Encouragement for Today - Dec. 14, 2006


December 14, 2006


Encouragement for Today


“Tis the Season to Be …”

Melissa Taylor, Proverbs 31 Ministries Speaker, Board of Directors


Key Verse:

Luke 2:10b-11, “I bring you good news of great joy for everyone!  The Savior - yes, the Messiah, the Lord - has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David!”  (NLT)



How do you feel about the fact that Christmas is quickly approaching?  If asked, would you say:


  1. “There is too much to do and too little time to do it!”
  2. “I just don’t have the money this year to spend on gifts.”
  3. “If this is the season to be jolly, why do I feel so blue?”
  4. “I can’t wait to decorate.  I love the Christmas tree, stockings, lights, and gifts!”
  5. “I love the excitement of the holiday, but most of all, I love to share the real reason for the season, Jesus’ birthday!”
  6. “The Christmas season brings me great peace and hope.”


I bet you can relate to at least one of those statements.  I hope it’s either E or F.  If you are like me though, you start off with great intentions of keeping peacefully focused on Christ, but before you know it, you too get caught up in the busyness and craziness of Christmas. 


Even if you haven’t bought a single gift or decked a single hall with holly, you can still find peace this month.  The celebration of Jesus’ birthday should not bring stress and despair.  That is not what it’s about at all.


Jesus was not born so that we would spin out of control, outdoing each other in December.  It’s not about the gifts.  It’s not about the lights.  It’s not about Christmas cards and letters.  It’s not even about all the food.  Jesus’ birth represents “glory to God”, “peace on earth”, and “good news of great joy for everyone”, just like the Bible says (Luke 2 NLT).  How do we get so caught up in all the other stuff while putting Jesus on the backburner?  Is it because we know He’ll still be there later?  Is it because we know He’ll forgive us?


If you find yourself behind this month with a lot to do, stop right now.  Try to implement these simple steps for a more peaceful and stress free holiday:


  1. Make a list.  Write down all that you want to get done before Christmas.  Make a schedule containing when and where and how you will get your tasks done.   Stick to your schedule and if it doesn’t all fit in, then it’s too much.  Cancel something.
  2. Give yourself a break with Christmas cards.  (Did I just say that?  Yes, I did!)  It’s okay if you don’t send them out this year or don’t send out as many.  People are more understanding than you may think.
  3. Play Christmas music throughout your house, car, and office.  Make some hot cocoa or cider and sit by the fire or in a comfy chair.  Make note of your blessings.
  4. Focus on sharing the Christmas spirit with those you come in contact with each day.  Your attitude during the Christmas season speaks volumes above any gift you could give.
  5. Make a birthday cake for Jesus.  Sing to Him and blow out the candles on Christmas day.  My family loves to so this.  As you are enjoying Jesus’ cake, consider gifts you could give to Him this year (your heart, your time, your service).
  6. Most importantly, take time each day to give thanks to God for giving you the gift of His Child.  Meditate on who Jesus is and what Christmas is really all about.


The reason for this season is Jesus…..that’s all.  Make a choice this year to intentionally keep Him the center of your holiday.


My Prayer for Today:

Dear Lord, There is so much to do this month, but I know You want me to stay centered on Jesus.  Help me to keep my eyes on You and celebrate Your birthday, Your life, and my life in You.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Additional Resources:

Do you know Him?


Celebrating a Christ-centered Christmas  by Sharon Jaynes


Can Martha Have a Mary Christmas?  by Brenda Poinsett 


Application Steps:

Look over the steps in this devotion and apply some or all of them to your life this Christmas.  Choose peace this year and let others know that you are choosing to focus on the real reason for the season.  Ask them to join you!


Reflection Points:
What do your actions and words say about the way you celebrate Christmas?


Does Christmas mean peace or stress to you?


Have you chosen Jesus as your Lord and Savior? 


Power Verses:
Luke 2:14, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favors.”  (NLT)

John 16:33, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."  (NIV)

Philippians 4:6-7, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”  (NLT)

Originally published Thursday, 14 December 2006.