I know that we are coming into a time of thanksgiving and a celebration of the coming of Jesus. This is a festive time and a time to be with family and friends. This is a time to praise God for His provision and salvation. This is a time to show our gratitude and reveal our faith.
During the month of November, we will finish our study in the Gospel of John, when we gather to worship on Sunday mornings. We will focus our attention on how we can help bring peace on earth. As people of the Light, we have both the responsibility and honor of taking the hope of Christ into the darkness of our world. This Kingdom work requires a great deal of sacrifice. In order to do all that God has made available to us, we will have to give sacrificially, go sacrificially, and send sacrificially.
The Gift for Christ is one of the important ways that we give sacrificially at Living Hope. This Gift is given in response to the call of God for us to take the Gospel to the nations. We are blessed as a church to have members of our congregation who have left where we live to go where the Gospel is needed the most. We have families in China, West Africa, Southwest Europe, Southern Europe, and East Asia. God has also led us to send families to Atlanta and Fargo to plant churches where almost none exist. God has called them to go and for us to sacrificially give so that we can partner with them to expand their Gospel reach.
Not only must we give; we must also go! This year there are hundreds of people who will need to leave the comforts of our life here in Bowling Green, Ky and go to countries and cities where there are few in any other believers. The weather will not always be nice. The places we will stay will sometimes be dirty. The people we will see will not always be gracious. And yet, we must go. We must take the message where it is seldom heard or maybe where it has never been heard. There are members pf Living Hope who have never gone, but this year is the year they will go. Pray for those God is raising up to go.
And pray for those who will send their loved ones. There will be husbands who send their wives and wives who send their husbands. There will be parents who send their children and children who send their parents. Friends will send friends and provide care for the needs they leave behind. It will be a great sacrifice.
But the joy of being a church who sees the hand of God move is worth it! Pray that God will provide the people, the money, and the spirit of sacrifice necessary for us to fulfill all God has called us to in the world in 2015.
During the month of December, we will participate in Advent. This is a fun time of the year, when we reflect on what it means that God is our Emmanuel – God with us. God promised He would rescue us and it is at Christmas that we remember how God came to be one of us so we could be with Him.
Remember to take time each day as an individual or family to reflect on the reality of Christmas. Use a suggested devotion or develop a personal study. Plan to come for our Family Christmas Kick-off the first Sunday of December. Invite friends that Sunday morning as we explain how Christmas brings peace and then come back that night for the sounds, tastes, and message of Christmas. And on Christmas Eve bring family and friends as we remember how Jesus Christ was born in preparation to celebrate Christmas Day.
We are a blessed family with a great couple of months ahead of us. Please be in prayer and prepare your heart to participate in giving to the Gift for Christ and sharing and celebrating the hope of Christmas with those God has called you to minister to and love.