People, People Everywhere

What kind of people live in your city? Ambitious people. Lonely people. People struggling financially. Young people in search of freedom. Displaced people out of touch with their families. The list goes on!

The point is: The harvest is ready. But where are the workers? In city after city around the world, I proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ before massive festival crowds. Through my preparatory work in each city, I have discovered that many Christians fail to see the importance of evangelism. What does that mean? It means that before we can bring the hope of Jesus to our cities, we must first recognize the urgent need!

In the Bible, Mark 16:15 reports Jesus telling His disciples to, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” Guess what? That command is for you! Those words include your city. God has a plan. And YOU must respond to His call.

You may not have the opportunities to share your faith with thousands, but you can share Gods love in your city by reaching out to your neighbor. Will you do it today? Reach your city by reaching those in your community. Reach out and see what God can do through you.

Offering Hope to Others

Theres a popular song that says Christmas is the “hap, hap, happiest time of the year!” But, the reality is: The holidays can be a real low point for some people, especially if they have been experiencing troubles in the past year.

Maybe you know someone like this. They have gone through one thing after another and now the holidays are approaching. They need more than reindeer and mistletoe; they need real comfort and guidance. Divine.

Sit down with your friend and tell him or her the story of Joseph in the Old Testament. Now theres a man who went through some tough times! His brothers beat him up and sold him into slavery. Joseph is then wrongly accused by his employer and sent to prison to rot.

Its a long story, and Ill let you read it with your friend, but the end result is Joseph trusts in God and becomes the second-in-command in Egypt. God gives him great power and wealth to oversee the people. Joseph even reunites with his family and says to his brothers, “You meant it for evil but God meant it for good.”

Pray with your friend and remind them that supernaturally Christ was born of the blessed Virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit. And later Christ died so we, like Joseph, can have strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow. God longs to use you, so speak up!

Hope for Today’s World

These days, we use the word “hope” all the time. “I hope this year will be better than last year and I hope the market goes up and I hope my stocks do better.” Lets “hope so.” But, real hope isnt about hoping things will go better. The hope Im talking about is reality – a living expectation – squarely based on Gods revealed promises.

When you open your heart to Christ, God actually comes into your life. Thats real! Suddenly, you know God for yourself. And it isnt a religious thing. It isnt just doing the proper thing on Sunday or Christmas or Easter. Now its a deep, personal relationship with the Living God. You become a child of God. Suddenly you have peace with God. You know youre loved. You have the Holy Spirit. Youre a new person.

The Bible says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” And your hope keeps on growing as you get to know God more and more each day.

The miracle of Christmas is hope. Christ came to earth as a baby to bring us this hope. He died and rose again so we might have real hope, not just “hope so.” Who has God placed in your path who needs to hear of this hope? Pray, and ask the Lord for the opportunity to lovingly, respectfully, share His hope with your friends and family.

How to Find Real Hope

Sometimes our world tries to cover up the real reason we celebrate Christmas. We get too concerned about being politically correct and we say things like, “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” Were worried well offend somebody or even get sued. But, we really cant take the “Christ” out of “Christmas.” Hes the only reason we can celebrate anything in the first place. Hope is found only in Him.

Whether were from a Catholic or Protestant background or perhaps Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, or Hindu, in our heart of hearts we know that we all need hope. Real hope, a living expectation, comes when we know that Jesus Christ is truly alive because He rose from the dead. Death couldnt hold Him because he is God the Son. He is Almighty. The key to finding hope is confessing to God that we are sinners and we need Him to forgive and purify us. And the great thing is: Hell never turn us down.

Romans 10:13 says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” The virgin birth of Jesus set the stage for Gods rescue plan.

Pray for your friends of various religious persuasions and ask the Lord for boldness to actually, yet carefully, share the hope of Jesus Christ with them. He is, after all, the only way they can truly have a merry Christmas.

A Blue Christmas

Have you ever heard of the song, “Blue Christmas?” Elvis Presley used to sing it. Its about a man who is feeling down because his loved one is not with him on Christmas. Hes pretty depressed, really, and thats how a lot of people feel during the holidays. They feel alone, afraid and uncared for.

Maybe you or someone you know is going through a “Blue Christmas.” Perhaps you have had a disappointment this year. A tornado… a flood? Maybe youve lost a job. Maybe a family member died or theres something else that just didnt turn out the way you had planned.

The truth is: We live in a sinful, fallen world. Things dont always happen the way we expect. But the miracle of Christmas is hope because when Jesus Christ comes into our lives, hope comes alive. We have hope because God is with us. He is good and He will never leave us. Jesus comes to live in our hearts and transform us, giving us strength for today and hope for tomorrow.

If your friend is depressed, this Christmas invite her or him over for some hot cider. Encourage them with the promise found in Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him.”