2 Peter 1:4-8(NIV)
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Yesterday I had the blessing of reuniting with the team I traveled with to South Africa. What joy to see their faces and to relive some of the stories and pictures from our trip serving our Lord and Savior. We saw ourselves as blessed by God, a great God who opened the door, providing each of us an opportunity to go and serve his children in South Africa. We were each called to serve in different ways, but each of us took the opportunity he offered us, our eyes fixed upon his lovely face. We trusted that God would provide for us while we were there, provide for our loved ones we left at home, and provide for us when we returned.
What a beautiful picture of a group of Christ Followers who took our faith, our love for Christ and children, and persevered through an emotional journey. A journey in which we each allowed God to transform our hearts while we were there. Almost like God had created an empty space within our hearts the he desired be filled with a love for South African children and adults. He took our hearts and grew them bigger for both people and himself.
I believe each one of us came away from the journey with a new found sense of who God created us to be. A new vision of the greatness of God and his faithfulness and love. Many of us have since questioned our current purpose in life, others of us reevaluating what God would have us do with our newly transformed minds and hearts, but each one of us came away with a deeper new found faith. We added to our faith, but I believe he is challenging us to go deeper, to rely more completely upon him, and to confidently proclaim his love and affection for each person he so lovingly created.
When was the last time you turned a blessing into an opportunity to share God’s love? I believe each time God provides for us and blesses us, he awaits with eager anticipation for us to turn around and praise him, sharing the joy and him with those around us. For us to share not only with other believers, but with non believers alike. When we don’t, I think God is saddened by our lack of rejoicing in him. Just like Jesus was saddened when he healed the ten lepers and only one came back praising God in a loud voice. (Luke 17:12-19) I believe each blessing in our life needs to bring praise to God. We are not to hide our light, nor our joy, under a bushel, but be a proclaimer of God’s faithfulness, a shinning beacon of hope to our families and communities. I challenge you today to share God’s love, blessings, and faithfulness towards you with another person today. Who do you know who needs a beacon of hope this Christmas?