This weekend a lot of people learned what it means to make contact with God! We learned that the goal of â€˜drawing nearâ€™ at this time of year may not be enough.
Close only counts, as they say, in horseshoes and hand grenades. But when it comes to embracing the reason for the season nothing short of touching Christ will do. If Christmas for you is a lonely, depressing time (as studies show it is for a quite a few people) then Christmas contact with Christ is the only way to end the seasonal slump. But just how is that contact made?
By trusting Christ as Lord and Savior. That means coming to the realization that Christmas is actually about a missionâ€”mission earth. God sent His Son not for the miraculous birth, but for the even more transforming death.
Jesus Christ came to die.
Thatâ€™s difficult for a lot of people to swallow. We like our Christmas nice and tidy, neat and beautifully wrapped. Even our mangers settings are more like a Holiday Inn than a smelly, dirty, cavebarn for barn animals with the baby Jesus in a feeding trough. And while this may seem like an innocent enough attempt to keep things â€˜nice,â€™ it ends up being just another roadblock to contact with the real Jesus. And all roadblocks need to come down for contact to be made. For seekers we pointed out that embracing the love and grace of Christ starts with repentance (wow, thereâ€™s a popular word, huh?!). Start by telling God that youâ€™re sorry for the mess-ups in your life and ask Him to forgive you.
Then invite Him to be a part of your life.
Then get out of the driverâ€™s seat and let God take over.
For Christ followers we suggested they begin initiating contact in the following ways:
1. 30 days in the gospel of John
2. 30 days of nightly prayer â€” just you and God (no less than 5 minutes)
3. Find someone who is struggling during this season and help bring them home for Christmas.
I guarantee that third one will be the hardest for folks. But at Southbrook, weâ€™re used to this. Weâ€™ve written names of loved ones on CDâ€™s and rocks in the past and scene hundreds of those folks come to Christ. And this time we wrote the names on Christmas ornaments as we prepare to see God do something ginormous the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd! Weâ€™ll be in the fourth and final week of our â€œPresents (really, â€œPresenceâ€)â€ series and the message will be, â€œLost at Christmas.â€
On that weekend, Godâ€™s going to finish what He laid on my heart before 07 beganâ€¦more people saved this year than the previous 7 years combined!
Weâ€™re almost there!
Pray with me for Godâ€™s harvest that weekend.
Hereâ€™s some more pictures from this weekend.