Living the Advent Hope

October, November, December 2002

Want to learn more about Living the Advent Hope? Use these Bible Studies for personal devotion, group Bible studies, or teaching a church class. Below are links to the lessons in this 13-part series.

Lesson 1: The Need for Hope (Genesis 1,3, Proverbs 11, 18, Matthew 7:21-23)
This week we start a new series of studies on the topic of hope. I hope this study goes well! Seriously, what do you hope for? Do you have hopes for your life, your job, your marriage, your children, your future? How is your hope on these topics tied into your relationship with God? Let's jump into our study and find out!

Lesson 2: Old Testament Hope (Genesis 6, 12, Jeremiah 17, Hebrews 9)
Normally, we try to study God's Word in its context. This week, we are going to do things differently. We will look at "snapshots" of examples of hope (or the need for it) throughout the Old Testament. Let's get our mental cameras ready and jump into God's Word!

Lesson 3: The Jesus Hope: Part 1 (Acts 1, Romans 5 & 8)
How can we have a series of lessons on hope without studying the hope of Jesus' return? Of course, we cannot! This week and next we turn our attention to the hope Jesus gives us and the hope of His Second Coming. Let's dive in!

Lesson 4: The Jesus Hope: Part 2 (1 Timothy 4, John 14, Romans 8, Daniel 2)
Last week we looked at the central role that Jesus plays in our hopes for the future. Hope looks to the future, but lives in the "now." How can our hope in Jesus help us today? This week? This month? How will hope in Jesus help us to cope with the stresses of today? That is part of our study this week. Let's jump into God's Word and find the answers to these questions!

Lesson 5: The Hope of Our Hope (Ecclesiastes 1, 1 Corinthians 13, 15, Colossians 1)
Is life worth living? Is everything we do essentially meaningless? If your life is important and is worth living, what makes it worthwhile? Does hope play a role in living a meaningful life? Let's jump into our study and find out!

Lesson 6: Hope: Motivation for Mission (Matthew 9&10, 2 Corinthians 3&4)
How are we to witness to others? How do we get their attention? What do we have to offer that will attract the secular person to what we have to say? Does our hope have anything to do with how we witness? Let's dive into the Bible and see what we can learn!

Lesson 7: Hope: Too Much or Not Enough? (Luke 24)
Remember the children's story of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears?" What the mother and father bears owned was either too much or too little, too hard or too soft -- it was never just right for Goldilocks. Only the possessions of the "little bear" turned out to be just right. This week our lesson guides us towards a hope that is not so bright it burns out and not so dim it fades away. Instead, let's dive into the Bible to find out how to have a steady, solid "little bear" hope!

Lesson 8: A Living Hope (1 Peter 1)
In the last few years I have been reading the foundational writings of some other world religions. I was surprised by some of the similarities with Christianity. For example, Islam shares our Old Testament heroes. Buddhism parallels, in several respects, Christ's teaching on how we should live. Christianity is unique, however, in worshiping a God who came from heaven, died for our sins, was raised to life, returned to heaven, and intercedes for us now so that we might have eternal life. This is our "living hope," so let's dive in and learn more from the Bible about our hope!

Lesson 9: Hope and "The Delay": Part 1 (Matthew 25)
Delay. I hate it! Within the last year I saw a nationwide traffic survey of the U.S. that revealed that the traffic where I live is the worst of any major city. Traffic governs a great deal of my life. I travel at certain times and avoid other times so that I will not constantly be delayed. While I have been delayed hours in traffic at one time, I have never been delayed 2,000 years. That is "the delay" in Jesus' Second Coming and the study of our lesson this week. Who knew it would be so long? What should we do? How should we look at this? Let's charge into our lesson and consider a story that will help us to better understand the delay and what we should do about it!

Lesson 10: Hope and "The Delay": Part 2 (Hebrews 4, 2 Peter 3, Mark 13)
An old saying of lawyers goes something like this: "My dog didn't bite you, my dog doesn't bite, I don't own a dog." Our lesson this week sounds a little like this old saying. "Jesus' Second Coming is delayed because we are not ready. Jesus' Second Coming is delayed to allow more to be saved. There is no delay in the Second Coming." Let's jump into the Bible and see if we can get our thoughts about "the delay" and Jesus' Second Coming straightened out.

Lesson 11: Too Rich to Hope? (Revelation 3)
When your life is going just fine, do you long for Jesus to return and take you to heaven? Or, do you find that you only get the impulse for Jesus to come(soon)when something bad is happening in your life? If you are young, maybe you have something you want to accomplish before Jesus comes again. Is a little delay just fine with you? Is your life fine without heaven? Are these attitudes typical? Understandable? Dangerous? Let's jump into our study of the Bible and find out!

Lesson 12: Called to One Hope (Ephesians 4)
We have spent many weeks this quarter studying our hope in Jesus' Second Coming. How should that hope impact our day to day living? Should it make us dreamy? Should we forget the here and now to concentrate on what will be? Should we dig in and get to work to make the Second Coming happen? Let's turn to the Bible and find out what it says about how we should live!

Lesson 13: Ultimate Things (1 Thessalonians 4, Romans 15)
This is the last of our series of lessons on hope. What, really, is your ultimate hope? We have discussed the hope given to us by Jesus' life, death and resurrection. What, exactly, does that give us? Where do we end up with that hope? What is your ultimate goal? Let's jump into our lesson and consider some hopeful words about "ultimate things" given to us by God.

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