Jump Start # 2249
Luke 15:24 “For this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.”
Some Housekeeping Items and News Items:
First, with the holidays, there will not be a Jump Start on Monday or Tuesday next week.
Second,our series on Job, “Mondays with Job” is now completed. We have put those together in our latest Jump Start book. We now have more than 20 different Jump Start books available. If you would like a copy of the Mondays with Job, send me an email (Rogshouse@aol.com). Include your MAILING ADDRESS. These are free.
Third,for the first time we are also making available a brand new class book on Job. Our Mondays with Job came from a few of those studies. It is a thirteen week study entitled, “Life Lessons from Job.” We have a master copy and also a student copy. The student copy is what the class received and it has blanks to be filled in. The master copy already has the blanks filled. We are not a publishing house and cannot supply great quantities of these to each person. However, with a master copy and student copy you can make your own copies for class use. These are free as well. Just send me an email and include your MAILING ADDRESS.
Now, to our verse today. The prodigal came home and there was a time for celebration. There was reason for much joy and happiness. Good news has finally come from what seemed to be a nightmare and much disappointment. This holiday season, with friends and family gathered, we have much to celebrate. Here are four simple reminders:
Be THANKFUL. God has been good to us. The year is nearly over. Many plans are being shaped for the coming year. God needs to be in all of this. It is the thankful heart that counts blessings, is appreciative and takes care of what has been given to him. Be thankful for family. Be thankful for forgiveness. Be thankful for prayers answered. Be thankful for hope. Be thankful for God’s patience. Be thankful for God’s word. Be thankful for God’s people. Say it. Show it. Mean it.
Be THOUGHTFUL. This holiday season brings out the best in folks. People tend to be more generous during this season. Be thoughtful of others. Be thoughtful of those who are less blessed. Be thoughtful of those who are going through some hard times. Be thoughtful of those who are lonely and sad at this season. With your words, be thoughtful. Remember James’ instructions, be slow to speak and quick to hear. Not everything needs to be said. What you hear doesn’t always need to be repeated. The flow of gossip stops when we stop sharing things that we shouldn’t be talking about. Choose your words wisely. It’s great to get into discussions with others, but keep calm, remain Biblical, and be kind. That will work much better than a shouting match.
Be a LIGHT SHINNER. Shine that Gospel light. Be an influence for good. Set the example before the little ones as well as the big ones. Our words is one way. Our actions are another way. Many only think about Jesus this time of year. Use that to build bridges to the Lord. Be helpful around the house. Be the one who jumps up and helps others. Be glad to see others. Be gracious.
Be STRONG. Families, the rush of holidays, the pressures, the have-to-do lists can get even the best among us. Breathe. See the big picture and don’t fret if your dinning room table isn’t perfect like in the magazines. Sometimes at the holidays our patience is tested. Be STRONG. Some want to leave God out, be STRONG. Use your time off from work to enjoy family but also to it catch up on some good reading. Map out what books of the Bible you want to read next. Take a few minutes to write a card to thank your shepherds for all that they do. While many of us have several days off from work, most of the preachers will still be working. There are classes to be taught, bulletins to be written, and sermons to be preached. That doesn’t stop, even with the holidays. Be mindful of what your preacher does and realize that he doesn’t get holidays off like you do. Preachers do not get any holidays off unless they use one of their vacations. That’s just the way things are and maybe in the coming year some adjustments can be made. But be STRONG. Don’t be skipping worship because family is in or because it’s holiday season. Set the example. Shine your light. Bring family with you and then use the occasion to help them get closer to the Lord.
Celebrations. Wonderful times. Enjoy.