Ministry Today – Serving and empowering church leaders

Reuters-Newtown-memorial-site-Christmas-trees-photog-Shannon-StapletonOur hearts continue to grieve over the horrific evil that was unleashed against precious, helpless children last week at an elementary school in Connecticut. In the midst of the pain we also remember that hope rises and prevails over darkness through the Advent of God’s eternal Son.

There are many questions. Answers are complex and elusive. As we try to process such unspeakable atrocities, trying to make sense of the senseless, trying to reason out the irrational, let’s walk through this against the backdrop of what we do know. Here is what we know with certainty.

Sin always brings tragic consequences. The Bible is clear that all rebellion against God will exact payments. “The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). No matter how troubled the shooter was, there is no way to begin to understand such events without an acknowledgement of sin, evil, and the activity of the devil and his minions. Jesus called the devil “the thief” and said his intent against humanity is to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10).

Thanks be to God, sin and death have been conquered. Here’s the rest of the story: “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”(Rom. 6:23). “I am come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John. 10:10). This is indeed Good News.

We are to minister to the brokenhearted. Christians are always the first responders in crisis. That is as it should be. We are called to “weep with those who weep” (Rom. 12:15). “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2, NIV).

The Advent of God’s Son shouts that light wins over darkness. Hope rises and prevails over darkness through the coming of Christ. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. ... So the Word became human and made His home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen His glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son” (John 1:5, 14).

Believers are to live in the light. We are to renounce any identification with a culture that is increasingly fixated with blood, violence and death. Tragically, most people have chosen to reject the light—the very Light of the world whose advent we celebrate. “And this is the condemnation, that light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19). Bring every dark thing into His light! “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light” (Eph. 5:8).

We are called to spread the light. “Our Savior, Jesus Christ ... has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Tim. 1:10). Especially this year, we are to be carriers of His light to everyone everywhere. Wherever you go throughout the holidays, bring His light and life with you.

There are many grief-stricken parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters this Christmas in Newtown, Conn. And millions more have their own stories of loss that weighs down their hearts, especially at this season. For all who mourn, the advent of Jesus into the world is the great star of hope that bursts in dramatic relief on a dark canvass. God broke in on our lives—with all its sorrows, pain and death. Jesus is our Emmauel—God with us. God with us. God with us.

God with us means He is also God for us. He’s in your corner. “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart” (Psa. 34:18). He is there. He weeps too. And one day, “God will wipe away every tear from our eyes” (Rom. 21:4).

Leaders are readers! Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Ministry Today, Charisma and SpiritLed Woman all for $24. YES - I'm a leader!

Ministry Today Subscription Special - Subscribe to Ministry Today magazine today and get 12 issues (2 full years) plus Amplified Leadership, a free leadership book for only $24.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
  • Discouragement can be a serious struggle.

    Guard Your Spirit Against These 4 Crippling Attacks

    Are you struggling this Valentine's Day with one of these discouraging issues?

  • Some of the toughest lessons reap the greatest rewards.

    10 Tough Lessons Every Pastor Should Remember in Ground-Shaking Trials

    One is that your suffering may turn out to be the highest compliment the Father ever gave you.

  • Why Many Christians Misunderstand This Crucial Leadership Trait

    Great leadership doesn't start with a great education, although that is incredibly valuable. ...

  • Worship leaders, keep your team's attitude in check.

    This Can Quickly Erode a Worship Team's Culture

    God has given us talent and He calls for excellence, but excellence with this is not honoring ...

  • Start a Wildfire of Spiritual Growth in Your Church

    Start a Wildfire of Spiritual Growth in Your Church

    Watch how God can take one spark and turn it into a wildfire that impacts your ministry, your community and even future generations.

  • Your Source of Unlimited Kingdom Energy and Power

    Jesus said that we can do greater works than He did and that He will do whatever we ask in His Name.

  • What reasons can you think of that leaders might not choose to delegate authority?

    7 Reasons Some Leaders Dump Delegation

    These could have a lot to do with stalled growth and low team morale.

  • A 'What's in it for me?' mentality could bring your church down.

    The Mentality That May Be Killing Your Church

    And we wonder why so many congregations are stagnated, plateaued or declining.

  • These seven responses can get you on the right track.

    Responding Like Jesus When Your Church Kicks You Out

    It's a pain that many in the ministry have felt at least once and maybe more.

Use Desktop Layout
Ministry Today Magazine — Serving and empowering church leaders