Well, December has rolled around again. It seems to come faster every year.
As you know, this final month of the year is filled with joys, stresses, wonderful Christmas truth, numerous distractions, and lots and lots of busyness. So for the next 4 weeks, I will be writing about 4 “Don’ts” for December — in other words, the 4 things you should not do if you want to make the most of December.
So without further ado, Don’t #1: Don’t Waste the Opportunity
Everyone is into the whole Christmas thing. At least most everyone. Lifestyle, beliefs, age, maturity–it doesn’t seem to change the fact that we all like Christmas. This means we Christians have a massive opportunity. A spiritual opportunity that is.
Because people are into Christmas, they are willing to come to Christmas events, to sing Christmas songs, to talk about Christmas topics — all of which could open the door to point people to Jesus. That alone makes this “the most wonderful time of the year!”
And when we point people to Jesus, we aren’t merely reminding them he was born in a stable. The “nativity set” is not all there is to the story. Christmas is about God himself coming to earth in human flesh for a very specific purpose. In Matthew 1:21 an angel tells Joseph that Mary…
will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.
Jesus came not to start Christmas, and not even to live as a good example; Jesus came to save sinners. Which means sinners need to learn about their sin problem. More importantly, they need to hear about the solution to their sin problem. They need to not only learn about Jesus’ birth, but about his life, death, and resurrection. Which means, we need to speak up.
So what can you do to maximize this season? How can you use this month to invest in the non-Christians in your life? How can you start more dialogue about Jesus? If there are neighbors, family members, friends, classmates, anyone who might be open to “religious” type things at Christmas — how could we not use this holiday season to nudge people closer to the most important, most life-changing, eternity-altering truth there is?!
So here are a few simple ideas to get you started:
- Build relationships with neighbors by hosting a Christmas get-together.
- Invite someone to a Christmas church service, event or activity.
- Speak of Jesus in your Christmas cards.
- Get to know new people in your neighborhood by delivering home-made treats.
- Use random Christmas activities to interact with new people.
- Don’t hide your family traditions that help you focus on Jesus (bring these ideas into your everyday conversations).
Doing these won’t necessarily lead to a gospel conversation, though they might. But they will help you move another step (or 2 or 3 steps) closer to really knowing the people in your sphere of influence, showing them you love them, and sharing with them the most important part of who you are–your relationship with God.
So get at it…at something...whatever would help you move forward in pointing people to Jesus.
And be encouraged that though you are extra busy this month, this won’t be that hard. In all probability, your efforts will be seen as a nice gesture, even if your invite (or your cookies) are declined. Other times in the year these same efforts could seem a tad intrusive, but not at Christmas. So don’t waste the opportunity! Maximize it, and pray God uses your efforts!