Worship fully. Spend less.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10 ESV)

It is Christmas season. While we may lament the encroachment of a hectic, rushed season that seems to come earlier and earlier, let us not forget that it is a time to be joyous for what those who believe. If we have been made a new creation through Jesus Christ, then we are to actively seek good for those around us, for His sake. I’ve just become aware of Advent Conspiracy, which is a way of putting Ephesians 2:10 into practice during this wonderful time of year.

If we really believe that we are not to be conformed to the image of this world, then we need to rethink how we celebrate Christmas. The idea that we spend less and worship fully is something we can all do well to put into practice.

Advertisements

The daily earthquake of abortion is right in your back yard

On Jan. 12, 2010, a deadly earthquake hit Haiti. It has been estimated that anywhere from 150,000 to maybe up to 500,000 people lost their lives in this tragedy. There is still much suffering as many who have survived have been left homeless. There are many ways you can help beyond being there physically. Among many choices you can consider I would offer Compassion International, which works with children and their families, and Food for the Hungry. I cannot strongly enough urge you to help in whatever way you can.

Since that day when the major quake hit Haiti, there has been an equally devastating human tragedy that has hit among the most defenseless people in our society. I am talking about abortion. There are some estimates that 3,000 babies in the United States and 130,000 babies worldwide are killed by abortion. John Piper puts it in perspective in his sermon on his observance of Sanctity of Human Life Sunday yesterday at Bethlehem Baptist Church.

There are about 3,000 abortions a day in the United States and about 130,000 a day worldwide. Which means that the horrific, gut-wrenching reality of Haiti’s earthquake on January 12 happens everyday in the abortion clinics of the world. And it is likely that if the dismemberment and bloodshed and helplessness of 130,000 dead babies a day received as much media coverage as the earthquake victims have—rightly have!—there would be the same outcry and outpouring of effort to end the slaughter and relieve the suffering.

Americans have been giving 1.6 million dollars an hour for Haiti Relief for the last ten days—a beautiful thing. I hope you are part of it. It is so unbelievably easy to give with phones and computers. But the funding and resistance to the suffering of the silent, hidden destruction of the unborn is not so easy. So the 3,000 babies who are crushed to death every day in America by the earthquake of abortion go largely unnoticed.

If you have been compelled to perhaps adopt a Haitian child because they have been left orphaned, how much more so should you consider adopting a child that may be aborted. Is there really any difference? The point is not that we should do less for situations like the one in Haiti, but rather that we should not ignore a far greater tragedy in our society. As I sat in my own church on Sunday I couldn’t help but feel disappointed that nothing was mentioned about this tragedy. It is much safer to be concerned about Haiti. I hope we can muster our courage to change that.

What have we received that God has not given?

Who\'s money?Like many, we will be receiving a check from the government that is a tax rebate. This “economic stimulus package” is supposed to help us revive our economy. There is always the urge to look at this as “free money” and then decide how we will spend it. For many, it will go towards debt relief, another sign of how we live in this country.

John Piper adds another option for us as we live our comfortable lives and also gives us pause about where our hearts may reside:

But do we really need this money? Very few do. We would have gotten on fine without it. If we didn’t know it was coming, we wouldn’t even be feeling the desires we are feeling right now.

May I encourage you to be radically creative and hedonistic. Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). And those crazy Macedonians in a “severe test of affliction” and in “extreme poverty” had an “abundance of joy” that overflowed in a “wealth of generosity.” They even begged Paul “for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints” (2 Corinthians 8:2-4). They really believed what Jesus said. Really.

Before the check comes dream of some person or ministry which might make much of Christ because you treasured him above your next home project.

Read the whole thing. And then think again about how much God is your treasure.