Christmas Celebrations

25th December

For this is how God loved the world. He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”

John 3:16

Millions of people across the world, Christians and non-Christians alike, will celebrate the 25th of December, Christmas day. For some it is just a family day where presents can be exchanged, food enjoyed and good times had. For others, Christmas has an even deeper meaning, that goes beyond the joy of one day. Although, as with birthdays, Christmas represents a time to remember the birth of our dear Saviour, Jesus Christ. However, the joy of His birth is not and should not be limited to just one day. What Jesus did, in coming to this earth in the form of a human more than 2000 years ago, changes our destiny, our now and our eternity. He came so that we would not perish, but receive eternal life with Him. Of course when we physically die, that is not the end. We live on. Some will devastatingly live on in eternal death and separation from love and light but for those who accept Jesus’ life giving salvation, they will live on with Him eternally, in joy, love and peace.

This Christmas, as you remember Jesus’ birth and life in your celebrations, take a moment to think about your own eternal destiny. You have a chance now to accept His free gift of salvation. It is never too late! And for those who have already accepted it, rejoice that your name is written in the book of life!

Your Purpose

3rd November

He has saved us and called us to a holy life – not because of anything we have but because of His own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time..”

2 Timothy 1:9

Now that we have found the treasure of salvation or rather Christ found us, what do we do with it? ‘Salvation is only the beginning for Christians as we were saved to do good works in the name of Jesus. The promise of eternity and living free from the bondage of sin is a wonderful gift of salvation’1. Yet it is just the beginning. You were saved for a reason. You have a purpose and a destiny.

There is a wonderful scene in the hit film Hugo, where the main character, a boy named Hugo, is explaining to his friend the comparisons between machines and humans. He says that ‘everything has a purpose, even machines. Clocks tell the time and trains take you places; they do what they are meant to do. Maybe that’s why broken machines make me (Hugo) so sad. They have lost their purpose. Humans are the same. If you loose your purpose it’s like your broken….Think of machines, they never come with extra parts, they come with exactly what they need. I think of the world, and I know that I am not an extra part. There is some reason why I am here.’2 Isn’t it the same with our salvation. We are not saved to just live happy lives or to join an elitist club. We are saved because we have a purpose. We called according to the purpose we have in Him. You are not just a number, or as Hugo says, ‘an extra part’. You are part of the wonderful body of Christ and you play an important and integral part in His Kingdom. Rejoice in who you are! Find your purpose!

2Hugo: 2011

The Path Of Peace

11th December

You will tell His people how to find salvation through forgiveness of their sins. Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from Heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.

Luke 1:71-79

Zechariah’s prophecy over John the Baptist remains, even to this day, a wonderful reminder of John’s role in preparing the way for the Christ, but also stands as a declaration of who Jesus was and what He came to do.

Through John the Baptist’s declaration many people did believe in Jesus as the Messiah. He boldly declared that Jesus had come to take away their sins and that through His life, may people would be saved. John the Baptist’s role in preparing the way for Jesus, was even prophesied before he was born when the angel Gabriel came to John’s father, Zechariah, whilst he was in the temple fulfilling his duties as a priest. Gabriel declared to Zechariah that John would “turn many Israelites to the Lord their God…..He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord.”

As John grew older he did just that. He declared that Jesus was truly the Lamb of God, able to take the sins of the world and in so doing, lead people to the path of peace and out of the shadows of death and darkness.

That same message is still preached across the world today and is the hope and joy that we hold on to. Jesus did come to save us from our sins and to lead us out of darkness, into the path of peace and light. His word lives on forever. May we accept His generous love and kindness and hold on to the hope of His salvation.

The Samaria Revival

2nd September

Crowds listened intently to Philip because they were eager to hear his message and see the miraculous signs he did. ……When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that the people of Samaria had accepted God’s message, they sent Peter and John there. As soon as they arrived, they prayed for these new believers to receive the Holy Spirit.

Acts 8:6,14-15

Jesus’ actions on the day when He ministered to the Samaritan woman, changed Samaria’s identity forever; not just at the time but even years later. If we look back to Jesus’ last words just before His ascension in Acts 1:8, we read the following words….“And you will be my witnesses telling people about me everywhere – in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, IN SAMARIA, and to the ends of the earth.” This prophetic statement about Samaria came to fruition in Acts 8.

Although it is not stated in the text, it can be concluded that Jesus had already scattered the seeds of salvation on that day when He revealed Himself to the Samaritan woman and her fellow villagers. Because of the word Jesus spoke, years later, people were still receiving His salvation. The Samaritans were eager to hear Philip’s message about Jesus and many believed and received the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus, in His grace, has poured out to us His children, the gift of salvation and the gift of the Holy Spirit. This was never a gift to be hidden but shared with the world. For in sharing His gift, others can also receive it too. The power of one life changed can ultimately affect a whole city. If we understand that, it will change the way we share our gift with people and help us to realise the value of the people we are sharing it with. Just as one life changed a whole town in Samaria, so can one life make a difference today.