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<< Encouragement for Today

Encouragement for Today - December 15, 2005

  • 2005 Dec 15
  • COMMENTS

 

12/15/05

Encouragement for Today

 

“Christmas Decorating Kit”

Zoe Elmore, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

 

Key Verse:

Luke 1:11-12, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” (NIV)

 

Devotion:

Each year as the Christmas season approaches I look for ways to balance the duties and distractions of Christmas while keeping Christ at the center of our celebrations. This year I’m committed to finding a spiritual application for items I might use in preparation for this holy and wonderful holiday.  Let me illustrate this idea for you in what I call my “Christmas Decorating Kit.”

 

As I prepare to bake our favorite holiday treats, I will need my cookbook. What a wonderful reminder that the Bible is my cookbook for life. It gives me the ingredients and instructions for fruitful living.

 

When I cover my clothes with an apron I’m reminded that the blood of Christ covers me and keeps me from being stained by sin.

 

My kitchen timer ensures that nothing is under or over baked, in the same way the Lord times out every situation in my life perfectly.

 

As I bake holiday treats to share with family and friends, I always use sugar. This is my reminder to share the sweetness of Christ’s love with others.

 

The measuring cups and spoons I use provide exact amounts of the necessary ingredients for my recipe. Think about how God always provides an abundance of His love, His mercy and His grace in our lives. Aren’t you thankful that God’s provision is not limited to measuring cups and spoons?

 

When I add spices and flavorings to my foods I’m reminded of Christ’s words in Matthew 5:13, “You are the salt of the earth” (NIV). I should be adding flavor to the lives of others.

 

I have many different cookie cutters in my collection, and as I bake our favorite Greek cookies I’m reminded that, just as my cookie cutters are all different, each one of God’s children is unique and wonderfully different.

 

In setting the table with my Christmas china I am reminded I must feast on God’s Word each day for spiritual food and I should be reminded that Christ is the “Bread of Life.”

 

When I pull out my artificial Christmas tree I like to place a nativity scene between the branches. When I see the tree I am reminded of why we celebrate this holy season. Christ was born in a manger, but He came to die on a tree for our salvation.

 

Christmas music holds a very special place in my heart since I am a former singer. Songs that tell the glad tidings of Christ’s birth are a wonderful reminder to proclaim this joyous message to all those we encounter during this holy season and throughout the year. 

 

I like to decorate our home with lighted garland and lots of candles. This is a perfect picture of Christ coming to be “The Light of the World.” This year I hope everyone who visits my home and yours will know that it is decorated in honor of Christ’s birthday.

 

My Prayer for Today:

Father, Help us to remember that Christmas is not about the gifts, or the twinkling eyes of children; it’s not about a Christmas tree and special cookies or families gathering together. Christmas is the time to celebrate the fact that Your Son became man to enable man to become Your sons (and daughters). I pray our focus will be Christ alone as we celebrate this season. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Application Steps:

Begin to list the spiritual blessings you have received this year. Make this a Christmas tradition and you will be creating a spiritual legacy for your children.

 

Find spiritual applications in your holiday traditions and décor.

 

When you read the Christmas story this year, read the Easter story also – this is a powerful reminder of why Christ was born.

 

Reflection Points:

Do you enjoying decorating and making your home festive and inviting for the holidays or do you view it as drudgery?

 

Does your home reflect the Spirit of the season to everyone who enters?

 

Power Verses:

Isaiah 40:5, “And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.” (NIV)

 

John 1:14, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father. Full of grace and truth.” (NIV)

 

Matthew 5:14, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.” (NIV)

 

John 6:35, “Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”” (NIV)

 

Additional Resources:

The ADVENTure of Christmas, by Lisa Welchel

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_advenChristmas.htm

 

Jesse Tree Kits

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_jesseTree.htm

 

The Tale of Three Trees, by Angela Elwell Hunt

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_threeTrees.htm

 

 

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