We have entered a season of hope. It's in full swing. THE season of hope! Jesus is our hope and even though the world might try to deny it, ignore it and pretend this season is about something else all together, this season is still all about Him!
"...the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop." I Corinthians 9:10
I've been reading recently in I Corinthians and thinking about this season of hope. Even though our culture continues, year after year, to deny what the season is about, the season of hope still remains to be about Jesus, and always will be.
In the secular world the focus of the season is not on the birth of our Savor. However, Christmas still remains one of the most likely times of the year for non-Christians to consider matters of faith. At the same time, it is also one of the most likely times for Christians to have an opportunity to share their story of faith.
Christmas is a magical time! Lights are strung from houses. Stores are full of shoppers. Carols are sung. Cards are sent. Coffee shops serve up seasonal lattes in special cups. People all around the world come together to celebrate the Savior's birth and the angel’s decree of “peace on earth, good will toward men. (Luke 2:14).
During this season of hope Jesus is placed front and center in the cultural eye. People are more open to consider this Hope now more than most any other time of the year. The season of hope arrives with significantly more opportunity for us to share our story of hope and faith with those we cross paths with. The story of hope, the gift of the gospel, is the best gift we can give to everyone on our Christmas list!
Here are a few ideas to help us step out of our comfort zone and talk to non-Christians in our circle of influence about Jesus during this season of hope.
Eyes that are open to the needs around us requires compassion. It means we slow down, look around, and take notice. This is such a busy season in our lives. So many events to attend. So much to do on my "to do" list. But all this busyness involves people. People that need noticing. People that need Jesus! Pray. Rely on God to provide you with and open your eyes to the divine opportunities in your path. Ask Him for courage and the correct words to say. He promises to go before us, to prepare the way and to use our willing spirit.
Loving people means I see them as Jesus sees them. When this happens I am able to talk of the person of Jesus and a relationship with Him and elevate Jesus as the most important part of this season of hope. When I love people and see them as Jesus sees them I see more clearly their need for a Savior, just like someone once saw my need.
Meeting a tangible need may be as simple as helping with a project, babysitting children, providing a meal or financial help. These are all wonderful ways to demonstrate the Gospel in action. Meeting needs will move us out of our comfort zone and give us the opportunity to talk to non-Christians in our circle of influence about Jesus during this season of hope.
Don't get discouraged! Remember I Corinthians 9:10 "...the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop." God doesn't require results, He requires a willingness to be used of Him. Just like the plowman and the thresher, our responsibility is to plow and plant seeds of hope, and to thresh in hope of sharing in the crop.
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