It’s the most overbooked time of the year!
Thanksgiving, black Friday, cyber Monday, giving Tuesday, parties at work, parties at home, Christmas activities at church, school, etc. Is it any wonder that we are often exhausted this time of year? I’m tired just thinking about it.
We must remember that there is something far more profound to this season. We celebrate Advent as we approach Christmas. During Advent, we remember Jesus taking on flesh in the barn in Bethlehem. We also look forward to His return at the second Advent. Never let that thought slip from your mind.
We are surrounded with decorations and reminders of our Savior during December. Even non-religious stations play Christmas Carols this time year. What a great opportunity we have to proclaim Messiah’s birth! Every day is a good day to witness, but this time of year, people may be more receptive.
As gifts are given, remind them of the best gift of all, Jesus. As songs are sung, remember the angels singing to shepherds outside of Bethlehem.
Honor the Past.
This Sunday, we honored our past at Craft Baptist Church. God has blessed us with 127 years of shining His light and love in Cherokee county. The past is our story. It has brought us to this moment. The faithfulness of those who have been here before us is our legacy and challenge.
While we honor the past, we must also look to the future. As we think about the early years of the church, things were different than today. We have lights, air conditioning, etc. People are different. We are far more mobile than 127 years ago. The gospel and love shared will always be the same, but things won’t always look the same. Methods change while the message will always remain the same. Our delivery must change but doctrine never will.
I am grateful for the lessons we can learn from the past. They were perseverant in difficult days. They shared Christ’s love with families in our community. They focused on the future. In fact, many have shared how they were children here and the active ministry to children and youth discipled them to serve as they now do. Many ministers and teachers began their ministry here at Craft.
As we celebrate our history, I also look forward to writing the chapter we are currently living. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us.
In my devotional reading this morning, I read about the 2 AM group. Here is that story,
” A friend told me about a group of people who share a strong bond of faith in Christ. One of them, a 93-year-old woman, said, ‘I feel like I can call any of you at 2 a.m., and I don’t even have to apologize if I feel the need for any type of assistance.’ Whether the need is prayer, practical help, or someone to be there during a time of need, these friends are unconditionally committed to each other.”(Our Daily Bread)
These friends are a great example of the body of Christ in action. They put into practice the instructions of Paul in Philippians 2:3-4 “Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” (HCSB)
I have been blessed to a part of churches who live this way. We sing about being one in the bond of love, but we have to live that out. It blesses my soul when I visit in the hospital and hear how many from the church have already been by to check on them. When I was hospital used, I learned the value of those visits. That is just one easy we can look out for each others interests.
My prayer is that all churches will be 2 AM groups.
You prep for months. Special furniture gets purchased and assembled. A room gets painted, redesigned, and prepared. Finally the big day arrives and it happens. A new member of the family makes their debut. Then it hits you that you have just witnessed a miracle! A church is born!
This weekend I get to witness that miracle. The Purpose launches in Baton Rouge, La on Sunday. My brother, Joel is the founding pastor. It has been great to follow his journey from California to Baton Rouge. God stirred his heart for the unchurched in that city. This is pure pioneer work. When they hit the ground it was just his family of 4. They have connected with people, assembled a launch team, and rented a movie theater. This weekend it all comes to fruition.
Join with me in praying for The Purpose. Pray that they reach unchurched people and help them discover their reason to live. Pray that God opens a door for the gospel into the homes of the many unchurched families. Praise God for another Bible believing church joining the family.
The Love Chapter according to my cousin. A great read to help churches evaluate if they are acting out of love.
Love Chapter (Jason's version).