Q: A family in our apartment complex comes from a country that isn't Christian. Do you think they'd be offended if we asked them for Christmas dinner? We don't know them very well, but I can tell they're kind of lonely. — Mrs. E.N.
A: I seriously doubt if they would be offended. In fact, they might be honored to be invited into an American home. The Bible says, "Share with the Lord's people who are in need. Practice hospitality" (Romans 12:13).
At the same time, ask God to help you to be sensitive to them and their customs. For example, if their religion forbids the eating of certain foods, you'll want to avoid offending them. When you invite them, explain that Christmas is a special holiday in our society, and you would be honored to have them share Christmas dinner. . If you're inviting others, let them know this so they won't feel awkward or surprised. Do your best, in other words, to make them feel comfortable.
If they do come, ask God to give you an opportunity to explain why Christmas is important to you. Remember: They may not even know what Christmas celebrates: the coming of Jesus Christ into the world. At Christmas we remember that God came down from heaven in the person of Jesus. As the Bible says, "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us" (John 1:14).
Whether they accept your invitation or not, take this as an opportunity to begin building a bridge of friendship with them. Make it the first step in your relationship by reaching out and letting them know you care. God has put them (and thousands like them) in our midst; will we befriend them and share Christ's love with them?
Q: I believe in God and all that, but I'm enjoying my life and I don't see any reason to change and make God a part of it. And anyway, I'll have plenty of time to do that once I'm older and start worrying about heaven. — D. McL.
A: You aren't alone; millions of people look at their lives the same way you do. Down inside, they know God exists; they may even realize that someday they'll have to face him. And yet they don't want anything to do with him right now.
Why is this? One reason is because they believe that living without God is a lot more exciting than living with God. But it simply isn't true! Eventually, a life of self-indulgence will catch up with you, resulting in boredom and heartache and even self-destruction. But God promises us a far better path, and nothing is more exciting than knowing God and discovering his plan for our lives. I often think of Jesus' words: "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" (John 10:10).
But people don't turn to God for another reason: They hope they can do it later. After all, they think, won't God forgive me and let me into heaven even if I only turn to him at the last minute? Yes, He will, but how to do know you'll actually turn to him? The longer you resist God, the more calloused your heart will become — and the less likely you'll be to turn to him. And life is uncertain; death could strike before you have the opportunity.
Don't gamble with your soul; don't resist God any longer. God loves you, and he knows what's best for you. By faith turn your life over to Jesus Christ — beginning today.
(Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Assn., 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Assn: http://www.billygraham.org.)