100 Proof

Read: Matthew 12

“And his name will be the hope of all the world.” (Matthew 12:21, NLT)

Real hope—that’s what the world needs. People don’t need the empty promises of politicians, not the temporary security of material and monetary gain, not the momentary pleasure fix guaranteed by popular culture, they need the true, indestructible and joy-producing hope that comes only from knowing that the past is forgiven, the present is secure, and the future has been settled in advance.  To be truly secure and fully satisfied in life, people need to know that no failures from the past will come back to haunt them, that the Divine hand will guide them in their every waking moment, and that when life is finally over, there is no doubt where they will spend the rest of eternity.

There is only One who can produce that kind of hope: Jesus Christ.

Jesus is the one true hope of all the world!  So if that is true, how can the world experience the true and lasting hope offered in his name?  Through the best expression of Jesus Christ present in this world today: The church.  The church—boldly proclaiming his story, obediently and lovingly living out his commands in harmonious community, engaging the world on its turf—is the only compelling and transforming force that can provide a glimpse of what a loving God looks like.

In that sense, the church is the only hope of the world.  Since Jesus doesn’t live on Planet Earth anymore, except through his spiritual family—the body of Christ—the church must now represent that one, true hope to a lost world grasping at salvation.  Wherever a church exists, it carries the title of the “last and best hope” of that local community.

But what is the church except a collection of individual believers who disperse from their sacred gathering to represent the Lord of the church in their homes, neighborhoods, schools, places of social gathering and in the marketplace where they make a living.  In that sense, then, it is the individual believer who takes on the role as “the only hope of the world.” As the Apostle Paul said in Colossians 1:26-27 (CEV),

“For ages and ages this message was kept secret from everyone, but now it has been explained to God’s people. God did this because he wanted you Gentiles to understand his wonderful and glorious mystery. And the mystery is that Christ lives in you, and he is your hope of sharing in God’s glory.”

“Christ in you, the hope of glory!” Jesus Christ—the only hope of the world, expressed as the church, made up of people like us—you and me.  Now think about that as you go about your business today:  You are the living proof of a loving God to a lost world.

Just make sure you’re 100-proof!

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

~Teresa of Avila

What If God Took Over?

No one else will represent Jesus to the world today.  Tag—you’re it!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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