Encouraging Words

SunflowerA Growing Seed of Hope

Just like a seed planted in the dirt goes through stages of germinating, sprouting and producing flowers or fruit, so the New Creation of God is in process and already at work in our world. Just as the Spirit of God hovered over the primeval chaos and permeated it with Life — so now that same Spirit of God hovers over the chaos of human lives each time the Good News of Jesus is spoken. Each time a sinful human being is brought to the water of Holy Baptism God’s new creation advances another step forward.

And this process once begun, will most surely be completed. Christ, the first fruit, then afterwards those who have been united with Christ. Soon, for all who love Him, there will come the promised Day when “He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control” Philippians 3:21 (NLT).

Jesus said, “But in the age to come, those worthy of being raised from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage. And they will never die again. In this respect they will be like angels. They are children of God and children of the resurrection” Luke 20:35-36 (NLT).

Did you hear the promise? They “cannot die any more!” It’s absolutely impossible for them to be harmed in any way? They are “equal to the angels!” — Do you have any idea of how swift and powerful an angel is? They are “children of God” – and offspring of the resurrection. Do you know what it means to be a child of the most high God?

Peter says our inheritance is “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.” 1 Peter 1:4 (NIV).

But what good is an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading – if we ourselves are perishable, defiled and like old soldiers, gradually “fading away?” But this is our hope – not only that God has a wonderful inheritance prepared for us in heaven, but that He will make us suitable for that inheritance. He will makes us “imperishable, undefiled and unfading” people. This is the joyous Hope and great promise of Christ’s resurrection for you!

May this hope burn brightly in your hearts and mine and begin even now to shape our lives for heaven.

(Adapted from a sermon by Rev. Henry Fingerlin, “Hope in an Empty Tomb” (Easter, 1967)

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