Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
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Anna's Hope Based In Looking for the Christ
Luke 2:36-38

36 And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with a husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. And she never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers. 38 And at that very moment she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. NAS

Introduction HOPE
Years ago an S-4 submarine was rammed by a ship off the coast of Massachusetts. It sank immediately. The entire crew was trapped in a prison house of death. Every effort was made to rescue the crew, but all ultimately failed. Near the end of the ordeal, a deep-sea diver, who was doing everything in his power to find a way for the crew's release, thought he heard a tapping on the steel wall of the sunken sub. He placed his helmet up against the side of the vessel and he realized it was the Morse Code. He attached himself to the side and he spelled out in his mind the message being tapped from within. It was repeating the same question. The question, from within was: "Is there any hope?"
The Tale Of The Tardy Oxcart Charles R. Swindoll, Word, p. 275.
 

N E I L A N D E R S O N D A I L Y D E V O T I O N A L
from Freedom in Christ Ministries December 14

LEND ME YOUR HOPE

Lend me your hope for awhile, I seem to have mislaid mine.
Lost and hopeless feelings accompany me daily, pain and confusion are my companions.
I know not where to turn; looking ahead to future times does not bring forth images of renewed hope.
I see troubled times, pain-filled days, and more tragedy.

Lend me your hope for awhile, I seem to have mislaid mine.
Hold my hand and hug me; listen to all my ramblings, recovery seems so far distant.
The road to healing seems like a long and lonely one.

Lend me your hope for awhile, I seem to have mislaid mine.
Stand by me, offer me your presence, your heart and your love.
Acknowledge my pain, it is so real and ever present.
I am overwhelmed with sad and conflicting thoughts.

Lend me your hope for awhile; a time will come when I will heal, and I will share my renewal, hope, and love with others. (adapted from the poem "Lend Me Your Hope," author unknown).

Today is there any hope? We who are Christians say a resounding YES! Their is hope in Christ. There is hope for today and their is hope for tomorrow and there is hope for eternity.

One of the three (3) wise women in the events surrounding the birth of Jesus teaches us some of the bases of hope. Please follow in your Bible as I share these principals.
 
 

1.    Anna's Hope was A Hope Based In . . Sacrificing. v 36 - 37 b


36 And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with a husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. And she never left the temple, . . ."

A.    Anna's Hope was Sacrificing In Her . . Retirement. v 36 a
        "And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years,
        1.    Most believe Anna was 84 years of age.
        2.    Eighty four then was older than eighty four today.
        3.    Retirement was not much of an option in her day.
        4.    She could have taken it easier.
        5.    Her health was a gift from God and she gave it back.

B.    Anna 's Hope was Sacrificing In Her . . Relationship. v 36 b-37 a
            ". . . having lived with a husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four."

        1.    Why didn't Anna Remarry?
        2.    She certainly had a right.
        3.    Paul shared in 1 Cor. 9:5
                Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas? NAS
 

C.    Anna's Hope was Sacrificing In Her . . Resting. v 37 b
            ". . . And she never left the temple, . . ."

        1.    This may mean (and probably does) she was at the Temple all the time.
                a.    She didn't rest except in the Lord.

        2.    Have you ever heard it said "he lives at the church:
                a.    This may be the meaning

Anna was Sacrificing In Her . . Relationships, Retirement and Resting because she had hope while looking for the Birth of Christ


 

Illustration
Ebenezer Erskine, a devoted Scottish preacher, who died in 1754, was visited on his deathbed by a friend, who asked him, "What are you doing now with your soul, Mr. Erskine?" to which the dying man replied, "I am doing with it what I did forty years ago, resting it on the Word of the Lord."

Application

If Anna heard this sermon I think she would interrupt me by saying "why do you call what I did sacrificing? It was the joy of my life.

Illustration Faithfulness
A faithful Christian was asked if he was looking forward to his eternal rest in heaven. "Who said anything about rest?" he responded. "When I get on the other side, the first question I ask will be: 'Master, what's my next task?'" Donald Deffner, Seasonal Illustrations, San Jose: Resources, 1992, p. 130

A base that fertilizes hope is personal sacrifice.
 
 
 

2.    Anna's Hope was A Hope Based In . . Serving. v 37 c


                ". . . serving night and day with fastings and prayers."
 

A.    Note Anna's Hope and the . . Times of Her Service. v 37 c
            ". . . serving night and day. . . "

        1.    She never really stopped serving God.
        2.    Hope kept her service alive.

B.    Note Anna's Hope and the . . Tenacity of Her Service. v 37 c
            ". . . with fastings . . . "

        1.    Do you know how hard it can be to fast?
        2.    Did you know you can serve God through fasting.

Illustration
My friend Rich White said he drank some milk during his fast, I said "well in this fast weren't you supposed to exclude every thing?" He said "yes but I got hungry."

        3.    I imagine at times Anna got hungry.
        4.    She was serving through Fasting.

Illustration
British pastor Charles Spurgeon wrote, "If you are not seeking the Lord, the devil is seeking you." We must not wait until we are attacked by Satan to think about the strategy we should use to escape the enemy of our soul. We must seek the Lord early, keenly aware that "the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Pet. 5:8).

If we are not serving were not seeking the Lord's blessing

C.    Note Anna's Hope and the . . Testimony of Her Service. v 37 c
            ". . . and prayers."

        1.    A praying life has a great Testimony.
        2.    I want 2001 and one to be a year of prayer
        3.    I want for us it happened because the Lord worked.

Anna was Serving In Her prayerful . . Times, Tenacity and Testimony of service because she had hope while looking for the Birth of Christ

Illustration Christian Service - Putting to work what God has given us
A minister was talking to a professing Christian and asked him if he was active in a local church. The man responded, "No, but the dying thief wasn't active in a church and yet he was still accepted."

The minister then asked if he had been baptized. The man responded, "The dying thief was not baptized and he still made it into heaven."

The minister then asked if he had partaken of the Lord's Table. The man responded, "No, but the dying thief didn't either, and Christ still received him."

The minister then commented: "The only difference between you and the dying thief is that he was dying in his belief and you are just dead in yours." Michael P. Green, Illustrations for Biblical Preaching, Grand Rapids: Baker, 1989. p. 141.

Application

The Lord used my non - Christian testimony to convince me I was not a Christian. On one occasion I told a fellow worked "I am a Baptist too". He responded "your a Baptist".

Anna did not surprise people with her service they expected it and her hope was contagious.
 


A base that fertilizes hope is service.
 
 
 

3.    Anna's Hope was A Hope Based In . . Salvation. v 38


        " And at that very moment she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

A.    Anna's Hope Gave . . Thanks for Salvation. v 38 a
            "And at that very moment she came up and began giving thanks to God, . . . "

        1.    Her Thanks was instantaneous.
        2.    She was not surprised as this is what she was looking for.

Illustration Topic: Service Index: 3895 Title: Looking to God for Reward
When Calvin was banished from ungrateful Geneva, he said, "Surely if I had merely served man, this would have been a poor recompense. But it is my happiness that I have served him who never fails to reward his servants to the full extent of his promise."
Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Quotable Spurgeon, (Wheaton: Harold Shaw Publishers, Inc, 1990)
 

B.    Anna's Hope Gave . . Testimony To Salvation. v 38 a
      ". . . and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. "

        1.    She sought out others who could receive this truth.
        2.    There were others there she knew wanted to know.

Anna's Hope was based in Salvation . . and she
Gave Thanks and a Testimony to the Lord.

Salvation Is A base that fertilizes hope.
 

Conclusion

A church music minister helped rescue five people from a fire this week. Casey Borders was outside shoveling snow when he saw flames shoot out of his neighbor's home in Calumet City, Ill.

He knocked on the door, then ran for help, according to the Chicago Sun-Times ...Three children and their parents escaped death. Frank and Sybil Mosely escaped with their children, Frank, 11, David, 7, and James, 3, the newspaper reported. Borders took the boys to his home while firefighters fought the blaze and tried to rescue

Frank Mosely's mother and sister, who did not survive. ...The memory of three boys in his choir who died in a house fire in 1995 was the first thing that came to Borders's mind, he told the Sun-Times. Jeffrey Gregory 11, and his twin brothers Jermaine and Jesse, 12, were members of Progressive Community Church, where Borders ministers. "All I wanted to do was get those kids to a warm, safe place."