The CCCC staff and I think a lot about how we can support you in your ministry. We know how dedicated you are and what great work you are doing. This Christmas, we want to remember God’s Christmas gift to us—the peace of Christ—and share a suggestion that we hope will keep you encouraged throughout the new year.
When the angels announced the birth of Jesus and declared peace on earth, that peace was not just about life on earth. Paul explained that “Since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” For those who believe, peace on earth includes peace with God! What the angels declared, Jesus established as he journeyed from the manger to the cross…and beyond to his heavenly throne.
I encourage you to embrace what it means to be at peace with God because it includes having the confidence of knowing that the God who created the universe is the God who is for you, who called you to ministry, and who equips you to serve. Given these truths, like Paul, we conclude, “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” We do not labour in ministry solely on our own strength. Christ’s peace means that God is with us and is our ultimate source of strength.
There are many moments—and sometimes even seasons—of both achievement and challenge. In every moment and through every season, I encourage you with Paul’s words, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Tapping into the strength that comes with the peace of Christ gives us what we need to persevere in our good deeds. Whether it’s a great day or a tough day, we can confidently press on. This is exactly what Jesus meant when he said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
So, how do we “take heart?” I’ve found that one of the most personally encouraging things I can do to take heart is to encourage someone else in some way. When I build someone else up, I am built up too. The biblical proverb is true in my experience, and I’m sure it is in yours too. “Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” And when we encourage others in ministry, we’re following the instruction in Hebrews which tells us to, “Consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”
One way we can spur one another on is by using the CCCC online community called The Green. This is a digital version of a village green where people gather together. I’ve just started a topic in The Green called “Peace through Encouragement” and have posted some uplifting comments. You can join this conversation to encourage others and to be encouraged by them. We can do what Paul told the Thessalonians to do, to “encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” Let’s create a collection of encouraging words to build each other up and make The Green a place where any of us can go to be encouraged and strengthened any time we want.
As we experience the peace that is ours through Jesus Christ and as we feel the support of each other through the encouraging words we share on The Green, may we all be strengthened and emboldened in ministry this Christmas season…and beyond.
From all of us at CCCC, Merry Christmas to you. God Bless!