If not us, then who? If not now, then when? If not here, then where?
This Christmas season we are boldly going further than ever bringing a light to what God is doing around the world.
What is your favorite part of the Christmas season?
Last week we were encouraged to read the Bible and use Mike’s “Relax, Reflect, Respond” approach. How did it go? Did you end up doing it? If so, what insights did you gain?
This week Mike shared from Rosarito and the Tijuana Christian Mission (TCM) as part of our Christmas Beyond Borders series.
He said he loves Christmas lights because they remind him of how Jesus came to be the light of the world. Lights are bright. They guide us, warm us up, and shine everywhere. We know people like that, people who light up a room or have a contagious, sincere optimism.
Who do you know like this and what qualities do they have?
Have a volunteer read 2 Corinthians 11:14.
Mike shared the story of Sam Lord, a pirate from Barbados, who would lure sailors using lights to make the reefs look like the harbor. When the ships came in they would wreck on the reefs, and he would take everything. The Bible says even demons can disguise themselves as light. We need to be aware, praying for discernment as we shine our light for the Lord.
Share a time something you encountered seemed good but in reality was harmful. How would you approach that situation differently today?
Is there any thing in your life now that seems like a good thing but that you’re concerned may actually be harmful?
Have a volunteer read John 1:4-5.
Jesus, the light of the world, chases out the darkness. As believers, we are called to be the light and have the opportunity to expose the darkness and bring light to hard situations.
Mike shared the story of Sergio and Martha Gomez, who went to Tijuana to plant churches in 1965. When a cardboard box holding a baby was left outside their trailer, it became apparent they were there to help children too. They started an orphanage, and Eastside has had the opportunity to partner with them, helping them purchase 7 ½ acres of land and bring down over 400 people each year on Compassion Trips.
Have you ever been on a mission trip? If so, share about it with the group. If not, how might you benefit from going on one?
Have a volunteer read 1 Corinthians 15:58.
The Gomez’s have left a legacy of changed lives, and their daughter Sarah is now actively involved as well. They have been a safe place and home to numerous children. She talked the impact of child sponsorship: the children feel special, loved, and that someone cares for them.
Have you ever sponsored a child? If so, what impact has it had on you?
Have a volunteer read Philippians 2:12-18.
Paul shares how God works through us and that our job is to shine brightly to others in our life.
What is one area of life where you need to shine brightly? What hesitations do you have about being a light in that situation, and how can you take a step towards bringing light to that dark place?
Have a volunteer read Genesis 1:1-3.
The darker situation, the brighter our lives shine for Jesus. When kids are being abused, hearts are being broken, addicts are struggling to overcome, finances are tight, and health challenges abound, that’s when the light of Jesus shining through us is needed most.
We can be the light and offer hope every day. When we do, we help people see there is a way and that Jesus can’t be constrained. Our calling, our destiny, is to offer others hope as we go about our day.
Actually take the step towards being a light in a dark situation that you identified above.
Talk with a Compassion representative this coming Sunday to get more information about going on a Compassion Trip in the coming year. (Even if you’re not sure you can/want to go, just have a conversation.)
Pray about sponsoring a child.
Pair off and spend time praying for:
Courage to be a light to the people in your life.
Eyes to see the opportunities God puts before you, to bless and encourage others this Christmas season.
Whether you should sign up for a Compassion Trip and/or sponsor a child this month.