The Other Four Illustrations

How Hope Compels Love

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Founder & Teacher,

The main point of last Sunday's message was that Christian hope causes love. “We have heard of . . . your love for all the saints because of the hope laid up for you in heaven” (Colossians 1:4-5). They have love because they have hope.

I had time to include two illustrations of this in the sermon: Hebrews 10:34 (the Christians who had compassion on the prisoners at the cost of their possessions because they knew that they had a better possession and an abiding one); and Hebrews 11:24-26 (Moses' leadership of Israel at the cost of losing all the pleasures of Egypt because he looked to the reward).

I mentioned that I had found at least four other illustrations of how hope moves and sustains love. Here they are:

1) Luke 14:12-14

When you give a dinner or banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your kinsmen or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.

If your hope is firmly fixed on the superiority of the final heavenly reward over the brief earthly reward of human recompense, then you will have the power and freedom to invite unsavory people with real needs for dinner.

2) Matthew 7:7-12

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. . . . What man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? . . . If you then who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! Therefore whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.

The golden rule is motivated by the promise that our Father in heaven will always give us what we need when we ask him. Note the word “therefore”! If you turn it around it reads, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you because God has promised to give you all you need." Great hope impels the golden rule!

3) Hebrews 12:2

Look to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

The greatest act of love in the world was driven and sustained by hope.

4) Hebrews 13:5-6

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, “I will never fail you nor forsake you.” Therefore we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid; what can man do to me?"

All the sins that cling to the love of money (covetousness, stealing, lying, etc.) can be replaced with contentment and truthfulness and generosity if we set our hope fully on the promise: “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Pursuing hope and love with you,

Pastor John