I want you to think about a person who is not walking with Christ. This may be a family member, a friend, a co-worker, or an acquaintance. Can’t think of anyone? Scroll through your phone, look through your Facebook friends, or Instagram followers until you find a person that may not be saved, or may be out of fellowship with Christ. Have you identified that person? Today’s gift is just for them. I wish I could insert their name and picture so that these words would be connected with their image. This gift is personal and it is important or should I say critically urgent.
This gift is extending an invitation.
Here are a few ideas for the gift of invitation.
1. Invite the person to a Christmas event.
Be intentional in selecting the event. Perhaps it is a children’s program, or a caroling concert. Maybe it is a candlelight service or a special Christmas experience. Whatever it is, begin praying for open doors that will plant the seed of salvation or water the seeds of faith. Our pastor reminded us on Sunday, sometimes the event is just a conduit to a conversation, a relationship, a situation that places the person on the path of purpose in Christ. But – it all depends on an invitation from YOU! Will you extend the invitation to the person you thought of?
2. Extend yourself.
Before you say, “I’m not an evangelist. I’m not the pastor or the minister. I don’t discuss religion. I need training. That makes me uncomfortable,” I have an answer for you. Having a conversation with someone that leads to salvation doesn’t have to follow any formula. It doesn’t have to be a profound theological dissertation. Extending yourself means that when someone asks you, “Why are you always so happy?” Or when they say, “You seem so different,” that you will explain the truth about what makes you different. A wise man used to tell me to explain the gospel simply with the words of an old song, “Jesus loves me/this I know/ for the Bible/ tells me so.” That person – whoever they are- needs you to be willing to share your “secret to success”. They need you to be willing to extend beyond your comfort level to share the Gospel in your own way. Are you ready? More importantly, are you willing?
3. Share your testimony.
Christmas-time brings family members and friends to our family gatherings that would not normally be there. Often times those gatherings lead to a bit of reminiscing. The words, “Oh, I remember when you used to …” used to make me cringe. But now, when I hear those words, that is like a whistle telling me to “INSERT TESTIMONY HERE”. Who I used to be and who I am today are two different people. I gladly share the journey in between. I always share that I still have my share of human struggles, but I tap into a heavenly source to be renewed daily. I share scripture as they have been applied in my life. Either they ask me more questions or they move on to the next family member with all deliberate speed. I’m ok with both. Have you shared your testimony with family members who are not saved or out of fellowship with Christ? Are you prepared? Are you willing?
Hearts are softened at Christmas time. People give more. People serve more. People smile more. But, this is the time of year when people are more depressed. More isolated. More lonely. More desperate. What do they need? Hope! Where will they find it? The truth is, they may not find it, unless you find them and give it. Give hope in an invitation, an extension of yourself, a testimony. Are you ready? Are you willing? Your yes could mean eternal life. Your no could mean eternal death.
Picture that person. Can you see the face? Hear the voice? I pray that the Spirit of God will set a fire in your heart for that person. That you will be moved beyond compassion to action! Will you share the gospel with this person for Christmas? The greatest gift that any of us can receive is salvation. You can give that to someone this year with a simple invitation.
Tell us about the person you are praying about reaching out to. Allow us to pray with you. Leave a comment below or on our prayer request page.
DO CHRISTMAS DIFFERENTLY! Give the Gift of Invitation!