Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Thursday, December 22, 2011

  • The Gospel Alphabet by Timothy Keller

    H is for Hope

    We focus on the Gospel also because it is the source of our hope. In face of the brokenness that fills the world around us and rises up within our hearts, what hope do we have? Apart from the Gospel we have none. But in the Gospel is a great and steadfast hope, and from this hopes springs forth faith and love sufficient for each day (Col. 1:5). Diminished “Gospels” may promote, on the one hand, easy believism or, on the other hand, may put the burden of salvation back on human shoulders rather than locating and leaving it in the hand of God. These deviations can offer no certain hope. The glorious Gospel is a blessed hope indeed (Titus 2:13), an anchor for the soul (Heb. 6:19). Christ in us is the hope of glory (Col. 1:27). This is the hope held out in the Gospel (Col. 1:23). With such a hope fixed within our hearts– based upon the certainty that God has made us his children and the confidence that we will be with Christ and like him forever– we long for and labor toward becoming more like him even now (1 John 3:1-3).


    ’Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house
    I searched for the tools to hand to my spouse.
    Instructions were studied and we were inspired,
    In hopes we could manage “Some Assembly Required.”

    The children were quiet (not asleep) in their beds,
    While Deb and I faced the evening with dread:
    A kitchen, two bikes, Barbie’s town house to boot!
    And, thanks to Grandpa, a train with a toot!

    We opened the boxes, my heart skipped a beat....
    Let no parts be missing or parts incomplete!
    Too late for last-minute returns or replacement;
    If we can’t get it right, it goes in the basement!

    When what to my worrying eyes should appear,
    But 50 sheets of directions, concise, but not clear,
    With each part numbered and every slot named,
    So if we failed, only we could be blamed.

    More rapid than eagles the parts then fell out,
    All over the carpet they were scattered about.
    “Now bolt it! Now twist it! Attach it right there!
    Slide on the seats, and staple the stair!
    Hammer the shelves, and nail to the stand.”
    “Honey,” said Debbie, “you just glued my hand.”

    And then in a twinkling, I knew for a fact
    That all the toy dealers had indeed made a pact
    To keep parents busy all Christmas Eve night
    With “assembly required” till morning’s first light.

    We spoke not a word, but kept bent at our work,
    Till our eyes, they went bleary; our fingers all hurt.
    The coffee went cold and the night, it wore thin
    Before we attached the last rod and last pin.

    Then laying the tools away in the chest,
    We fell into bed for a well-deserved rest.
    But I said to my wife just before I passed out,
    “This will be the best Christmas, without any doubt.

    Tomorrow we’ll cheer, let the holiday ring,
    And not have to run to the store for a thing!
    We did it! We did it! The toys are all set
    For the perfect, most perfect, Christmas, I bet!”

    Then off to dreamland and sweet repose I gratefully went,
    Though I suppose there’s something to say for those self-deluded…
    I’d forgotten that Batteries are never included!


    Compiled by Pastor John Piper

    “For this I was born and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth” (John 18:37). 

    “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8; cf. Hebrews 2:14–15). 

    “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17). 

    “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). 

    “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). 

    “God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:5). 

    “For God so loved the world that whoever believes on him shall not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16). 

    “God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him” (1 John 4:9). 

    “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). 

    “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against . . . that the thoughts of many may be revealed” (Luke 2:34ff). 

    “He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed” (Luke 4:18). 

    “Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarches, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy” (Romans 15:7–8; cf. John 12:27ff).


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