Seven hundred years before God gave the world the greatest gift, His Son Jesus Christ, the people of Israel were living under the oppressive rule of the Assyrian Empire. Suffering from the consequences of their disobedience as a people and a nation, God’s love for His people did not cease. Because of the profoundness of this He sent Isaiah, a prophet to pen these words.
6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6 (NASB95)
The announcement of a Messiah to come gave hope to a people who where in a hope-less set of circumstances. A Child, a Son, who will be the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, Eternal Father and Prince of Peace. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines hope as, “to desire with expectation of fulfillment.” As the people of Israel desired with the expectation a Messiah (Savior) would come to save them it is with this same expectation we should live today. We should live with the “expectation of fulfillment”, that Christ will come again for His children.
The HOPE of Christ’s return is the motivation we have as Christians to share His love with all humanity. Our brothers Jose & Elias laid down their lives and were martyred on October 29th of this year because of their conviction to this truth. Six weeks have passed since they went to be with our Lord and as with any passing there is the inevitable truth their memory may fade. Let us be reminded of what the author of Hebrews 12 said…
1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Heb 12:1-2 (NASB95)
Our brothers lived and died for their HOPE in Christ and as they enjoy the wholeness of God’s promises in Heaven we are to be reminded of our continued purpose. Their martyrdom should solidify our faith, strengthen our hope and convict us to continue the race set before us while fixing our eyes on Jesus. If our hope lies in Christ and Christ alone, then how much more so would this truth mean to someone who has never been introduced to Jesus? He has given us specific directions and empowered us to run the race…
18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always , even to the end of the age.”
Matt 28:18-20 (NASB95)
Christ has set the course before us when He said, ” Go, Disciple, Baptize and Teach.” We can allow our hope to rest in His promise, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Calling to Go!
Obedience to Follow!
Conviction to Stay the Course!