Help, Hope and Heaven

Help, Hope and Heaven

Colossians 1:2227To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.In Peanuts Lucy and Linus were sitting in front of the television set when Lucy said to Linus, “Go get me a glass of water.” Linus looked surprised, “Why should I do anything for you? You never do anything for me.” “On your 75th birthday,” Lucy promised, “I’ll bake you a cake.” Linus got up, headed to the kitchen and said, “Life is so more pleasant when you have something to look forward to.” Many people, however, feel like they have absolutely nothing to look forward to in life. Just work, etc. Of course, if you like your work that’s not bad!A student at the New York Institute of Advertising explained why he had chosen the field: “I have dreams of making a million dollars in advertising, just like my father.”{{more}}The institute director asked, “When did your father make a million dollars in advertising?” “He didn’t,” said the student. “But he had dreams, too.”We all need some dreams but the hope of making a million dollars is not much of a reality for the majority of us.The heirs of A. T. Stewart, one of the wealthiest Americans in the last century, wanted to bring a suit against Judge Hilton for his way of handling the estate. They went to William M. Evarts, one of the most distinguished lawyers of his day who later served in the Senate and as secretary of state, and asked him to manage their case.“Well, I will take a contingent fee.” “And what is a contingent fee?” asked one of the heirs. “My dear sir,” Evarts replied, “I will tell you what a contingent fee to a lawyer means. If I don’t win your suit, I get nothing. If I do win it, you get nothing.”That is about what most people feel like they get in life; a big zip. Nothing. As far as the world goes, that could be true. The world really does not offer a person much. 1st John 2:15-17 says, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” Amen!Basically, the three world goals are: lust of the flesh, lust of the eye and the pride of life. And if a person ever succeeds in acquiring these to any degree they will find they do not satisfy. They leave people empty, helpless and hopeless.If you don’t believe me, just look at many people in Hollywood who have ended up ’high and dry’ or else divorced, drunken, miserable, and in some cases, in prison. The lifestyle of the rich and famous is not always so rich and satisfying. Amen!Colossians 1:27 says “God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Christ is our hope in this life and the next! Amen!Today, I would like for us to consider what Jesus Christ has to offer. 1- Christ is our hope of eternal life 2- Christ is our help in life 3- Christ is our haven of restI. Christ is our hope of eternal lifeEverybody has problems! And everybody sins! And this is the very reason that Jesus died on the cross. He died to forgive us of our sins. That is God’s plan!John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world.” Amen!Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sins is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.” Amen!Romans 15:12 says, “And again, Isaiah says, “The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles will hope in him.” Amen!Steve McQueen was a top billing actor who led a life as tough as the ones he portrayed on the screen. Success filled his life until alcohol and a failed marriage left him empty. In his despair he attended a crusade led by one of Billy Graham’s associates. McQueen made a profession of faith and requested an opportunity to speak with Billy Graham. A connecting flight in Los Angeles allowed Dr. Graham to spend a couple of hours with Mr. McQueen in the actor’s limousine. Billy Graham shared numerous scriptures in his quest to give spiritual hope and assurance. Steve McQueen struggled with the thought of God giving eternal life to a man who had such a checkered past. In Titus 1:2, however, he found a promise that spoke to him – “the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago.” He requested something to write down the verse, but Billy Graham gave McQueen his Bible instead. Later, Steve McQueen died in Mexico while seeking experimental treatment for his terminal cancer. He passed into eternity with his Bible opened to Titus 1 and his finger resting on verse 2. Christ is our hope of eternal life. I believe with all my heart!Christ is our help in lifeA teenager was enthusiastically describing her new boyfriend to her dad. “He sounds very nice, honey,” said the father, “but does he have any money?”She said, “Oh, you men are all alike. My boyfriend asked the same thing about you.”What’s the moral of the story? Money? No, not exactly. The point I want to make is that the Lord is our provider and helper in life. Do we realize this? We may not.I heard a story about a friend’s son he was only 8 days old and he had to have abdominal surgery. He is fine now after 27 years.I did not know that he had a whopping hospital bill and no insurance. Of course, that bill was nothing compared to what it would be today but still, it was a whopper to me. It was $5000. When he went to make arrangements to make payments on the bill, the financial manager said to me that I according to my income I qualified for some assistance and did I want it. Did he want it? Well, yes, of course I do not remember how much it was but anything was a big help.Brothers and sisters, where did that help come from? It came from the Lord. All good things and good provision comes from the Lord. And that was not the end of the story.When the news got back home to the church where he was serving there were some people in my church who made special contributions to help pay that bill. It did not happen overnight but it did get paid. Where did that money and that provision come from?Psalm 121:1-3 says, “I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip; he who watches over you will not slumber.” Amen!The Lord is gracious and often provides help for us in life in ways we never thought possible.My mother was in the hospital in September of 2001. She was very weak and needed some serious help. I lived 1300 miles away in central IL. I talked to her doctor on the phone and he said, “Your mother can no longer stay alone. She needs help. She needs to be in a nursing home. If you’ll come here and put her in a home I’ll keep her in the hospital until you get here.” I got there Monday evening, September 10th and went searching for a good nursing home. On Tuesday morning, Sept. 11, 2001 I went to the hospital to take mother to the National Healthcare in Baltimore Maryland. A preacher friend told me it was a good nursing home and he did not steer me wrong. Mom only lived 10 months in that home but she got very good care in that home, far better than most nursing homes. How did that happen? I believe with all my heart that the Lord provided that good home for her.The Lord is our helper in life and He has come to my aid many times and perhaps many times when I didn’t even realize it. The Lord has a way of blessing us even when we are not aware of it. As people have said: the Lord works in strange and mysterious ways. That he does. Thank you, Lord! Christ is our helper in life.Christ is our haven of restOne day an old deacon was in an alley, taking a drink of whiskey. Another deacon saw him and said, “You know you should not do that. You know that the Lord will see you.”The first deacon said, “Yes, I know but the Lord ain’t a big blabbermouth like a lot of people I know.”True. But what’s the point of this story. The Lord sees all and he sees us when we do wrong in life but He is interested in helping us overcome our problems, not make them worse. If there is one person who believes in us, one person who still loves us no matter what, it is the Lord. This reminds me very much of Psalm 103:8, 10. The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love, and He does not treat us as our sins deserve. Amen! Many people are quick to criticize and condemn others, but the Lord is quick to bring forgiveness and healing.Matthew 11:28-29 says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Amen!Psalm 46:1says, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. “He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.” Out of the mire and into the choir of rejoicing. Amen1Hebrews 4:14-16 says, “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of nee’It is said that Socrates taught for 40 years, Plato for 50, Aristotle for 40, and Jesus for only 3. Yet the influence of Christ’s 3-year ministry far exceeds the impact left by the combined 130 years of teaching from these men who were among the greatest philosophers of all history. Jesus painted no pictures; yet, some of the finest paintings of Raphael, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci received their inspiration from Him.Jesus wrote no poetry; but Dante, Milton, and scores of the world’s greatest poets were inspired by Him. Jesus composed no music; still Haydn, Handel, Beethoven, Bach, and Mendelssohn reached their highest perfection in praise to Him. Every sphere of human greatness has been enriched by Jesus Christ.Jesus is the greatest someone who ever lived. History is His Story. He is the Savior of the world, our hope of eternal life, our help in life and our haven of rest. Believe Him, believe in Him and put your trust in Him.Now you know where you help, hope and heaven come from! Amen!