Towards the end of his letter to the Romans, Paul tries to explain to the saints in Rome that their purpose for being was defined by none other than Jesus Himself, through the life that He lived. In chapter 15, he reminds the Romans that if they truly are followers of Christ then they must put selfishness aside and bear each other’s burdens. An outward expression of the life transforming power of Christ in our hearts is a life of service to others. Paul goes on to write:
“Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” Romans 15:2, 3.
Paul is not talking about being merely nice and pleasant neighbors. What he is really saying is that we must want the best for our neighbors, even if they reject us and go as far as insulting us. After all, even Jesus was rejected and crucified. By doing this we become united as the body of Christ with Him and one another. Later in the chapter, Paul, citing the book of Isaiah writes: “And again, Isaiah says, “The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; in him the Gentiles will hope.
” May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:12, 13.
In Jesus and through the Holy Spirit, God has given us hope, so much hope that it overflows and touches all those around us. We are called to share this hope and become ambassadors of Hope in our homes, neighborhoods, work, school and everywhere we go.
Over the past year, many in our church family have given of their time, their resources and gifts to make their residences Homes of Hope. This ministry gives everyone the opportunity to share Hope with their neighbors. It doesn’t matter what gifts God has given you, anyone can help. And as we do this, we will see how our own hope and faith is strengthened. But don’t take my word for it, check out what some of the Homes of Hope participants have to say:
2014 has been designated as the Year of Hope at Sligo Seventh Church. Among many other things, we are planning four cycles of the Homes of Hope, introducing two brand new Bible study series on the Gospel of John and Health. As the old favorite hymn says, “we have this Hope that burns within our hearts!” Will you also help us share this Hope on the year of Hope?
If so, click here to sing up today! We just need your name and email!