The Live Simply Project 2014
If I read the Bible correctly, I see that the heart of God is with the poor. He is constantly reminding us to serve the underprivileged, to take care of orphans and widows, to be kind and generous to the poor. Get close to the poor and we get close to the heart of God.
During the season of Christmas is a great time to practice two key Biblical principles that will transform our lives: simplicity and generosity. When we simplify our lives we open ourselves up to the opportunities God brings our way to be generous. All around us we are bombarded with messages to buy more than we already have and yet, in truth, it would be adding more to the more than enough that is already ours. We have too much stuff.
Here’s the challenge in practical terms: Spend less on yourself this Christmas and give what you would have spent away to the poor. It’s not “buy less presents but more expensive presents.” The challenge is to buy less and spend less so we can give more. The approach is based out of Acts 1:8….”But you will receive power to be My witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth.”
Jerusalem is our home town, Judea is the surrounding community, Samaria is the place that could be distant or close to home but we’d not normally choose to go there. This is Jesus’ command for our lives and it’s not multiple choice. He expects us to be witnesses in each of these places. Live Simply is one vehicle to help us be obedient.
This year at The Park we’re going to be doing a couple of things to live more simply so that others might simply live:
1 We’re going to give away the entire offering on Christmas Eve Eve (7 p.m. Contemporary) and Christmas Eve (7 p.m. Traditional). We won’t keep a dime of it for ourselves.
2 Half of the giving to Live Simply will go to Haiti and Homes 4 Haiti through OMS (www.onemissionsociety.org). We send teams of volunteers and these dollars will help support their ministry through the purchase of supplies for the home to be built.
3 Half of the offering will go to Panther Backpacks (www.pantherbackpack.com), a program which provides
food to 200 Little Miami Schools children over the weekends.
The point is not so much where the dollars go but that we step back, take a good look at how we’ve been blessed and decide to engage our lives in serving the poor.
We’re going to change lives this Christmas. How will you choose to be part of it?