A couple of days ago I issued a challenge to anyone reading my simple little blog. Take a portion of what you would spend on yourself or someone else for Christmas gifts, and spend that on someone in our area that is really in need. I believe as part of that challenge, you (we) should also be reaching out to any potential lost souls and introducing them to Jesus Christ! Shouldn’t that be our ultimate goal? I personally love the idea of giving an entire Christmas to someone who might otherwise not have one, but I believe that we need to let them know, these gifts come to them as gifts from Jesus, just like He gave us the gift of salvation! They are not really gifts from us, because Jesus gave them to us, specifically to share with others!
I have been a very materialistic person in the past. If I found something I wanted, I was going to have it, on way or another! I didn’t care who had to do without, as long as I got what I wanted!! But, it is a wonderful thing when God makes a huge change in your heart to the point of not caring whether I get a gift or not, as long as I can share what I have with someone less fortunate than myself! THAT, is the real gift that I receive. Just to see, or hear, the pure joy and appreciation for what you have done for them, just gives you such a warm feeling. Imagine how Jesus feels when we show Him pure joy and appreciation for the gifts He gives us!!
I would like to add something to that challenge. If you know the family is in need of spiritual help or direction, give them a Bible. It doesn’t have to be a fancy one, but it does need to have the names and phone numbers of at least three different churches and pastors that they can contact for future needs. If you feel comfortable doing so, give them your phone number and invite them to call you at anytime, to talk about their spiritual health and how they might be able to improve upon it. Here, you have to remember, ‘you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.’ You can tell someone all about Jesus and the love He has for them and the sacrifice He made for each of us, but if they are not ready to hear it, your words will fall on deaf ears.
Does that mean that I am saying that if they show no interest, you should leave God out of the equation? NO WAY!!! God is the reason you are doing this after all, right? I mean, you are doing this as a simple way of sharing the love of God with a neighbor or coworker who is in need. So, no matter what, you have to pray to God to give you the opportunity to tell them about Him, and then SHUT UP AND LISTEN!! The Holy Spirit will speak to you, guide you, and help you with the right words to say at the right time. But, you have to be open to hearing the Holy Spirit speak to you!
Many people, myself included, have a very difficult time discerning whether instructions or guidance is coming from the Holy Spirit or from some other source that we really should not be listening to! So, how can you tell whether what you are hearing is coming from the Holy Spirit or not? Listen carefully. Is the action you are being asked to take, the words you are being given to speak, an expression of God’s love? Are you simply sharing the love of Jesus in what you are doing or saying? If you are, then I believe you can trust that it is coming from the Holy Spirit. But, if you are simply offering a few gifts to someone to make yourself feel better, and you just really don’t want to take the time to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with this family, or person, then you need to rethink your reasoning. If you are not sharing the LOVE of Jesus Christ and demonstrating that love, then you are just feeding a man a fish dinner as opposed to teaching him to fish for his next meal!
You have to show people that you have faith and no doubt as to where your next meal is coming from. You have to prove your trust and faith in God to provide for you, but those you are offering help to have to see that in your actions. They have to see you telling them to “do as I do” and not “do as I say, not as I do.”
If you spend more than 5 minutes talking with someone at any time, there will be an opportunity to talk about Jesus with them. Once that door is opened, you must walk through it and invite the person you are speaking to, to step through that door with you. And once they step through, you must take advantage and talk to them about God and what He has done for them, and what He WANTS to do for them still!! Always have a Bible handy, even if it is on your fancy smart phone!! Always, always be prepared to share the word of God and His blessings with anyone who will sit with you for more than 5 minutes and actually listen.
Take advantage of every opportunity!! Our days on this earth are fewer every day, and we are instructed to be fishers of men, to bring more to Jesus. That is a job that NEVER stops.
So, as I challenge you to help a needy family this Christmas, go to your local Christian Book Store and purchase a Bible to include with the items for the family! Now, we don’t want to seem to be bragging about what we are doing, but, if you tell the owner or manager of the Christian Book Store what you are doing, I bet you will end up with more than a Bible to include in the gifts for the family! You may even end up with a Bible for each member of the family.
As always, be much in prayer about what you are doing. Let God lead you to the right family. Listen to the Holy Spirit for ques and openings of what to say, and when to say them. Remember, you are never alone in any part of this. Pray without ceasing!!! Pray about what to do and for whom. Pray about the needs of the family, pray about YOUR reasons for doing this. Make sure your heart is right. Remember, satan will take advantage of any opening we give him. Don’t give him any opening!!
God bless you all, and I look forward to hearing your stories of how you answered this challenge, so please share!! I pray each of you has a blessed day tomorrow, the Lord’s day. I hope you enjoy a special blessing from each worship service you attend. I pray that each service you attend makes you want to attend more, and more; and then you will be inviting people to come and visit your church. When they do, it falls on your shoulders to make them feel welcome and comfortable!! DO NOT miss this opportunity!!
Remember, non-believers are constantly watching believers for failure! It will happen. They are watching you also to see how you respond to that failure or change of plans, or whatever it may be. Don’t give satan the satisfaction of messing up your chance to witness to someone. Always strive to be as much like Jesus as possible. Love each other, forgive freely.
And, that is all I have for now!! Have a great weekend!!