Part of the purpose of this five week study is to take us down a journey to discover who we should be as Christians. With the world in its current state of reality we seem to not know what tomorrow will bring. This leads to so much fear and doubt in our lives. It leads us to lack the courage we need to stand for our faith. It leads us to feeling hopeless. It even makes us feel like we don’t know who we are. To feel alone and unloved. But we can’t allow this to beat us. NO we have to stand firm on the word of God, being identified by Him and His love. Without Christ none of this matters. So we need to focus on Him, in the midst of a nation doing very frustrating and confusing things we need to put our Hope in Him and nothing else. You see if our desires are for the World than we will have NO courage, hope, identity, love, or even a legacy that matters. Our main verse for this study is John 15:4-5,
“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; Apart from me you can do nothing.”

Without Christ we have No point or purpose and there will never be a moment of CHILL (pun intended). So as you journey through this know I am praying for you. I am praying you can find peace in the Chaos. That you can be lifted onto a strong foundation and be given such purpose that your convictions will not let you hold back from serving God. No CHILL for the world, but for us our CHILL comes from the knowledge of Jesus Christ and how He saved our souls.

Week 2: NO Hope

Memory verse: Hebrew 6:19-20

“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a highpriest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”

I know this week’s memory verse has some random guy’s name in it that none of you probably know how to pronounce. To be honest I often pronounce it wrong myself. So I looked up the proper way to say it. It looked like this… [Hyphenate: Melch-izedek, Mel-khiz-ed-ek, MehLKIHZ-ah-DihK, mehl-KHIZ-eh-dehk, melchizedek, mel-kiz-i-dek}

So why include a name that we are all struggling to say? Because it matters for the lesson? Not really, no it is actually just a reference to the Old Testament going back to Abram. Which most of Hebrews reference things in the Old Testament because it is talking to the Hebrew (Jewish) people who would understand it. I know “so what is the point?”

You see when we talk about Hope, the Old Testament is the perfect place to look. And Abram, or now better known as Abraham, is the perfect person to look at. Everything in his life was based on hope. He had hope for the promises of God as did Moses. Moses hoped for the promise of a new land, but Abraham’s hope was for a son. Ultimately though every faithful person in the Old Testament had Hope in a promise. And that ultimate promise was Jesus. Without the promise of a savior, they would be hopeless. Likewise without Jesus we are hopeless. In our memory verse it said Jesus entered as a forerunner for us, which means He went before us to accomplish our salvation. The verse also talks about a veil. This is hinting to the veil of the temple which separated God’s presence from His people. What always went first before a priest could enter that place was an acceptable offering. Without the proper offering, the priest would die if they entered. That inner place past the veil is where the Lord dwelled. You see, Jesus is the anchor of our Hope. He is what allows us, like those of the Old Testament, to have purpose and have access to God. He is the One who offered the acceptable sacrifice for us. We have hope to one day walk past the veil into the place of the Lord, not because of anything we did but because of the perfect sacrifice.

As for the world today, they have No Hope. They look to politicians, philosophers, and even actors to provide them hope. Like these people have answers greater than God. A hard truth is this earth will never be perfect. So the hope the world puts in these people are empty. It leaves them as vessels with no anchor, left to wander around the ocean without direction.  There is No Hope in that.

As for believers, our hope is firm. It comes from the knowledge and belief in Christ. That one day He will conquer sin for good, there will be no more pain, this earth will be gone and a new one made. Your Hope needs to be in a sure thing and that sure things is Jesus Christ. 

Hebrews 13:8  “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

Personal Activity: Just answer this one question “Where does your hope come from?”, take it serious don’t simple say Jesus because that is the answer you think is right. Instead reflect and ask yourself if you truly are putting your Hope in Him.

Week 1: NO Courage

Memory verse: Joshua 1:9
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! 
Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Ok I know this week’s memory verse is kind of over played and cliché, but here me out on this. Joshua is a pretty legit representation of courage in a world of craziness. What’s more crazy about the verse though is that this isn’t the original statement for say, it is actually a reminder of what was just said. In other words it  is not the first time he was told to be strong and courageous. In verse 7 he was also told this, and its probably the better verse seeing there is more to it.

Joshua 1:7 “Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go.”

 Joshua 1:9 just sounds cooler and flows better that’s why it is quoted like crazy, right? Or is it because the first time there is a call for Joshua to do something. Now before I say this we are not under the Law of Moses in the same since as Joshua was, that doesn’t mean we have a free pass to do whatever we want. To understand this for ourselves and how it pertains to us we will need to do some pretty basic exegesis (figure out what it meant for Joshua) and then use some basic hermeneutics (figure out what it means for us).

Joshua took over for Moses after he was not allowed to go into the promise land. He was chosen to do so because he had already shown himself to be faithful to God as we can see in Numbers and Exodus. Prior to taking over for Moses he was his assistant. In other words Joshua has faith and understanding for the law. So, what does this mean for us? Or as many of you are probably thinking “get to your point”. As Christians we should have some sort of understanding for who God is like Joshua did. You see his courage wasn’t all from himself it was founded in God. He stood up with Caleb and said “we can defeat the Canaanites.” He knew God would protect them, even though the majority said differently. Without Christ as part of our lives and His word backing us where is our strength found. Courage is defined as “strength in the face of pain or grief.” The world is hurting and grieving right now because they are uncertain for the future. Here is the kicker Joshua wasn’t uncertain of his future because he had faith in what was to come. He understood the promises of the lord through His word.

That’s what we need to see here, we need not to be afraid because our strength comes from the Lord. It comes from the belief of salvation. That no matter how bad sin affects this world we will one day have something greater and that is Heaven.  Stand with Courage in your faith through Gods word like Joshua.

Personal Activity: Make a list of things in your life right now that scare you, write out next to each one how you feel about it, then seek courage from God through prayer and scripture reading. After doing so take that list and tear it up. Keep it to remind you that with God you need not be afraid of these things because he is where your strength is found.