On December 25, people in most parts of the world will be celebrating Christmas. However, for us in Russia, Christmas Day is on January 7. But because we know you will soon be celebrating the birth of our Savior, we are asking God to give you a warm time with friends and family. What a marvelous opportunity to reflect on the incredible miracle of Jesus’ birth and to share valuable time with others.
I know that many people are struggling financially this year because of so many disruptions to life due to the pandemic. If you’re facing difficult financial challenges, or simply have a tight budget as you approach this gift-giving season, or you don’t know how to handle stressed relationships with the people you’ll see — and you need prayer for any of it — please let us know and we’ll pray with you. And please pray for us as our Moscow ministry gets ready for a massive push during the Russian Christmas season to share Jesus with unsaved people in Moscow and throughout the former Soviet Union.
At this time of year, I would normally write to you about Christmas, but this year, I feel led to write to you about something else.
In just a matter of days, all of us will be wrapping up 2020 and starting a new year. It has been a good year for many people, despite the global pandemic. For me personally, it has been a very productive year of ministry, full of good fruits. I am so thankful for this — yet I know there are still some things the Holy Spirit wants to accomplish in my life before the clock strikes midnight on December 31 and a new year begins. The new year is just days away — so it means I must really focus on what the Holy Spirit desires to get done in my life before this year ends.
I am aware that this year has been filled with both challenges and victories for many people. But I know that you want the year to end in total victory by allowing the Spirit of God to inwardly finish what He started in you at the first of this year. Philippians 1:6 says, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
The word “confident” is the Greek word peitho, and it means to be sure, to be certain, and to have absolute conviction. The Holy Spirit has been working fervently in the hearts of each of us this year, and I have absolute conviction that He is going to finish what He has already started in us. Do you have that same conviction concerning your life?
What does the Holy Spirit want to accomplish in your life between now and December 31? You might say, “There’s not enough time left to get anything done!” But nothing is impossible when the Holy Spirit has a yielded vessel who is willing to cooperate with Him. If you are willing, the Holy Spirit can accomplish anything in you — even in just days before the year ends! Then you can start the new year fresh and ready for what God wants to do next, with nothing trailing behind you from the year before. Don’t let yourself drag anything negative from this year into the new year. The Holy Spirit’s power is available to do a quick, fresh work of grace in your life. He wants to set you free and get you ready for a brand-new start!
This is also a good time to seek forgiveness for what you didn’t accomplish in 2020 in His plan — and to move into the new year with a fresh sense of faith and courage, allowing the Holy Spirit to do the work He desires to do in you in 2021.
Knowing God’s plan — and operating according to that plan — is essential for living effectively for Him. If you don’t know the Lord’s will for the next year of your life, the Holy Spirit does, and He wants to help! Ask Him to show you. As I’ve already noted, the Holy Spirit will work fervently in you to finish what He has started. Philippians 1:6 assures us that this is true: “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
Stop for a moment to consider that promise! God begins the good work in you, and then He performs it. From start to finish, it’s His grace that enables you to accomplish what you need to do before the clock strikes midnight on December 31. So don’t say it’s too late, because it’s never too late to address those issues the Holy Spirit has been talking to you about. If nothing else, He will help get you started afresh and anew in this new calendar year — and His power will help you quickly get the victory.
I am praying for you today and this month! God has wonderful things in store for you. He simply needs your cooperation, and His supernatural power will quickly do what otherwise would take a long time to do. Throw open your arms and say, “Holy Spirit, I am ready to cooperate with You. Do quickly in my life what only You can do and show me what my part is so I can do what You want me to do.”
• So what internal changes do you need to wrap up before the clock strikes midnight on December 31? The Holy Spirit can quickly do what you could never do on your own. Why not write down the changes today you desire to make and release your faith for a quick work to be done.
• Do you have a relationship that needs to be mended and healed before the end of this year? If so, you know that restoration is possible through the power of the Holy Spirit. Ask Him to help you know how to approach that person, how to apologize, and how to make amends. He will show you what to do, when to do it, and even give you the words to say.
• Do you owe a debt to someone that you should have taken care of this year but failed to do so? Has that unpaid debt grieved you and hurt the person you owe? Why don’t you humble yourself, make a phone call, sincerely apologize, and get on the path toward making things right with that person.
It’s never too late with the Lord, but He needs a willing partner to work with so He can do the miraculous and the supernatural. If you are willing, He is ready to be your Partner to do a quick work this month — and on December 31, you can say farewell to 2020 with a shout of victory instead of defeat!
One more thing — in the busyness of this month, please don’t forget to read your Bible. It will strengthen you for every meeting and every event, and will keep the peace of God reigning in your heart. And please remember to pray for us as we reach out to many lost people this month in Moscow and throughout Russia!
We are so thankful for you — we truly do love you and thank God for you.
Merry Christmas and God bless your new beginning in 2021!
We are your brother and sister, friends, and partners in Jesus,
Rick and Denise Renner
along with Paul, Philip, and Joel and their families