Want to learn more about Living the Advent Hope? Use these Bible Studies for personal devotion, group Bible studies, or teaching a church class. Below are links to the lessons in this 13-part series.
This week we start a new series of studies on the topic
of hope. I hope this study goes well! Seriously, what do you hope
for? Do you have hopes for your life, your job, your marriage, your
children, your future? How is your hope on these topics tied into
your relationship with God? Let’s jump into our study and find out!
Normally, we try to study God’s Word in its context.
This week, we are going to do things differently. We will look at
“snapshots” of examples of hope (or the need for it) throughout the
Old Testament. Let’s get our mental cameras ready and jump into God’s
How can we have a series of lessons on hope without
studying the hope of Jesus’ return? Of course, we cannot! This week
and next we turn our attention to the hope Jesus gives us and the
hope of His Second Coming. Let’s dive in!
Last week we looked at the central role that Jesus
plays in our hopes for the future. Hope looks to the future, but
lives in the “now.” How can our hope in Jesus help us today? This
week? This month? How will hope in Jesus help us to cope with the
stresses of today? That is part of our study this week. Let’s jump
into God’s Word and find the answers to these questions!
Is life worth living? Is everything we do essentially
meaningless? If your life is important and is worth living, what
makes it worthwhile? Does hope play a role in living a meaningful
life? Let’s jump into our study and find out!
How are we to witness to others? How do we get their
attention? What do we have to offer that will attract the secular
person to what we have to say? Does our hope have anything to do with
how we witness? Let’s dive into the Bible and see what we can learn!
Remember the children’s story of “Goldilocks and the
Three Bears?” What the mother and father bears owned was either too
much or too little, too hard or too soft — it was never just right
for Goldilocks. Only the possessions of the “little bear” turned out
to be just right. This week our lesson guides us towards a hope that
is not so bright it burns out and not so dim it fades away. Instead,
let’s dive into the Bible to find out how to have a steady, solid
“little bear” hope!
In the last few years I have been reading the
foundational writings of some other world religions. I was surprised
by some of the similarities with Christianity. For example, Islam
shares our Old Testament heroes. Buddhism parallels, in several
respects, Christ’s teaching on how we should live. Christianity is
unique, however, in worshiping a God who came from heaven, died for
our sins, was raised to life, returned to heaven, and intercedes for
us now so that we might have eternal life. This is our “living
hope,” so let’s dive in and learn more from the Bible about our hope!
Delay. I hate it! Within the last year I saw a
nationwide traffic survey of the U.S. that revealed that the traffic
where I live is the worst of any major city. Traffic governs a great
deal of my life. I travel at certain times and avoid other times so
that I will not constantly be delayed. While I have been delayed
hours in traffic at one time, I have never been delayed 2,000 years.
That is “the delay” in Jesus’ Second Coming and the study of our
lesson this week. Who knew it would be so long? What should we do?
How should we look at this? Let’s charge into our lesson and consider
a story that will help us to better understand the delay and what we
should do about it!
An old saying of lawyers goes something like this: “My
dog didn’t bite you, my dog doesn’t bite, I don’t own a dog.” Our
lesson this week sounds a little like this old saying. “Jesus’ Second
Coming is delayed because we are not ready. Jesus’ Second Coming is
delayed to allow more to be saved. There is no delay in the Second
Coming.” Let’s jump into the Bible and see if we can get our thoughts
about “the delay” and Jesus’ Second Coming straightened out.
When your life is going just fine, do you long for
Jesus to return and take you to heaven? Or, do you find that you
only get the impulse for Jesus to come(soon)when something bad is
happening in your life? If you are young, maybe you have something
you want to accomplish before Jesus comes again. Is a little delay
just fine with you? Is your life fine without heaven? Are these
attitudes typical? Understandable? Dangerous? Let’s jump into our
study of the Bible and find out!
We have spent many weeks this quarter studying our hope
in Jesus’ Second Coming. How should that hope impact our day to day
living? Should it make us dreamy? Should we forget the here and now
to concentrate on what will be? Should we dig in and get to work to
make the Second Coming happen? Let’s turn to the Bible and find out
what it says about how we should live!
This is the last of our series of lessons on hope.
What, really, is your ultimate hope? We have discussed the hope
given to us by Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. What, exactly,
does that give us? Where do we end up with that hope? What is your
ultimate goal? Let’s jump into our lesson and consider some hopeful
words about “ultimate things” given to us by God.