, gives me a bounce in my step and flushes out the negative voices around me. I firmly believe with all of my heart that Christians should be brokers of HOPE!

If you spent 30 minutes with me over a French Vanilla Latte and baked oatmeal from the Electric Brew you might walk away asking this question; “was it the caffeine that put the buzz in him or something else?” My hope would be the latter, because the substance that fuels my endless hope and joy is that Jesus really was resurrected on the third day.

You see, I believed that way before I started receiving a paycheck from Grace Community Church. I believed that way before I graduated from Grace College and Seminary. I believed that way before I preached my first sermon on wobbly knees and perspiring armpits. I believed that way before I said I do, to my bride of 25 years. I believed that way before my children entered the world.

It began with a flannel graph story, spoken by a sweet elderly lady, in a musty smelling basement room, of an inner city church. If I chose to click my Harley Boots together I could return to that room in an instant. Everything changed for me that day.

Sweet Mabel Huff looked at me, and convinced me from the Bible that Jesus rose from the grave after a brutal death on the cross. I vividly remember her passionately telling this story. Now for a 5 year old boy, dead people coming back to life got my attention. Some things are still fuzzy about that life-changing moment for me some 45 years ago, yet the main character on the flannel graph that morning is still crystal clear.

You see, on that morning, I cried out to God and asked him to be the Lord and Leader of my life. I was blown away that someone loved me that much and would give his life, so that I could have eternal life. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus changed everything for me.

What does the resurrection offer us today? More then ever our community has hope that the best is yet to come and that Jesus did what the Old Testament said he would and we can trust Him and his Word.

There is a Living God that we can lean on, find hope in, and drop our concerns on. The same power that Jesus exerted to exit the grave is available to us. We have proof of an existence of a Living God that promises to never leave us or forsake us. We can press on knowing that we serve a Living God that can do way more then we could ever ask or imagine.

Plus in a time of hopelessness, the resurrection proves that victory over death, disease, unemployment, bankruptcy, discord and despair is available in Jesus Christ. The Resurrection gives us HOPE!

So, I refuse to listen to the doom and gloom, and choose to live as though my God is alive and gives us an unfair advantage in this present life and the life to come. That is what the resurrection means to us today. Everyone could use a good dose of that truth! Go Broke some HOPE!

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