Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Let's Overflow with Confident Hope Today!

Rom. 15:13-15
  13 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. 
  14 I am fully convinced, my dear brothers and sisters, that you are full of goodness. You know these things so well you can teach each other all about them.  15 Even so, I have been bold enough to write about some of these points, knowing that all you need is this reminder.

Across the previous verses and chapters of Romans, Paul has been teaching the Church at Rome, and us too, about the life lived "in Christ." Often he used examples from others in the body of Christ and often of his own experiences. This time, he closes the circle and points to the readers of this book themselves. Several valuable truths are woven into these lines.

  1. First, we see again that God is the only 'source of hope.' 
  2. Next we see that it can 'fill you completely.' 
  3. Then we notice that this hope fills you with joy and peace. 
  4. After, we see that the reason hope fills you and I with joy and peace is because we trust in HIM!
  5. Following all that we notice that this filling of joy and peace by hope will result in an 'overflow' and that 'confident hope' is what will flow out of us. 
  6. Finally we notices that all this is done through 'the power of the Holy Spirit.' and that was JUST verse 13!
Paul, next, affirms the believers at Rome, and us who follow Christ, that he believes-- was fully convinced--that we all are 'full of goodness.' How could Paul have that kind of faith in the grace-state of people he had never meet? He could because he had met their Savior. He knew how the Holy Spirit worked in the lives of true believers he HAD met. Thus, by establishing the facts of the life lived "in Christ," Paul could conclude for them that, were they consistent with all those previously stated facts, they were living 'in Christ and these truths would be accurate of them as well. He knew that God would make them full of goodness. And, he follows that up with an important reminder. He tells them that they are able to 'teach each other' about those facts. Chances were they were falling down in that area.

How about you-- are you able to teach others about the true facts of the life lived "in Christ?" You could be, if you only would desire it.  How about our churches that are mostly made up of people coming for great music, great fellowship and, perhaps to hear messages from some great preaching. But what do they do after the service besides go out for lunch? How does the Christian Sunday life play out in the week following? When and where are they teaching others about the 'hope' and the 'joy and peace,' and makes us to overflow so that the lives of others are changed. Did you overflow upon someone this past week? Yesterday? Will you ask God to make you overflow with HIS 'hope,' 'joy,' and 'peace' today?
Your Servant in Christ's Love
Dan Elliott

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