I love hearing testimonies from fellow believers on how God changed their lives. It is always amazing to hear how God touched their hearts and healed them from their past hurts and mistakes and changed them into a person who wants to honor God. It is encouraging to all of who believe to see that God can work through any situation, but it also gives hope to those who are not yet believers. This weekend, our pastor spoke about the fact that the hope we receive in Christ is what fuels our faith and love for God and others. The hope we receive in Christ is hope for a better future, a future where we will be with Him for eternity. There will be no more sorrow and pain - that is an incredible and beautiful hope we have in Christ! In Colossians, we are told that this hope we receive from God's Word bears fruit. Please read Colossians 1:3-6.
Verses 4-5 explain that it is through the hope of our future in Christ that we are able to have faith and love. That hope for a future with God allows us to believe in the saving power of Christ's sacrifice and resurrection. We have faith that when God said Jesus paid the penalty for our sins that it is true and we are made right with God. That hope and faith allows us to see the immense love that God has poured out on us and it in turn changes our hearts so we can love God in return and love the people around us. The message of the Gospel - which is the message of God's saving grace is what did all of this in our lives. What a wonderful truth!
But the message of the gospel doesn't just stay with us and end here. Paul wrote that it was going out to all the world. This is incredible, because we can still say the same today. Followers of Christ all around the world are sharing the message of the Gospel with their neighbors, friends, and family. People are willing to give up their lives as they know it to go to another country to share this Good News. The beautiful thing about it is that Paul tells us that it is the Gospel that is bearing fruit. This message is the message of truth and it has the power to change lives. James wrote about this as well in James 1:21, "So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls." The power to save our souls! That is amazing fruit! Even more amazing is that as we grow in our walk with Christ, we know that God's Word continues to bear fruit in us. As we are changed by God's love, we will change the world around us. Instead of the culture affecting us, we could affect the culture.
How has the message of hope through Christ changed you?
This post is linked with On Your Heart Tuesdays.