December 24, 2013
Calming Our Hearts
"They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness." Psalm 145:7 (NIV)
In the midst of the busyness of Christmas, I often pull away to calm my heart and quiet my thoughts with a cup of hot cocoa. I love to feel warm and peaceful while sipping a cup of steaming chocolate 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 and to live out Psalm 145:7, "They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness." (NIV)
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)
It's easy to focus on shopping and planning Christmas Day menus instead of seeking Jesus. Take a break today from searching for that last-minute present or perfect recipe to spend time praising God for the gift of His Son.
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)
Decking the halls can be a lot of fun, but have we adorned our hearts with God's love and compassion, patience and kindness? When we do, our words and actions will glorify God and bless others.
C – CHEERFULLY CELEBRATE THE SEASON "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13 (NIV)
Although Christmas is meant to be a joyous season, it's also a time we might struggle with depression and discouragement. Focusing on God's truth that we are valued and loved as children of God can remove that shroud of darkness and replace it with great joy. This month will be over in a few days, but the peace and hope we find in God's love are forever.
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)
Many of us are overjoyed to kick off the Christmas season but feel overwhelmed by the middle of the month, much less the day before Christmas. Reconnect with the wonder and awe of celebrating Christ as you bring a gift of gratitude to Jesus for coming as our Savior. When we focus our hearts on all God has done, we won't get as easily overwhelmed by all that we'd like to get done.
A – ABUNDANCE "... I have come 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 gifts, 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 the verses above and make room for God's love to pour into our hearts. His abundant goodness is worthy to be celebrated!
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. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Visit Tracie Miles' blog for a chance to win a special COCOA giveaway.
The NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible is a great way to spend time with the Lord.
Reflect and Respond:
Have you allowed the chaos of Christmas to overshadow your celebration of Christ?
How can you share God's goodness with others?
Number 6:25-26, "The LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace." (NIV)
© 2013 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.