Two weeks ago, I was at the hair salon chatting with my hairstylist while having a haircut. I was sharing with her what I recently learnt in our church at River and about other exciting happenings like the recent launch of the Christmas series in our River Podcast and Blog. As we went on chatting, she made a remark to me, “You talk about your church like it is your family.”
As I left the hair salon that day, I continued to think about her remark. Indeed, our church at River is family to me. This is my family of God where I have grown and matured as a disciple of Christ. And this exciting and meaningful journey of mine at River actually began with a Christmas tree. Yes, a Christmas tree.
Several years ago, my friend, a family member of someone at River, was requested to help the church to put up a Christmas tree. My friend roped me in to help her. And I did. So the two of us went to the church premises and together, put up the Christmas tree and decorated it as beautifully as we could.
At that time, I was already a believer of Christ. However, I had stopped going to church and any form of church activities for some time now.
That day of setting up the Christmas tree got me connected me with leaders and other members at River. They then invited me to their Sunday Service. I thought to myself, “Hmm, this is the Christmas season. It may not be a bad idea to go to church again.”
So, I went one week. Then another. And another. Until now. And into the future, I am certain.
That year, there were people at River who saw the Christmas season as an opportunity to lead someone home to God. And I am forever thankful for them.
As I look back now, as I put up the Christmas tree, God was setting me up to find my way back to Him. As I decorated the Christmas tree with ornaments, God was adorning me with His love, grace and anointing. As I placed festive lightings on the Christmas tree, God was reigniting the light of life inside of me.
That Christmas season, God led me home once again. Home with a personal relationship with my Eternal Father in Heaven. In His embrace, my days are lit with hope and strength even as I face the unknown.
That Christmas season, God led me home. Home in a church family. In this wonderful family of God, I experience love and nurture I never did in my natural family. And because of this, I am able to give that love and nurture to my natural family, which I never knew how to in the past.
Christmas is really about coming home to our Heavenly Father. Jesus left His home in heaven to be born as a Man on earth, so that through Him, we can have a relationship with God. Jesus left His home in heaven so that you and I can be home with God! How precious is the love of Jesus.
Jesus says in John 15:4 & 5 (AMP/ERV) –
4 Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you.
[Live in Me, and I will live in you.]…
5 I am the Vine, you are the branches.
Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit.
But separated from Me you won’t be able to do anything.
Truly, only when we are living in Jesus and connected to Jesus like a branch to the Vine, are we able to bear abundant and lasting fruit in our life.
This Christmas season, come home to receive God’s love and salvation. Come home to God Who has made us and Who loves us. Come home with a renewed gratitude and love for our Lord Jesus Christ.
This Christmas season, make a commitment to be planted in our church family at River. Let us grow together, stand together, and serve God together so that we lead many people home to God, and to our family at River.
Today, the Holy Spirit is showing me there are many, many people out there who are lost. Like I was years ago. These people may be doing well in life, but they are lost because they do not know the way to their loving Creator and Heavenly Father. The Holy Spirit is stirring me to seize this Christmas season to earnestly lead many people home to God. This is the reason God led me home to Him and to River that Christmas season years ago.
Yes, Holy Spirit, I respond in obedient action to what You are telling me today.
I pray you would also respond in obedience to what the Holy Spirit is saying to you today.
Let us pray together.
“Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that because of Jesus, I can be home with You having a personal relationship with You. Thank You for living in me, guiding and empowering me every day of my life. Use me, O God, to share the Christmas joy and hope, and show the people around me the way home to our Eternal Father. Use me to bring many lives into our church family at River that they may experience the love and warmth in this House. I love You, Father. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.”