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Guard your heart from the worldliness of gifting and decorating that might steal away from Christ being your center. Guard against letting the pressures and stresses of the season rob you of love, joy, peace and patience. In the middle of the hustle and bustle (and often selfishness and rudeness accompanied with long lines, busy shoppers, traffic, etc.) ask that the Holy Spirit’s love, joy, peace and patience in your life testify of Christ to those around you.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it Proverbs 4:23
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. Matthew 6:24
Pray for the Lord to reveal where you’re letting the stresses and pressures of the season stumble you. Pray for forgiveness for any ways you’ve revealed covetousness, greed, or jealousy. Pray a repentant prayer for any idols you’ve made out of material or superficial things. Ask God to boldly come into your life and guard you against all temptation to selfishness. Ask God to give you a true Christmas spirit- one full of joy, peace and hope.
Pray about “adopting” a Compassion child or sponsoring a gift for a child through a charitable organization. If you and your children select a child together, begin praying over him or her and make sacrifices together to minister to that little one. It just might be the best Christmas gift (after salvation, of course) you could give or receive!
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27
Pray for God to grow your heart for the most needy and vulnerable among us. Pray you would have eyes to see and ears to hear the neediness around you, and to have courage to respond to that neediness with love and compassion.
Look for ways to serve your family above and beyond what’s “expected.” Especially if you visit family members who don’t know Jesus, pray for God to show you opportunities to serve them.
Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. Matthew 20:28
Serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself. Galatians 5:13-14
Now that I, your LORD and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. John 13:14-15
Pray for God to reveal how you can serve others more cheerfully, wholeheartedly and compassionately this holiday season. Pray for eyes to see and ears to hear the need around you. Pray that God would open up opportunities where you can practice selflessness.
If you read through the gospels, you’ll notice how Jesus listened to people. Sometimes listening is a great act of service to someone. And as you listen, you will hear heart needs that are open doors to share the Answer to all our heart needs. Without listening we might miss those doors. Today, make a pledge to speak less and listen more.
To answer before listening—
that is folly and shame. Proverbs 18:13
Fools find no pleasure in understanding
but delight in airing their own opinions. Proverbs 18:2
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. James 1:19
Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. James 1:26
Pray for God to remind you throughout the day of your need to listen. Pray that you can be slow to speak and slow to become angry. Pray to be abounding in love and have the words you say only be loving words today.
Take care packages to your local women’s crisis center, a homeless center or to assist a sex-trafficking care center.
Some of us might have a personal relationship with someone who is a mom in need, a woman reeling from the unthinkable darkness of sex trafficking, or someone who is homeless or really struggling. Some of us might not currently know anyone in those kinds of circumstances, but we can come alongside the wonderful ministries and people who are serving them. If you know of a ministry that does great work - take the time to thank them, encourage them and if you can, bless them in some way. It's the least we can do!
He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death. He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight. Psalms 72:13-14
“It was good of you to share in my troubles…not one shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only…And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches.” Philippians 4:14-15,19
Pray for those who have dedicated their lives to helping the suffering and needy. Thank God for their witness and their compassionate hearts. Pray for God to grow your heart for those who are suffering. Pray for His hand to move in your life so that you have more and more opportunities to love on the people who need love most.
God is the Ultimate Creator who created us to be creative! So tap into that today- create something beautiful that points to the beauty of Christ. Here are just a few ideas: a paper snowflake with your favorite Bible verse, a batch of sugar cookies to decorate, a poem, a handwritten note to a friend. Think about what you love to do and do that thing today!
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24
Thank God for his beautiful creativity – how He displays that throughout the world in nature, how He shows us that in the uniqueness of every face of every person. Thank Him for the gifts and talents He’s given you to be a creative person in His image. Ask Him to reveal how you might display His beauty for the world to see.
Invite a friend, coworker, neighbor to church - our church makes special invites for the Christmas season and also has email, Facebook and Twitter links to pass along church event info. You can't get much easier than just Facebook posting an invite to a church event! Statistics show it takes about 8 times for a person to be invited before they say "yes" to attending church. Keep inviting... without badgering, of course!
“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come…without money and without cost.” Isaiah 55:1
“The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon…and he brought him to Jesus.” John 1:41-42
Philip found Nathaniel and told him, “We have found the Messiah…Come and see.” John 1:45-46
Pray for God to open up opportunities for you to invite others to church with you. You probably already have people in mind—pray that God would be readying them to hear your invitation and accept it.