How has Jesus been the hero of this year’s story for you? This is one of the questions I want you to consider over the next couple of weeks as we prepare for our final gathering of 2017. I am not planning a sermon that day. On Sunday, December 31, the message comes from all of us as we set aside a service of remembrance. I am deeply convinced of the truth that God wants to work through you in every area of your life – wherever you live, work, learn and play. I also believe that whatever God will do through you, he also wants to do to you. Did you see a life changed this year? How did Jesus work in you first? Did God provide for you in some miraculous way? What did that do for your faith in him?
Our inability to talk about God’s work hurts our family. Why don’t we talk about where we see God working? After all, the writer to the Hebrews tells us that the ‘word of God is living and active.’ It is living and active because the source of that word is alive and moving throughout his creation. There are two main reasons that we tend to hold back. The first is that we either don’t believe that God is working around us or we just haven’t seen it. The truth of it is that before you met Jesus, his Holy Spirit was working in you, drawing him closer to you and speaking truths about himself so that at just the right time, God could break through to you and bring you into his family. If that was true for you (it was!) then it must be true for others as well (it is!!). God is working around you all the time drawing people to himself. After all, it is his greatest desire that none should perish, but that all should reach repentance (2 Peter 3:9). We must develop the skill of learning to see where God is working.
The second reason is that we don’t believe that our stories will be helpful for others. This past weekend Rick and I attended a church in Orange, California where a 14-year-old boy got up to relate his experiences on a mission trip to the church. They asked him questions to get more detail and showed genuine interest in his story. Rick has not stopped talking about this experience. Why? Because God was alive in that story and it encouraged Rick’s faith. Praise the Lord! I don’t know for sure, but I’m quite certain that boy didn’t show up on Sunday expecting to encourage the faith of an adult from Canada. But I am certain that the Holy Spirit moved in that boy to speak and because of his obedience, Rick’s faith was deepened.
As we go through this Christmas season, you will have many opportunities to experience God’s work in your life and in the lives of those around you. I want to encourage you to look for those and then file them away – remember them so that you can share them with others in our family, believing that God can work through your story to grow our faith and encourage our spirits.
So… how has Jesus been the hero of this year’s story for you?