I have been thinking about Christmas and all that it has come to represent in our culture - the tree, the presents, the turkey and the pudding and I have been wondering about how, in our vastly secular society, we as believers in the Lord Jesus can proclaim Christ, can speak about Him, about who He is and about the great love of God that is found in Him.
How do we bring Jesus into our conversations, our parties, our family gatherings and our chance encounters. How can we effectively glorify His name in the coming weeks?
I read something online that said that 'money is the root of all evil' and for a moment I agreed - and then I remembered 1 Tim. 6:10 and saw that it is the 'love of money' that is the root of evil.
Love - what then does it mean that a good word, a good emotion, a good feeling, a good cause can actually end in, actually give growth to evil?
I looked it up in the original language and found that 'love of money' is actually one word in Greek and it means avarice or covetousness - it is a thing in and of itself - it isn't love gone wrong, love of the wrong thing or even a type of love that has been taken too far - no, it is a different thing entirely and is not even the same word that is used for the love that we find in Christ Jesus - the love that He speaks of in His Word, the love with which we are to love one another. Its root is different, its fruit is different and it draws its life from the enemy of our souls.
So it isn't love of money that will ensure that 250,000 elderly people are alone this Christmas, nor that 80,000 children will spend Christmas homeless - it is in fact that the world does not love with the love of God, that they do not share that love, make manifest that love, in fact they cannot because that love is found only in Jesus Christ and they do not know Him. It isn't that some people don't try - not that some don't care, but rather that it is only Gods love that can make real, lasting change.
So how can I as a believer in the Lord Jesus , as one who has received that love, bring Jesus into my conversation and why is it important that I do? Because only that love can make a lasting, tangible difference to the actual every day lives of those around us.
I must love with the love with which God first loved me; a love that moves, that acts, that has effect. I must love in word and in deed - love because I understand the enormity of the mercy that saved me and the grace that keeps me.
I must love, really love by lifting up my voice to the One who knows and who cares and I can ask Him where shall I go, what shall I do, how will I speak this Christmas and when He answers I must obey.
Desiring Truth is a ministry raised up by God for such a time as this. We are a group of believers who know that the Bible, God's Word, is Truth and that by that Truth we are being sanctified; we are a ministry dedicated to growing in our knowledge of the One who has given us LIFE, real life, abundant life and to sharing that knowledge with other believers and then out into the wider communities in which we live. And it is there that I think we are right now.
In all of our study and in all of our 'knowing' - do we really and truly understand that only 'knowing God, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent' (John 17:3) IS eternal life?
And do we truly understand that the life that it IS, the life that knowing God brings, is a life that has made us new. It is life that has given birth to the new creation in Christ Jesus - the life that has meant that the old has gone and the new has come (2 Cor. 5:17).
It is a life that continues to change us, transform us from people who are simply concerned with making it successfully through our own lives to people who will actively spend those lives making Him known to others because we really believe that it is only this love of God that can make a real tangible difference in the world around us?
Knowing this - will we come before our God this Christmas and say - NOW, today I surrender all that I am and all that I have because I KNOW that You, my Lord and Saviour are the BEST, that Your purpose and plan is the BEST and that following Your will for my life will be the best, the most glorious, joy filled life that I could ever imagine. A life that will have meaning and purpose - a life that will make a difference even when I may not see with my human eyes the result of my surrender.
Desiring Truth is moving - we are growing, we are being transformed and we will find ways to actively manifest the transformation of our minds, our souls into action that will proclaim the Lord Jesus - that will manifest the great and overwhelming grace of God, that will love with a love that only He can provide and we will do it all for Him, for His glory - trusting that He will take our meagre offering and turn it into a sweet fragrance that will permeate the world in which we live.
I don't know exactly where He will take us, or to whom or with whom, but one thing I know - I will fight the good fight, I will finish the course, I will keep the faith and I will do it all for the sake of my Saviour in whom I live and breathe and have my being.
If you would like to join us I invite you to come, to come to a class, to an event, to come and pray, to come and praise. I invite you to come with your ideas, your dreams, your thoughts, your gifts, your energy, your time and your talent.
I invite you to come and be a part of this ministry, to press on with us 'toward the upward call of God in Christ Jesus' - to come and be the witness to Christ that we so long to be.
I invite you to come and surrender all to the One who gave all for you.