Israel was in chaos. They lived under the tyranny of Rome. The Jewish people were taxed into poverty. They desperately needed peace. Some thought that peace would come through a military general. Others wanted a political leader to overthrow the Roman government from the inside.

The prophet Isaiah did not hold back on God’s words of judgment. However, his message included the promise of impending peace. Someone was coming who would change the course of history. Twenty-two times, Isaiah promised that a Deliverer was on the way.

Nate Saint, who gave his life for Christ as a missionary, said it this way: “If we could only grasp the significance of the Incarnation, the word sacrifice would disappear from our vocabulary.” Jesus is our great hope!

The virgin birth certainly defines history. If Jesus was simply the product of a man and a woman, his life and death were no more significant than yours and mine. We could not even call him a good teacher.

Seven hundred years before Jesus came, the prophet Isaiah proclaimed the promise. A virgin would conceive. God’s Son would be born, and his name would be called “Immanuel (which means God with us)” (Matt 1:23). God would come to live among us, and he would never leave us. Immanuel is our great hope. 

The law does not contradict God’s promises but moves us to God’s promises. The law is the road to hope. And our hope is in Jesus alone. Paul explains that “the Law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Gal. 3:24 NKJV). 

Jesus is our great Hope. That is the Christmas story in a nutshell. In Jesus, we have significance, security, acceptance, and forgiveness. In Jesus, we are empowered by his Spirit to show the world how the glory of the Lord shines through our lives. 

Hope doesn’t just happen. It is brought about by spiritual discipline and growth. When your children speak at your funeral, I bet they won’t mention the expensive Christmas gifts. Let’s aspire for their focus to be on the gift of Jesus that you allowed them to see in you up close and personal. 

The new covenant came with a great price. God didn’t ignore sin or sweep it under the rug. He met sin head-on by sending his Son as our substitute to pay sin’s penalty (Isaiah 53:4-6). Jesus said that the new covenant would be instituted through the shedding of his blood on the cross (Matt. 26:27-28; Luke 22:20). In Jesus, there is forgiveness. He is our great Hope!

You are serving the Lord Christ! Fearing God is more than just morning devotions and weekend worship. He has given us the gift of life to love, respect, honor, and obey him…with all our might! Live for Jesus and live to the fullest. 

Living well and leaving well demands that your marriage is tended to. If you are too busy to nourish and grow your marriage, you are too busy. Marriage is not only about a man and woman; in many cases, children are involved.

Nothing done to bring honor to ourselves will ever satisfy our hearts. Only God can do that. And with a heart satisfied by God alone, we can enjoy the great gift of life. 

Abundant life doesn’t start in heaven; it starts today! You are a child of the King, wearing his royal robes of righteousness, so live like a child of the King! 

In dark valleys, he is our Shepherd who leads us to safety. God can always be trusted in the uncertainties of living. And we can be sure that when we leave this life, he will deliver us safely home. 

A lion is the king of the jungle—an amazing creature demonstrating power and agility. But a dead lion loses his roar. Solomon says that a live dog is better off. Life provides opportunity. We could say it this way, life gives us the opportunity to die well. 

We live in a world that doesn’t make sense because this is not the way it’s supposed to be. Life “under the sun” is confusing. Throughout our study of Ecclesiastes, we have learned that there are things we will never understand.

When we die, our soul returns to God, our loving Creator. He beckons us home to be with him forever. We will finally see justice because of the injustice that was placed on Jesus. No one spoke in his defense; there was no one to save him from the cross.

It is Jesus alone that brings life to our souls and our minds. Read his Word. Listen to the hope that he brings. When our focus is on our newsfeed instead of Jesus, we will become weary of life.

And when Solomon focuses on God and regains an eternal perspective, the doubts go away. He concludes that “the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it” (Eccl. 12:7). Our doubts are alleviated when we focus on Jesus.

For those whom Jesus has rescued, they will pass from death to life (John 5:24). They will be absent from the body, but present with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8). The choice is clear. Trust Jesus, and live forever in heaven. Reject Jesus, live forever in hell. The just Judge will dispense justice to all.

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