By Don Gentry
Christmas is such an amazing time to bring HOPE to a HOPELESS world.
There is a passage of scripture that I love when I think about the word hope.
“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Emmanuel” (which means “God with us”).
Christianity is set apart in this world because our God came to live among us and to show us His love. Christ’s life is the epitome of hope.
If we draw from his example we can see all kinds of very practical ways that we could spread hope to those around us. If we say we are a Christian, then that means we are a Christ follower, and that we means we do what He did.
Christ gave himself up for us. I know that we are inundated with opportunities to give. Choosing which charity we should give to can actually cause us to not give at all. As a family you could choose a neighbor, your child’s classmate, a co-worker that you know is struggling financially and help them with whatever they need.
Or you could pick an organization that you know is making a difference in the world and bless them with some financial assistance. We also have an amazing opportunity called Hope LKN. You can choose to give right here and 100% of your donation goes back into some incredible organizations doing a great work here in the Lake Norman Area.
Jesus said, “I did not come to be served but to serve!” There are so many ways to serve others. You could choose to volunteer at a local shelter, a food pantry, a nursing home, your local church. Here at Journey, you could volunteer to serve at Room in the Inn (RITI). So many people feel lonely and isolated at this time of year that your simple act of service could provide such an incredible joy. Don’t underestimate the value of serving others!
Jesus gives us another very practical way to bring hope to others. He gave us the instruction to forgive others as He has forgiven us. Take a quick heart check. Are you holding on to any grievances, or bitterness? Is there someone that you need to forgive? I have met many Christians who justify a lot of bitterness, anger and un-forgiveness.
As you think through the act of forgiving others, continue to remember Christ’s example. He didn’t wait for us to ask for forgiveness, he offered it in love long before we ever received it. Maybe the other person doesn’t deserve your forgiveness, but when we think about it, do we really deserve the forgiveness that Christ offers to us?
Emmanuel, God with us! YOU have the ability to be an example of Emmanuel this Christmas season. What a great opportunity to share with others the kind of hope God being with us can bring!