The New Year provides us with a great time to reflect on the past events of 2014 and to look forward to all of the gospel opportunities of 2015. One thing we can do to analyze the past and anticipate the future is to ask ourselves some questions. This will help us learn from our past actions and motivate us for future change. Asking thought-provoking, reflective questions is not intended to produce guilt or shame, but to help us see how we have grown spiritually, and to see how we can practically improve in the New Year.
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Consider the following questions regarding your evangelism in 2014, and how you can grow in 2015:
Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year for many, but it’s also one of the busiest. More and more, it seems that if there’s one thing we can observe about the season, it’s that people are on a mission. Starting with the Black Friday doorbuster deals, to the detailed decorating, to the difficulty of finding an even uglier sweater than last year, it’s a holly-jolly and hustle-bustle Christmas.
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Even though the holidays can be hectic, the busyness of Christmas can remind us that we’re on an even greater mission. Christmas is about the mission of God and the commission of Christ. Jesus was sent by the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit to save sinners, and Jesus has sent us to be his witnesses as we share the gospel with sinners.
Beyond the awesome break from school and the long-awaited Christmas presents, we are reminded of Jesus’ presence on earth—how He came from Heaven in the form of a man to save mankind. It’s what we call the incarnation: how God the Son took to himself a human nature. And because of the incarnation, Christ calls us to be incarnational. Jesus was sent so He could send us.
The God Who Came
“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15).
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“Christ came.” That’s the message of Christmas. Through the incarnation, Jesus came into the world as an infant and he grew up within a real and specific time, place, and culture—the world of the first century Jewish culture. As Pastor Greg writes,
Jesus left heaven, lived our life, and died our death. He has walked in your shoes—and then some. He faced physical limitations. He felt real pain. It was actual blood coursing through His veins. Yet He was deity. He was God in human form. Jesus did not become identical to us, but He did become identified with us.
The Messiah was on a mission. The Savior was sent. And the Savior did everything He was sent to do. Jesus is the greatest cross-cultural missionary of all time, having left the glory of heaven to enter our world. He emptied himself and took the form of a servant. “And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:6-8).
The God Who Sends
“As you sent Me into the world, so I have sent them into the world” (John 17:18).