Author: Hilton Edwards
At Christmas, I always like to reflect on what the year has been and all that God has done throughout the year in and through many ministries throughout the world.
Since March 2020 there has been about a 10% increase in engagement with the Bible globally, which means people everywhere are reading their Bibles 10% more than they did before.
You might say, “but Hilton that’s obvious because people weren’t able to attend church, so naturally they were going to read their Bibles more themselves” and I probably wouldn’t be able to argue that. But for me, the even more exciting thing is that Bible reading statistics worldwide have shown that even as people have been able to return to their church buildings again, the rate of daily Bible readings has NOT reduced. I find this so encouraging that in a time when the whole world is looking for answers, people everywhere are reading their Bible more. They are turning to and finding the truth and answers that everyone truly needs.
As I was reflecting on this year I was reminded of 2 Chronicles 7:14, which I have heard quoted countless times in many conversations over the past two years: “If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Let’s take a moment to ponder this verse. It starts with “If my people who are called by My name” – That’s us, we who call ourselves Christians.
We are called Christians because we are intended to show Christ to the world, either the “world” in our community or the bigger world across the globe.
That is an amazing thing, but it also carries with it great responsibility.
And then it says: “will humble themselves. And pray. And seek My face. And turn from their wicked ways”. Wow, if you are anything like me you may struggle to do some or all of these.
I’m ok with the praying and seeking His face, but the humility and turning from wicked ways – that is quite challenging and a bit more difficult to do. But in reality, it is a “package deal”, it’s not a “pick and choose” scenario that God is inviting us to.
And then it goes on to say: And I will hear from Heaven – It’s a definite, we PRAY and God hears. That’s it, simple, isn’t it? And when God hears, He answers, we know that to be true when we look around and see so many prayers that have been answered throughout the year! Maybe He will not always answer in audible words, but definitely in ways that are tangible and visible.
God says He will forgive our sin. And He will heal our land. This is my prayer as we celebrate Christmas.
That God heals our land, and not only our land but also the many lands globally that have been impacted since March last year. Will you join me in this prayer? I hope you are encouraged to pray with me as we are called to do in 2 Chronicles. And will you also reach out to one more person this Christmas season? Maybe all they need is a hug or an affirming word, just something that shows the love of Christ, which we are all called to show.
And I hope and pray that you and your family have a blessed Christmas and are excited and expectant for what God WILL do in 2022.
About the Author:
Hilton Edwards is the CEO of Bible League Australia and New Zealand. Together, Bible League and their partners globally plant Bibles into the hands of people who can’t afford or access a Bible. Find out more at bl.org.au