Those who bring thanksgiving as their sacrifice honour me... Psalm 50:23
This Christmas let us not forget that we need to be thankful to God for bringing his son Jesus. Pastor Bob Knowles, has been challenging me these last few weeks with his sermons. His 1st advent sermon was titled "All I want for Christmas is to spend less money." I was challenged first in him asking why people who don't know Jesus are directing & telling Christians how we are to celebrate our holiday. Shouldn't Christians be the ones sharing to the world how to celebrate the coming of Christ? Second of all he shared the statistic that Canadians spend on average $35 Million on gifts during the Christmas season. Pastor Bob shared about, world poverty, clean water projects & missionaries & said that this year his family was spending less money.
The next week the sermon title was, "All I want for Christmas is to give more." In giving more this Christmas Pastor Bob challenged me & the people listening to give more to things that will make a lasting difference in this world. Instead of spending on more material things for ourselves to invest our money, time & talents on other things such as relationships. To give time to help at a local soup kitchen or shelter, to go visit a nursing home/hospital to sing carols or just talk with people who will be alone this Christmas. Show people that we love & care for them like Jesus does for us. Finally he said to invest in missionaries, people who are willing & God has placed a desire to work locally with the poor or go half way around the world to serve people in need.
Pastor Bob Challenged us to invest in relationships or reconcile broken relationships. Instead of buying gifts, cook a meal, invite friends, family, people you don't really know over to enjoy one another. Christ came to have a relationship with us & to reconcile our relationship with his Father, God. I feel the purpose of Christmas is to share the gift of Jesus & to share with people his love practically.
"It is greater to give then receive." Acts 20:35
This year when you are purchasing gifts for people you love try spending a little less & invest in people as part of your giving. Think about how you can give a greater gift that will change someones life this Christmas.For many this is the most difficult time of year. Give the gift of peace & joy that only comes with knowing Jesus this year. Teresa, the kids & I support another missionary family a small amount each month as a way to return the gift God has given to us.
We are praising Jesus, we have reached our one time support goal & based on the support people have shared we only need $500.00/month in monthly support. We are so close I am getting excited inside & want to start dancing. God is doing what he shared earlier, releasing all of our needs (prayer & finances,) but in his perfect timing. Realistically we are hoping to be able to leave for Mongolia in February 2008.