December 23, 2004
Encouragement for Today
"What Do You Want For Christmas?"
Micca Campbell, Director of Outreach, Speaker Team Member
"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." Matthew 7:7 (NKJ)
If my children have been asked once, they have been asked at least a hundred times already. "What do you want for Christmas?"
So much of our focus this time of year is self-centered instead of Christ-centered. Our family is no different. As soon as a new catalog arrives in the mail, my children are flipping through the pages adding to their Christmas list. A list complied of all they wish for. Honestly, I find myself doing the same thing...making a list of things I desire.
When did Christmas become all about "me?" I think for most, we fall into this "me" trap and consequently miss Christmas altogether.
Christmas is about a person...God's Son. Our heavenly Father sent Him to us because He knew above all else that our greatest need was a Savior. That makes Christ the best Christmas gift ever! Our problem is that we seek Christ's blessings rather than seeking Him as if He were none other than Santa Claus. Why?
What about you? What do you want for Christmas this year...peace for your situation, joy for your sadness, assurance or comfort in your fears, or is it guidance for your future? Why not ask God for those things? His Word does say, "Ask, and it shall be given to you." The problem is we are asking for the wrong thing. Perhaps we haven't realized that all those things are wrapped up in the person of Jesus Christ. If we have Him, we have it all!
God desires that we seek Him above all else, and then trust that He will provide whatever we need. Most of us tend to go about it in the wrong way - backwards. Our motive is for God to give us our longings, and then we will worship Him. We can learn an important lesson from the wise men that came seeking the Christ Child; not for what He could offer them, but simply to worship the King of all Kings. In doing so, they found the most valuable treasure of all...their Savior. God's Word says, "Seek ye first, the Kingdom of God and all else will be added unto you." What is the "all else?" Anything you need, but it's Christ first!
How do we know we are seeking God? The Psalmist says it best in chapter 63:1, 3. "O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you in a dry and weary land where there is no water. Because your love is better than life itself." This Psalmist knows that nothing satisfies like a soul full of Jesus.
What do you want most this holiday season? Do you desire Christ's blessings more than you desire to know Him? Perhaps it's time to ask yourself why? On the other hand, if you desire to know the One who came to give you all you need, wrapped up in the person of His Son, then "ask, and it shall be given to you!" Begin with something like this, "Lord, more than anything, I desire You." That's all it take to experience Christmas the way it was meant to be...unforgettable!
My Prayer for Today:
Lord, I confess that I have sought your hand more than your heart. I have come to realize that what I desire the most is you. Please fill me with your presence so I may experience life this season and forever, the way you intended. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Take a self-examination test to determine if you are self-conscience or God-conscience. Am I a slave to dress, friends, or habits? Am I self-pitying, self-indulging, or self-justifying? Do I pray about how I spend my money or about the life decisions I make? Do I desire to spend time with God each day? Do I allow Him time to speak to me and then obey what He says? Does the Bible live in me so that Christ is real to others?
Do you spend most of your time asking God for things, or getting to know Him better?
Do you lack passion for God? Ask Him to give you the desire to know Him.
Are you apathetic to the things of God?
Is there any area of disobedience in your life?
Are you proud and self-sufficient, or do you live, dependent on God?
So then because thou are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth. Revelation 3:16 (NKJ)
Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Revelation 2:4 (NKJ)
Delight thyself in the Lord, and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Psalm 37:4 (NKJ)
Thus says the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6:16 (NKJ)
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled. Matthew 5:6 (NKJ)
Celebrating a Christ-Centered Christmas, by Sharon Jaynes
Radically Obedient, Radically Blessed, by Lysa Terkeurst
Who Holds the Key to Your Heart, by Lysa Terkeurst
Becoming a Woman Who Listens to God, by Sharon Jaynes