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<< Encouragement for Today

Encouragement for Today - December 16, 2011

  • 2011 Dec 16
  • COMMENTS

 

Tracie Miles

December 16, 2011

A Cup of Christmas COCOA
Tracie Miles

"They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness." Psalm 145:7 (NIV)

In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the holidays, there's one thing that always calms my heart and quiets my thoughts – a cup of hot cocoa. Who doesn't feel warm and peaceful while sipping a cup of steaming cocoa with marshmallows piled on top?

But, there is another reason I love cocoa. Each letter of my favorite winter drink helps me focus my heart on Christ at Christmas:

C – CHRIST
"This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit." Matthew 1:18 (NIV 1984)

We all know Christ is the reason for this season, yet it's easy to focus on shopping and planning instead of Jesus. This month, let's spend as much time seeking God's heart as we do searching for the perfect gifts.

O – ORNAMENTS
"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." 1 Peter 3:3-4 (NIV 1984)

We can easily spend more time decorating our house to look like the holiday edition of a magazine, than we do adorning our inner spirit with God's love and compassion. Let's ask God to make our hearts beautiful by giving us His patience and kindness. Then let's look for ways to bless those around us, especially those in need.

C – CHEERFULLY CELEBRATE THE SEASON
"A happy heart makes a face look cheerful. But a sad heart produces a broken spirit." Proverbs 15:13 (NIV)

As gift lists grow and calendars get full, our physical and emotional energy can be drained. Although Christmas is meant to be a joyous season, many of us struggle with depression and discouragement during this time of the year. Let's take time each day to focus on how much we are valued and loved as children of God. The holidays are merely a season, but God's love and compassion for us are permanent.

O – OVERJOYED not OVERWHELMED
"When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh." Matthew 2:10-11 (NIV)

Do you ever feel overjoyed to kick off the holiday season but overwhelmed by the middle of the month? If we take time each day in December to thank Jesus for coming as our Savior, we could become overwhelmed by His kindness instead. When we focus our hearts on all God has done, we won't get as easily overwhelmed by all that still needs to be done.

A – ABUNDANCE
"...I came that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10b (NIV)

Whenever I think of Christmas morning, from my childhood to the present, the word ABUNDANCE comes to mind. Abundance of presents, food and activities. But these things are temporary. What we need is the abundant life Jesus came to give us. Our hearts need His mercy, peace and love, not only on Christmas day, but every day throughout each year.

I don't know about you, but I'm ready for a cup of Christmas cocoa. Will you join me? Let's take time to ponder these Christmas truths and, as that chocolaty goodness warms us, let's allow the warmth of God's love to pour into our hearts and His abundant goodness to pour out into the lives of those around us.

Dear Lord, thank You for giving me the gift of Your Son. Please help me not get so caught up in the earthly celebrations of Christmas that I forget to celebrate all I have in Christ. Remind me of Your love each day and show me how to share it with others each day of this month. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Read Tracie's featured Christmas article in the December edition of our P31 Woman magazine! A P31 Woman subscription makes a great Christmas gift!

Visit Tracie's blog for a chance to win a special COCOA giveaway.

Untangling Christmas: Your Go-To Guide for a Hassle-Free Holiday (e-book) by Karen Ehman and LeAnn Rice

Application Steps:
Share today's devotion with friends and family.

Why not print the acronym for COCOA on a gift card and tie it to a pretty cup to give as a gift this Christmas?

Reflections:
Have I allowed the chaos of Christmas to overshadow my love for Christ?

How can I share God's goodness with others this season?

Power Verses:
Number 6:25-26, "The LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace." (NIV)

© 2011 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org

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