It’s Christmas week, 2015. I wish I could adequately say, “Merry Christmas” to you – the readers who’ve graciously taken the time to read this website during the first six months of its existence. In a feeble attempt to do so, here’s my 2015 Christmas list for all Christian leaders, including laypersons and pastors who faithfully serve God today:
- Increased passion for God. The Lord keeps teaching me about Himself, first by showing me how little I truly long for Him, but then loving me enough to create a yearning in my heart to know Him better. I want all of us to long for Him more.
- Salvation of loved ones. Most of us would sacrifice everything for this gift. I wish for all of us (including me, as I pray for my mother, my sister, and others to turn to Christ) that God might grant the gift of life to those we love.
- Confession and freedom from besetting sin. Too many believers will celebrate Christmas this year while harboring hidden sin in their life. When that’s happening, they can only go through the motions of celebrating life in Jesus.
- God-centered “glue” for marriages and families. Regardless of how strong our marriage may be, all of us are susceptible to the arrows of Satan, the great divider. I want every Christian couple and family to have the glue to block the enemy.
- A few genuine friends for the journey. Loneliness is an undeniably real issue for many church leaders. If you’re lonely today, I’d be honored, if it were possible, to give you some faithful believing friends.
- Trust to take the next step in His plan. I don’t know what God wants from you today, but seldom does He allow us to settle into mediocrity and stagnation. A gift of faith will give you courage to take the next step regardless of where it leads.
- A glimmer of hope in life and ministry. In the dark world of the first-century Roman Empire, God lit up a star to announce the birth of His Son. I want Him to grant you a similar gift – a flicker of light when everything around you looks discouraging and dark.
- Opportunity to serve in a mission setting. Whether it’s a two-week trip or a long-term commitment in North America or around the world, I wish each of you could take Jesus to a place where His name is not known. Your life will never be the same.
- The gift of brokenness. I realize this “gift” seems odd. Nevertheless, we often most experience God’s power when we’re willing to be broken under His loving hand. In the seemingly upside-down world of God’s grace, we lead as we serve, trust as we grieve, win as we lose, and gain strength as we're weakened.
- Victory to the end. No Christian leader ends his or her life and ministry well by accident. I pray you will experience the gift of moment-by-moment, hour-by-hour, day-to-day victory over Jesus today and tomorrow. Only by one victory at a time will you experience victory in the end.
What other gifts would you want added to this list?