This past week at Element Church we started a new sermon series called “My Advent: What does it mean for me?” In this series we are going back to our Christian roots, lighting a candle in the Advent wreath each week, and talking about what Advent truly means for me. But we don’t want to leave the sermon in the auditorium each week, we want to help you bring it home with you and apply it to your everyday lives. So each week, we have created a video devotional that will help apply the message from the weekend to your life with some practical next steps. Below you’ll find a short, 5 minute video that you can watch as a family, small group or individual. You’ll also find a manuscript, that if you want to lead your family or group through this devotional on your own without the video you can do that as well.
Hope. People long for it. Our world desperately needs it. Political parties and candidates offer it but where do we truly get it? This last Sunday at Element, we started a sermon series called “My Advent.” The word Advent means “coming”. The arrival of a notable person, thing or event. So during Christmas when we use the word advent we are referring to the coming of Jesus. But what does that mean for me?
In our sermon on Sunday we talked about how the Jewish people were waiting for their Messiah to come. For hundreds of years, the people of Israel were holding out hope that God would send the Messiah to save them. Prophets like Isaiah said, “In Faithfulness he will bring forth justice; distant lands will put their hope in him.” That’s us! We now have hope because of the arrival of Jesus.
Romans 15:13 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
I love the picture of overflowing with Hope. It’s like taking a pitcher of water and filling a cup to capacity, and then to overflowing. That’s what Jesus can do for us. Not only can we be filled with Hope because of the Advent of Christ, but that Hope can overflow and impact the world around us. It literally spills out into our every day lives.
So I want to challenge us this week. What would it look like for Hope to overflow from our lives and impact the lives of those around us? Let me offer 4 ways God can overflow the hope in your life to someone else this week. I encourage you to choose one or as many of these ways you feel led to, so you can overflow your hope into someone else’s life.
H — Help someone in need. Maybe this week you could plan on giving a few extra dollars to someone who is on the street asking for help, or offer to buy them a meal. Purchase a gift card from Walmart or the grocery store and ask God to show you who you can help. Or maybe there is someone in your life that you know you could help in some way, then do it. Let the Hope of Christ overflow from your life into the life of someone else.
O — Offer to serve at a local non profit. During the holidays, local non-profit ministries are always looking for a helping hand. Offer to serve at the Salvation Army, Needs Inc., Comea Homeless Shelter, or another one of your favorite local charities. If you do choose to serve at a local Non-Profit, take a selfie together as a family, put it up on social media with the hashtag #MyAdvent.
P — Pray for someone who is hurting. Who in your life do you know is hurting. Who in your life do you know needs a shot of hope in their life? Offer to pray for them. This doesn’t have to even be in person. Maybe you could gather your family together and pray for this person by name. Send them note and let them know you prayed for them, that God will fill them with the confident hope that only comes from Jesus.
E — Encourage someone who is down. If you have kids, hand make a card as a family and send it to someone who you know is discouraged. Send a text to someone you haven’t talked to in a while. Invite a friend to coffee or pick up the phone and call someone you know just needs a listening ear. Share an encouraging Bible verse on social media and use the hashtag #MyAdvent. Encouraging someone is not difficult and it can be a great boost to someone’s hope.
Hope. People long for it. The world desperately needs it. Politicians claim they can offer it, but only Jesus can truly give it. Where can you offer some hope this Advent season?