ONE PERSON - December 30, 2022

Friday, December 30th

Advent Devotional #34 written by Pastor Shawn Thornton




To read today: Philippians 1:3-11


I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy.

Philippians 1:3-4

Your life will be the same as it is today one year from now except for the books you read, podcasts you listen to, decisions you make, and the people you connect with.

Life really comes down to our choices, commitments, and connections.

Think through your past. Do you remember a teacher, coach, Sunday school teacher, pastor, family member, mentor, or friend who deeply impacted your life? Maybe they said something to you. Maybe they gave something to you. Maybe they did something for you. It impacted your life by bringing you from that day to this day.

For example, think about the person who led you to faith in Christ. Without their impact on your decision to follow Jesus, how different would your life be today? Think about the people that impacted who you married. Maybe a friend was the one who initially introduced you to your spouse. Consider the person who gave you a chance to land your dream job. You were on the receiving end of an incredible blessing.

God has someone or someones He wants you to impact this year.

Paul was a connector and a “networker” before there ever was such a term. Just reading his letter to the Romans, we learn how close he was with the church in Rome. (Romans 16) Paul cried with the pastors from Ephesus. (Acts 20:36-38) That’s the power of impacting a people’s lives.

All your experiences, challenges, and opportunities you have lived through up to this point are an opportunity from God to help others. The church’s greatest opportunity is also its greatest challenge to live out Jesus’ call to love one another. No amount of praying, planning, or performing matters this year if we fail to focus those energies on God and others. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians we can speak eloquently, have faith abundantly, sacrifice selflessly, and give generously, but if we do it without love, it’s nothing. (Think of Paul’s words in Philippians 3:8 of “garbage.”)

One Person

Think of someone this year you can make your “one.”

Whom can you pray for this year?

Whom can you share the Gospel with?

Whom can you help?

Whom can you invite to church?

Whom can you visit with?

Whom can you start a small group with?

Whom can you serve?

Where can you start? Start by praying. Paul tells us, “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,” (Philippians 1:9) We can look for opportunities to help. “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)

Try theses three steps to start:

Pray for the person.

Love on them in a practical way.

Invite them into your life, rhythms, and routines.

Ask yourself, “What can I do to show the love of Jesus in a practical way?”

Here are a few ideas to start praying about this year:

Pray for a loved one who is sick.

Pray for someone who is far from God.

Pray for someone to be saved.

Pray for someone who needs a job.

Pray for an adult child far from God.

Pray for an unbelieving spouse.

Pray for your boss.

Pray for your coworker.

Pray for your neighbor.

Today: Who has God brought to mind as your “person for the year?” Write down their name in your journal or on a card. Keep the card in a place you will see on a regular basis to pray for, love on, and invest in this year. Discover how you can get involved this year at Calvary to discover your “one.” https://calvarywestlake.org/love/

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