This time of year, the celebration of the birth of Jesus, is a time when we think of others. We have compassion for others.
What are you doing to show the compassion of Christ?
Our world is indeed in a sorry mess. Now, that we know the state of the union, what are we doing about it?
Can one person really make a difference? Can what little I do make a difference?
“It’s a Wonderful Life” is a Christmas movie that allows the main character to see what his hometown would have been like if he had not been born. He was considering suicide because he did not think that he mattered. By his guardian angel allowing him to see what it would be like without him, he got to see that he really did make a difference, a big difference.
Each and every one of us matters. One person matters. We all matter to God. Each one of us has a unique destiny that has been designed by God that we are to fulfill.
I cannot fulfill your destiny anymore than you can fulfill mine. Each of us is a vital piece of the puzzle, and our piece needs to be in place.
What can one person do? We can definitely be kind and polite and show good manners. We can be generous and giving, not just at this time of the year.
Churchianity is substituting a Sunday morning service for a personal relationship with God.
When the Lord touches you, you cannot be quiet.
Luke 24:32 “Did not our hearts burn within us as he spoke to us on the road and He explained the Scriptures to us?”
We need to be a vibrant, self-sacrificing church.
What does vibrant mean? It means to be alive, to be exciting, and to be full of life.
We need to be full of passion and fire. Are you full of passion and fire, or has your wood gotten wet? Have you lost all your steam because of the pressures and exasperations of everyday living?
You and I both know that the normal life in Scripture is not what people in most churches live.
We are in a lukewarm age, and the Church has lost its prophetic voice.
We have become spiritually irrelevant because of our state of lukewarmness.
You see, a real saved person is fruitful.
Most of the folks going to church go through the motions of church, but surely they have to wonder where is the power of God? Those who are hurting certainly do. They come to church seeking relief from the pain. Are they getting what they are seeking? Are they getting the peace of God that passes all understanding? Are they getting healing? Is the healing balm of Gilead soothing the aches and pains?
OR,… are they going away from the church experience with nothing but a cheap bandaid slapped on their oozing, hurting injury?
The church is Jesus in the real world. The church is where Jesus followers hang out, right?
It is where Jesus followers sip a cappuccino, eat a Danish, sing a few worship songs, hear a message on how to get along in life, smile, laugh with the mask on their face, and go home. Are they changed? Have they affected anyone else? Are they different? OR,… are they settled down ? Are they satisfied with the status quo and do not see a need for change?
There are places where the church is thriving and seeing many come to know Jesus. You ask where? I will tell you. In Inhospitable places, the church is growing.
Inhospitable means not hospitable, not welcoming, and not a comfortable place to be.
In Iraq, the Baghdad church is constantly under attack. In 2009, 93 members in church were killed.
Everyone prayed for is healed, and the women prayer group go to hospitals, and people are raised from the dead. Do we see that kind of healing and resurrection here in Lufkin? Texas? USA?
In Iran, persecution is the norm. You expect to be persecuted. It is the way of life.
Do you know what the two things for growing a church are?
Persistent prayer…
Did you realize that Jesus spoke a lot about persecution?
Let me tell you about one man in a third world country.
One Donkey cart driver plants 3 or 4 churches a year. He is just a common, every day man who tells everyone about Jesus and prays for everyone.
Where he lives, the Christians are persecuted. They appear to not have many of the amenities to which you and I are accustomed.
They respond to persecution with prayer.
Like I said, God is using ordinary people to take His Gospel to places it has never been before.
He wants to use the people who tell the Bible stories. We all know that there is power in the Word of God. Just tell His Story!
God is using people in the market place. People like you, me, and the donkey cart driver.
We should want to burn our candle at both ends in a place filled with darkness and shine the Light of Christ.
Our prayers and faith stop up the mouths of lions.
We are to love people and encourage them into a relationship with Jesus.
The Gospel is supposed to make people into disciples.
All God needs is a contrite and broken heart that is willing to be used of God.
We can share the Message of the Gospel and pray. God will provide signs and wonders. God will lavish His love on people.
We just need to keep it simple. Love people!
The Saints need to wake up, and not settle for mere religion.
Today, God is using the least of us to achieve the greatest things.
God, set a fire in our hearts!
Ordinary people will change the world for Christ, and help others to have an authentic encounter with the God.