As we are preparing for this Christmas season, I hope that we do not forget why we have this season to begin with. Without Jesus Christ, we would not have this season (or many other things for that matter). I am reminded of the disciples, and the fact that they were asked to give up all they had to follow Christ. They were average, just like most of us. They most likely worked every day, did what was requested of them, and did their own thing. Yet when Christ came to them and offered them a new life, they took Him up on that offer.
Later He told them that they were to go to all the world and share the “good news.” (We often refer to this as the Great Commission – read that story in Mt. 26:16-20). I often wonder what they would do if they lived today. You see, there seems to have been a different attitude all together. Rather than an attitude of comfort, they had an attitude of change. Rather than an attitude of “it will get done” they had an attitude of “this will get done because I am on the job!” I wonder what they would do today in 2012?
I believe that the reason the early church had such good success in sharing the GOSPEL was because they had a sense of urgency!
They did not wait for others to do the work.
Our churches today (specifically in 2012 USA) have developed this particular format for “church.” It is not uncommon to see churches with a worship set (order of service) and everything all lined up. We have “pre-packaged” our church services to have a specific outcome. I believe the disciples would find this to be limiting God. The reason they had a good success rate was because they:
1.Got personally and physically involved: they did not want to take a chance on missing what God was going to do. So they actively took a part of telling others! They realized the message of hope and love and grace was urgent! (DO WE?)
2.Left their comfort zone: I often hear of people today who do not help because they do not have time, money or resources. News flash-the disciples left EVERYTHING to follow Christ! Do you honestly think God will not take care of your needs? (Philippians 4:19)
3.Realized the need: The second coming of Christ is happening! They believed it would come in their life time (remember they are dead now!) They lived knowing HE would come back in their lifetime so every day was lived with this sense of urgency. Do we live with this sense of urgency today America?
4.Were ready for the Holy Spirit to work: They knew that the prophet Joel had seen the Holy Spirit poured out –which we see actually came true in Acts 2 during Pentecost. They had passion and desire for the Holy Spirit to be poured out on people all over the world. DO WE???
If only we could live like they did. How Christmas would be radically different if their mindset was lived out today. Rather than Christmas being about Santa, money, sales, gifts, food, it would be used as an opportunity to share the good news!
My prayer is that Christians all over America would grasp the true meaning of Christmas and follow the urgent example of the disciples.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
– Matthew 28:16-20