Monday, December 15, 2008

Three Things to Keep

I know, I know it is the season of giving, but I want to suggest today 3 things to keep for yourself. Last week I talked about 3 things to give: forgiveness, love and encouragement. Two weeks ago I mentioned several things to get rid of such as complaining, gossip and sin. All of these are directed at helping to increase the joy we experience during the holidays and increase the joy we bring to others as well. Certainly the holidays are a time for Christians to rejoice as we celebrate the coming of our savior. Let’s consider the following three things to keep on our minds and in our hearts both now and all year long.

Gratitude. We have talked quite a bit about thankfulness in the month of November, but I want to emphasize the importance of having an attitude of gratitude during the holiday season. When our hearts are filled with continual thanksgiving, it changes the way we act and what we say. A grateful person chooses to look for the best in others and in circumstances. She sees God’s loving hands holding her through her pain. She recognizes that every challenge also carries a blessing and an opportunity to grow.

Proper Perspective. When we step back and look at the bigger picture of eternity, we begin to see that the petty things we tend to get upset over are not really that important after all. We must ask ourselves, “Twenty years from now, will this really matter in the big scheme of life?” More importantly we must ask, “Where does this fit in the big scheme of eternity?” Now I’m not saying that details aren’t important, I’m just saying let’s keep everything in perspective and recognize that some things aren’t worth our anger.

God’s Word. I want to encourage you to not only read God’s word, but to memorize it as well. You can do it! Come on give it a try! Prayerfully ask God to help you. Begin with a small passage. The more you memorize, the easier it gets. It is important to have God’s word in your heart to give you wisdom, strength and perspective when you are going through big and little challenges. Here are some passages to consider: Philippians 4:6 – 8, Psalm 34, Psalm 62, Psalm 103, Psalm 121, Romans 8:28, Colossians 3.

As we approach the final weeks before Christmas, let’s choose to make them into days of joy and peace as we keep our eyes on the Lord. Seek the joy, peace and strength that can only come from Him as you bless those around you this Christmas.

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