Making the Most of the Season
As the Christmas season turns to a new year we want to make the best use of our time to live an intentional Christ-focused life (Ephesians 5:16). Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
- Imitate how Jesus came humbly to serve us by serving someone unexpectedly
- Display the free gift of Jesus by giving an unexpected free gift to someone you know o Treasure Jesus by reading key parts of the Christmas story the week of Christmas (Luke 1-2, Matthew 1-2), especially as a family
- Instead of just giving gifts, write notes of encouragement to family and friends o Get together and fellowship with some other folks from church (Someone you haven’t seen in a while? Someone new?)
- Get together with someone who doesn’t know Jesus and seek to bless them as expression of the gospel
Planning for 2016
- Make a plan to read the Bible in 2016 - When will you read? What will you read? Will you read along with someone else?
- Make a plan for growing in your understanding of God and theology in 2016 – Make a list of books to read next year? Find a teaching series or class?
- Think about your schedule and calendar for 2016 - what should your priorities be in light of Scripture and how will that be reflected on your calendar?
- Think about your money and spending in 2016 - what should your priorities be in light of Scripture? How will you keep track of what you spend and on what?
- Find an excuse and throw a party early in the year – invite some Christian and non-Christians friends
Many take the end of year to give special charitable gifts, or to plan giving in 2016. There are many good causes and ministries to contribute to, but here are a few in particular we support as a church and recommend.
- Charlie’s Lunch: Ministry that works with local churches in very impoverished areas to provide meals to under-nourished children, and to give them an opportunity to hear the gospel. http://www.charlieslunch.com
- Pregnancy Help Center: Ministry that provides counseling and practical support for women facing crisis pregnancies. http://www.pregnancyhcep.org
- Rancho 3M: Childrens home in Guadalupe, Mexico that also provides a low-cost private school to the surrounding town. http://www.rancho3m.com
- Rancho Los Amigos: Childrens home in Ciudad, Juarez affiliated with YWAM with several ministry arms. Currently in the midst of a significant building project. http://www.ywamepj.org/rla/our-home/
- Sovereign Grace Churches: Our family of churches doing church planting and gospel ministry around the world. Consider especially the Latin American church fund. http://www.sovereigngrace.com