One of the most quoted Bible verses is Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Back in those days God’s plan for his exiled people was a return home from Babylon. But that was not all he had in mind as far as their future and hope were concerned. In Jeremiah 31, God announced the coming of the New Covenant. This was God’s ultimate purpose and plan for his people.
As Jeremiah described it, this New Covenant would not be like the Old Covenant at all. Israel’s failure to live up to the requirements of the old left them helpless and hopeless. This New Covenant would be different, one guaranteed by God himself.
It would be a covenant that would introduce a better hope, by which the people could draw near to God (Hebrews 7:18). It would be a better covenant, because it would be enacted on better promises (Hebrews 8:6). Promises that would…
- Transform God’s people from the inside out through the work of God’s Spirit,
- Eternally secure the people of God,
- Open the door for people to know God personally and enjoy a relationship with him, and
- Cleanse and forgive man once and for all.
This New Covenant was and is Israel’s future and hope. But it is ours as well. As Paul explained in his second letter to the Corinthians, this New Covenant extends well beyond the people of Israel. This is for all who call upon the name of the Lord.
You see we all need hope. Without it, we fall prey to the lies of the world and live in bondage wondering why God seems so distant.
Here is the good news. This future God talked about in Jeremiah is now our present reality. Jesus ushered in the New Covenant through his shed blood. As believers, this hope is ours—Christ in you the hope of glory.
Wherever this good news is proclaimed, people experience hope.
I was very touched by this e-mail that came to us from Laura. Like many people, she was struggling to live out what she thought were her responsibilities to God. She was losing hope. But as she started listening to the broadcast, she found her hope being restored.
I just discovered your radio program recently on OnePlace.com. I had been praying for some time that the Lord would help me to understand His love for me, as He often seems distant and/or displeased with me.
Your program has been so refreshing, like a cup of cold water in the desert. Truly, I don't know of any other program like it—or of any church, for that matter—that focuses solely on the work of Christ. It seems as if most preaching today is a little bit of the Gospel, then super-heavy on our responsibility before God, without telling us how or where to get the power to live the Christian life.
I understand in my head that Jesus paid it all, but how do I get it down to my heart? I am in full time ministry, and I do love the Lord, but it's always been a battle in my emotions to really believe He loves me. Because there is always some improvement to be made in our character, or in our service, etc.
I always feel like there is a cloud of disapproval hanging over my head. And other Christians have expressed their disapproval of me. How can I know God truly loves and accepts me, when people don't?
Well, anyway, I really appreciate your program, and more than anything else, as you review the Gospel message, I find my heart filling with hope.
In Christ, Laura M
Laura’s story is not unique. We live in a world filled with problems. It’s a world filled with heartache and pain; a world filled with people looking for hope, forgiveness, life and freedom; a world that needs the love of Jesus Christ.
Your gifts to Basic Gospel help us get the word out. And getting the word out means more changed lives. It means more people hearing, believing and living the good news of Jesus Christ.
Can I count on you to renew your support in 2016? Please let me know by sending your first 2016 gift.
Thankfully, we can be part of the solution—offering genuine hope in Christ. Today, please take time to send your most generous gift to Basic Gospel. There are many others, people just like Laura, who need to hear. Together, let’s get the word to them—the wonderful promises of the New Covenant—and watch how God transforms their lives.
I look forward to hearing from you soon. Because people need hope,
The offer, Simple Gospel, Simply Grace Study Guide, associated with this letter has expired, however you may purchase it online here or request it by phone at 800.727.2828.