God has built certain RHYTHMS into our lives so that we come face to face with our frailty and God’s sufficiency. He graciously draws our attention to the weakness in our lives so that we will look to him for strength. Think about the normal patterns of life that point to our need for renewal.
60 to 100 heartbeats a minute
12 to 20 breaths a minute
2 to 3 meals per day
The morning and evening cycle of activity and rest
The weekly cycle of work and Sabbath
The monthly cycle of the moon that grows and fades
The yearly seasons of Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter
Each of these RHYTHMS remind us of our need for REST, RENEWAL, and REFRESHMENT. It’s a RENEWAL that can only be found in the life-giving fountain of God, through the Scripture and through the Spirit.
It is also a RENEWAL that has a PURPOSE: the purpose of REFRESHING the PEOPLE around you - first to your church family, and then to the world.
Paul emphasizes that the RENEWAL we enjoy is not PRIMARILY for us. Rather, this renewal is meant to point to the GLORY of God and to BLESS the world around us. Our daily REFRESHEMENT from God is meant to be the source of REFRESHMENT to others. Paul says, “So death is at work in us, but life in you” (2 Corinthians 4:12). That means that God intends to RENEW you each day for the PURPOSE of spending it again for the sake of his glory. And when we do this, “grace extends to more and more people so that it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God” (2 Corinthians 4:15).
Did you catch that?
The more we expend our lives in service to God, the more grace is extended to the world, and the more thanksgiving grows to the glory of God!
I don’t know about you, but that is EXCITING!
That is worth the INVESTMENT of life and energy!
But how does that play out practically? What are some tangible ways we can BLESS the world around us? How can we be a CONDUIT of the LIFE-GIVING refreshment of God? How can our lives EXTEND to more and more people and lead to increased thanksgiving to his glory?
B.L.E.S.S. your world in 2020
This year we would like to challenge you to PLUG into RENEWAL and then TAKE DELIBERATE steps to BLESS the WORLD around you. Let’s take that ACRONYMN and use it as a tool for the year.
B – Begin to pray
Identify the unsaved people that God has put in your path every day. Maybe they are people at work, at school, in your community, or part of your group (whatever that group is). Select at least one person in each circle of community that you will pray for on a weekly basis. Do this with your spouse, your kids, or a good friend. Use this as an opportunity to partner with God in this RENEWAL process.
Ask God to give you opportunities to deepen your relationship.
Ask God to open their heart to the gospel.
Ask God to provide meaningful opportunities for you to listen to their heart and take an interest in their life.
Ask God to help you be vulnerable as you share your faith journey with them.
L – Listen to their story
As you pray for the people in your circles, look for ways to engage them at a deeper level.
Ask about their family, their history, their hobbies, and their values.
Try not to be argumentative or confrontational. Remember that people in the world don’t have the power of the Spirit living inside. They are going make decisions that you don’t support.
Ask God to help you listen and take good notes.
As you continue your relationship, try to ask them about the things that they have mentioned before. Show them that you care about them as a person.
E – Eat with them
There’s something about a good meal that opens the door for conversation. It creates a context for informal sharing. It demonstrates intentionality. It eliminates the potential distractions of a work environment or a noisy neighborhood. It communicates a sincere desire to form a deeper connection. And it helps provide a window into someone’s life. Throughout the year, we are asking you to share a meal with the people you’ve chosen to pray for on a weekly basis. Pray that God might use a cup of coffee, or burger and fries to build a friendship and to communicate the love of Christ.
S – Serve them
God commands us to “love our neighbors as ourselves.” That means that we should look for ways to serve the people that God has put in our path. That could take many different forms. Ask God to open your eyes to the opportunities he gives to you every day.
Maybe you can help a classmate with their homework?
Maybe you can take someone’s shift at work?
Maybe you can pick up the garbage at the community park.
Maybe it is making a meal for someone who is sick?
When we serve the world around us, we become a portrait of the gospel. We show them Jesus who came, “not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
S – Share the Gospel
The BLESSING is not complete until they actually hear about the Savior. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). As God answers your prayer, and provides opportunities to Listen, Eat, and Serve the people in your circle, look for ways to Share the good news of salvation. One of the best ways to do this is by sharing your own faith story (i.e. your testimony). Let them know that God stepped in to fix your brokenness, and that he wants to rescue them in their brokenness as well. If you have never written your testimony before, then talk to one of the pastors, and we would love to help you in the process.