About Encouragement for Today

Proverbs 31 Ministries is a non-denominational, non-profit Christian ministry that seeks to lead women into a personal relationship with Christ. With Proverbs 31:10-31 as a guide, Proverbs 31 Ministries reaches women right in the middle of their busy day through free daily devotions, radio program, speaking events, conferences, monthly magazine, resources, online communities, and Gather and Grow groups. We are real women offering real-life solutions to women who are striving to maintain life’s balance, in spite of today’s hectic pace and cultural pull away from godly principles. Wherever a woman may be on her spiritual journey, Proverbs 31 Ministries exists to be a trusted friend who takes her by the hand and walks by her side, leading her one step closer to the heart of God.

Choosing a Centerpiece - Encouragement for Today - November 11, 2013

Tracie Miles

November 11, 2013

Choosing a Centerpiece
Tracie Miles

"He's the centerpiece of everything we believe, faithful in everything God gave him to do." Hebrews 3:2 (MSG)

I thought my Thanksgiving decorations were securely packed away last year, but when I pulled out the decorative cornucopia something was different.

Apparently a few hungry mice had nibbled on the Styrofoam bread loaf and plastic apples, thinking they were a tasty treat.

I had planned on putting the cornucopia in the middle of my dining room table, like I always do. But lack of proper packing had taken its toll, and my centerpiece was now full of holes.

As I assessed how to repair the damage, I felt a holy nudge on my heart. It was a prompting me to consider if I was concerned about the right centerpiece for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

The previous months had been full of busyness and challenges. My heart had been burdened at times. I'd fallen into a pattern of focusing on my problems and to-do list instead of taking time to give thanks to God for His goodness in my life.

I intended to make Jesus the center of my attention, but didn't keep that commitment. My distracted focus reminds me of the Christians to whom the author of the book of Hebrews wrote.

These believers were in danger of losing their focus on Christ as their deliverer. People had begun putting their trust in prophets, angels, and even Moses. So in Hebrews 3, the people are reminded that Jesus is the only one worthy of trust and is where our faith should be centered.

The writer of Hebrews wanted Christians to stop putting themselves, other people, or material items, at the center of their attention, and instead draw their gaze back to Jesus.

Just like the people of that time, we can quickly get distracted, become busy, and inadvertently make our obligations and celebrations the focus of our attention. We gradually become self-centered instead of Jesus-centered.

Hypothetically, we may put Him in a box in the attic of our heart, only pulling Him out when the time is "right." This eventually leads to a life off-kilter and a heart full of holes, as challenges and pressures nibble away at our joy and peace.

It's one thing to believe in Jesus. It's another to make Him the center of our lives. When we make that important choice and remember to focus on Him and be thankful in all things, our hearts and lives stay in balance.

This Thanksgiving (and every day), let's praise God and commit to making Him our focal point. When we choose to make Jesus the emphasis of our holidays and our lives, we are blessed with the most beautiful centerpiece of all.

Lord, I never intended to put You on a shelf and allow life's distractions to alter my attention on You. Give me the spiritual desire to stay intently focused on You during this holiday and into the new year. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Stressed-Less Living: Finding God's Peace In Your Chaotic World by Tracie Miles is a wonderful resource about peace and eliminating chronic stress. Order before December 20th to receive a signed copy!

Avoid seasonal stress and make Christ the center of your holiday this year with practical tips from Tracie. Sign up for her "Managing Holiday Stress" Conference Call series byclicking here. And don't miss out on the LIVE Facebook holiday party. Join the fun by clicking here!

NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women is the perfect tool to re-focus on Christ.

Reflect and Respond:
Consider what areas of your life need to be more Jesus-centered and less self-centered.

How can you make sure your attention stays on Jesus and not on life's distractions?

Power Verses:
Colossians 3:15, "And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful." (NLT)

Psalm 117:1-2, "Praise the LORD, all you nations. Praise him, all you people of the earth. For he loves us with unfailing love; the LORD's faithfulness endures forever. Praise the LORD!" (NLT)

© 2013 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105