This is it. The final day of the 12 Days of Christmas Challenge.
As you go to bed tonight the Challenge is over. You can enjoy your Christmas tomorrow without having to think about the Challenge any more.
Except… that’s not true at all. You see this is where the Challenge really STARTS!
I think just about everyone who has taken part in the Challenge has begun to grasp the truth of what it means to their lives – and the truth is that the challenge never ends.
This Challenge was based on the idea that God is calling us to be different. He wants us to be people whose lives are set apart for Him.
At different times in the bible we are called ‘slaves of Christ‘ ‘servants of Christ Jesus‘ ‘ambassadors‘ ‘children of God‘ and a myriad of different things which all point to one truth: we are not who we were.
We are new creations, no longer citizens of this world for now our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20). We are not bound to the desires and patterns of this world. We are not bound to live by its rules regarding what we should chase after or desire. We are not here to look only to ourselves and our own well being and we are certainly not obliged to do what seems ‘normal’ to other people.
We are God’s ambassadors here on earth and our job is to represent the Kingdom of God in the best way we can to the best of our abilities at all times.
There are words and phrases that we use like ‘sacrifice’ and ‘dying to self’ or even ‘taking up your cross’ which shouldn’t be things we only pay lip service to but rather should be central to our way of living every day.
This Challenge has been about learning what it is like to get up every day and not only tell God that you want to serve Him that day but to look for every chance to find ways to do so. It’s about not just telling God that you will do whatever He asks but actively listening to His response – and then acting on it.
This Challenge has been about doing what we all know we should be doing – and that’s a challenge that never ends.
Can you now go back to the way you were? Can you go back to a place where you don’t listen to God any more and don’t live the kind of life that He’s calling us all to live?
Can you go back?
I read Acts chapter 3 the other day and in it the Apostle Peter does something quite amazing. A man asks him for money and he responds:
“Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Acts 3:6 (NIV)
What’s the amazing part there? It’s not that he heals the man, in the power of the Holy Spirit and the will of God, anyone can do that. What’s amazing is the 7 words in the middle: “…but what I have I give you…”
Those seven words are world changing.
God is not necessarily calling us to give money to every person we see, He’s calling us to give what we have.
What we have been discovering during the Challenge is that ‘what we have’ can be time, it can be our pride, it can be a physical ability, it can be an excess of something, it can be money – it can be lots of things. What is important is that we say “what I have I give you”.
Will you keep saying that every day? Will you keep saying that in every situation, even the hard ones?
Does it end here for you or is this just the beginning? Was this just a little exercise you did or is this the start of a new chapter in your walk with Christ?
Thank you for getting involved. I hope and pray that you have a very merry Christmas and that your life will be changed for the better forever because of what you’ve done over the last 12 days.
Merry Christmas and God bless,