BELIZE JOURNAL, PT. 2: Like the Belizean people in general, our churches have different pasts. But we have the same future. BAEC is now implementing changes so we may better engage together in that future. Because we share the same Bible to guide us. We share the same Lord to lead us. In our Christmas greetings we encourage all Belizeans to consider that, despite the undeniable problems our nation faces, God provides answers. He invites us to cooperate with Him.
Many of the answers begin in the home. During this season God wants us all to pay especial attention to members of our family. Some of them may feel estranged. Don’t let them spend Christmas that way. If reconciliation is needed, God provides a way for it to happen if you seek it. Take the initiative. God will give you grace. Don’t just send Christmas greetings to them. Surprise them with a phone call or a visit. Show them you care. Admit any wrong you’ve done and ask forgiveness. You may be surprised too. They may be willing to forgive and be forgiven and let bygones be bygones.
But if they do bring up an issue, be willing to pray with them for God’s guidance. Then gently address the issue one point at a time. Aim toward understanding what has been misunderstood. Forgive what needs to be forgiven. No relationship can survive without plenty of forgiveness!
In the same way, many of you may feel estranged from Father God and His family. He wants you back. He wants to forgive every way you’ve gone wrong. He wants to guide you in His way that leads to abundant life. He wants you to forgive as you have been forgiven. He wants you to reconcile with His children. He wants you to come home to church to celebrate the birthday of His Son. For He so loved you–and all of us–that He gave His only Son to suffer in our place. On the cross He took away our sins, and gave us His goodness forever. It’s a free gift!
He also gave His Holy Spirit to fill us with power to overcome every temptation, trial and trouble. He promises to work it all to the good, if we only let Him. Don’t let the enemy of your soul lure you away from this opportunity to celebrate His birthday with your family and His family. Give up your guns. Give up your grudges. Give up your grievances. Join God’s party of praise. The more we know Him the more we have to praise Him for!
Together we can find His way to overcome every difficulty in our families, our churches and our nation. Let’s make 2015 a turnaround year. That is the truly Happy New Year we wish and pray for all of us. It can happen. We can do it, one person at a time, one step at a time. Will you take the first step?
Actually, God has already taken the first step. He has given His Son to you. Have you received Him? Jesus wants to take His rightful place as the loving Lord of your life. What will you do with this Christmas gift? We encourage you to receive this gift, and share His goodness with others. Have a truly merry Christmas. And beyond these Christmas greetings, we offer our prayers for 2015. May God give you new visions and new ventures in the coming New Year!
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