Happy Monday Friends! It’s a new week, new chances to be the change this world desperately needs. Every Monday I feel like the Holy Spirit has anointed my soul over the weekend. I do not share this to boast, but I share it to help inspire everyone to get out in your free time and make a difference, big or small. My wife and I volunteer in the children’s ministry at our great church. It’s such an incredible challenge every week to try to engage a group of 4-year-old’s with spirited personalities, and do our best to plant a lasting seed of love for Jesus that will take root deeply in their lives. Every Sunday that I volunteer inspires me and helps reinvigorate my soul for the hope of mankind.
Yesterday we also found a new place to volunteer. Once a month, P.A.C.K. Savannah, gathers as many volunteers as possible to pack food bags for children in the community whose families live below the poverty line. P.A.C.K. Savannah is an amazing organization. It is not the first time I have volunteered at a food outreach center, but this is by far the most organized and well-designed center I have ever seen. I will be referencing this place once a month when we go. My wife is going to start volunteering there during the week when they meet on Monday’s and Thursday’s. We gave two hours of our day to help make 1,800 meals that would go out into the schools in the upcoming weeks. Most importantly, P.A.C.K. is designed to bring all ages together to serve, so our kids got to help make these bags. And we hopefully planted some seeds in their lives that will take root and never let go.
As we drove away from the event, my wife commented that she wished we had known about P.A.C.K. months ago. They’ve been around for just 6-years, started in the garage of a Pediatric Doctor who must have been seeing the amount of hungry children that flowed through his practice and he and his wife decided to do something about it. There are places like P.A.C.K. all around this country. We live in the wealthiest nation in the world, yet a huge part of our community goes home hungry every day. Even worse than that is most of us go throughout our days without giving that part of our community a second thought. We live in a country that obsesses over food, creating entire channels on cable networks, making people wealthy just reviewing how good some foods are, yet there are children in our country that only have food to take home on the weekends due to organizations such as P.A.C.K. or Backpack Buddies. All these organizations need are some helping hands to keep them operating at their most optimal capabilities.
5In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. 6Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. 7But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive; and they were both very old. (Luke 1:5-7)
Yesterday’s reading plan had you read Luke Chapter 1. I hope that you noticed all the extra tidbits of the story of Jesus that were not present in Matthew or Mark. Luke makes sure he tells the complete story of John the Baptist, who we find out, will be a relative of Jesus because Mary and Elizabeth are related. Also, Luke shows the lineage of Zechariah and Elizabeth (who is a descendant of Moses’ brother Aaron, the original High Priest). As I said yesterday, Luke is my favorite of the Gospel, mostly because of the detail he goes into in the life of Jesus. We will continue to study this in these first two weeks of March.
Throughout the Old Testament, God used broken and sinful men to work His glory. Moses was a murderer, Aaron allowed the Jewish people to build a Golden Calf to worship, King David was an adulterer, Samson was a prideful, arrogant, womanizer, and the list goes on and on. But as we see in Luke Chapter 1, God chose four blameless, righteous descendants to bring into our world the two most important figures of the Jewish and Christian faith. John the Baptist would preach a new word of repentance and Baptism by water, and he would baptize the Son of God to create the pivotal moment where Jesus would begin preaching His world changing ministry.
The stories of the Bible demonstrate the inner weavings of the masterpiece God has created over the history of mankind. What’s your part in this story? How will you make your mark in the redemption of mankind? Do not think that you were created for this world to just be status quo, to just get by. You were made by design to thrive in this world. You were born in America to help be a leader in the world. You live in a time where Christianity is widely accepted and followed. But it is a time where Christianity is slowly fading. What will you do today to help keep Christianity alive and thriving?
Reading plan: Luke 2:1-21(The story of the first Christmas)
Deeper reading plan: Judges 4-6
Prayer and meditation: continue to pray for your request from day 1 and thank God for the miracles He put in place to bring us absolute grace.
Fitness challenge: Month 3 of our 7×14 challenge, which means we are up to 3 sets of 14.
1. Standard push-up 2. Sit-up or crunches
3. Air squats 4. Hand-release push-up
5. Leg lifts 6. Lunges (7-each leg)
7. 4-count flutter kicks