Too Stressed to be Blessed This Christmas?
Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only a few things are necessary, really only one…
Do you feel a big rush at Christmas time? Do you have so much to do, and so little time to get it all done? Many have shopping to do … and parties to attend … and pageants to participate in … and trips to take to visit relatives … and food to prepare … and work to finish up … and more and more to get done before the Big Day. Sometimes the Christmas rush can steal your joy and peace, and you secretly long for it to be over.
WHAT’S ON YOUR “TO DO” LIST?
Martha of Bethany was a dear lady who loved Jesus, yet she got all worried and bothered in her service for the Lord. She was cooking a meatloaf dinner for Jesus, and she wanted it to be just perfect. “I’m fixing meatloaf for the Master,” she said. At first the emphasis was on her guest, the Lord Jesus, but slowly her emphasis shifted to the meal.
She lost her joy and peace because she got all focused on her meatloaf rather than her Master.
She was mad as a hornet that her sister, Mary, had left the kitchen to sit at the Lord’s feet and listen to His word… and she told Jesus to reprimand Mary and get her back to work. Surprisingly, Jesus gently reprimanded Martha. He told her that Mary was in the right, and she was in the wrong.
What was Martha’s problem? Her priorities were not His priorities. Her “to do” list had lots of things on there that Jesus did not think were very important. She was worried and bothered because her plate was so full of stuff … stuff that God never authorized. Could that be true of you?
The key to a joyous Christmas is to make sure you stop and look at your “to do” list. Is your list crammed full of what you think is important, or what He thinks is important? Are you worried and bothered about things that really don’t matter that much? Are you focused on the meatloaf, or the Master? Is the main thing still the main thing for you?
Despite what the world says, Jesus really is the reason for the season. Take time every day to get alone with Him. Sit at His feet in quietness and adoration. Read His Word and talk to Him from your heart. Play some praise music and sing those words of worship back to Him. He inhabits the praises of His people.
You will be amazed at how your stress level will melt away to perfect peace as you keep Christ first and foremost in your Christmas. Remember, He is the Prince of Peace. If you are not experiencing peace right now, it is because the Prince is not reigning in your heart. Follow Mary’s lead and yield to Him today. You will be so glad that you did.
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.