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<< Encouragement for Today

Encouragement for Today - Dec. 20, 2006

  • 2006 Dec 20
  • COMMENTS

 

December 20, 2006

 

Encouragement for Today

 

“Bringing Good News”

Marybeth Whalen, Proverbs 31 Ministries Speaker and Author

 

Key Verse:

How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces salvation, And says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7 (NASB)

 

Devotion:

One thing I love about the Christmas story is the response of those who heard about Jesus’ birth.  Across the board, their response was the same—an immediate reaction to go out and tell everyone about Him.  It began with the angels, gloriously exalting Him from the sky so that everyone could hear.  The excitement spread to the shepherds, and on to the wise men.  Each of them felt the urgency to share the good news of the birth of the long-awaited Savior.  Not only did they hear, but they responded.  Not only did they respond, they responded immediately.  No grass grew under their beautiful feet! 

 

I love that God included this part of the story for us.  He did not limit the scene to the cozy stable and loving parents.  He showed us how even those outside of the main action could have a part in Jesus’ story.  I think this was no accident.  I think God wanted us to see how we too can respond to hearing the good news of Jesus’ birth.  But do we?  Do we take the opportunities we have at Christmas to share the gospel—the good news? 

 

This season is like no other as people come face to face with Jesus Christ.  Just for this little window of time, the stores play songs that say His name, the decorations point to Him and many activities are focused on Him.  How can we best use this window of opportunity to share Him so that this year we can inspire other people to take Him to heart?  Here are just a few suggestions to use as a springboard in your own life…

 

Include scripture in your Christmas card or on your gift tags.  Also, consider writing a letter that shares a story of how God was real to you this year, or how you experienced an answer to prayer.  People love stories, and you never know how God will use this as a witness to those who receive your cards.  But you have to be bold, step out of your comfort zone, and take the risk of your long distance relatives thinking you’re weird! 

 

Find ways to bless retail salespeople during the busy shopping season.  I have a friend who gives coupons for a free sandwich at a local restaurant out to each person who waits on her.  This is just a little way to share God’s love with them, but it means a lot in the midst of the hectic, and sometimes rude, days before Christmas.  These people take a lot of abuse and might just need a reminder that someone cares—and that God has not forgotten them.

 

There are many ways to adopt a family or child at Christmas.  Compassion International is a terrific agency you can sponsor a needy child through, in the name of Christ. Don’t limit yourself just to the community agencies, though.  Think about anonymously giving to a family you know personally who is going through a hard time.  Maybe they are facing a long-term illness or a job loss and you could be God’s hands and feet for them.  Consider organizing a group of friends to buy food and gifts to make their Christmas surprisingly special this year. 

 

Of course there are many ways to express the love Jesus came to share.  As you experience that love, you can pass it along to all you come in contact with.  Look for ways to show love to others, as that love will speak volumes to those who are lost and hurting.  When their hearts are first softened by love, then they will want to know more about this Jesus.  Make this Christmas the time you respond as the angels, the shepherds and the Wise Men did—by being intentional and passionate about sharing the good news of a Messiah who came to save the world.

 

My Prayer for Today:

Dear Lord, Please help me to share the good news of Jesus this year.  Help me to act on the ideas You give to me and to not be inhibited by embarrassment, fear or self-consciousness.  Help me to be bold for You, just as the angels and shepherds and Wise Men were.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Additional Resources:


For the Write Reasons
with by Marybeth Whalen

 

Speak up With Confidence by Carol Kent

 

Listen to Today's Radio Show

 

Application Steps: 

What does the Bible say about sharing the gospel?  Spend some time today looking up scriptures about this.  Brainstorm ideas of personal ways you can uniquely share the good news about Jesus.

 

Reflection Points:

Is there someone or something that has come to mind even as you have been reading this devotion?  Write it down and take steps today to make it happen.  Make a phone call, write a letter, pay a visit.  How can you be bold for Him?

 

Power Verses:

Mark 16:15, “And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (NASB)

 

Luke 2:10, “And the angel said unto them, Do not be afraid; for behold I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people.” (NASB)

 

Acts 2:39, “For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself.” (NASB)

 

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