Tag Archives: christmas spirit

The Blessing Of Giving

  

This time of year, there’s one question that gets asked every day, “What are you getting for Christmas?” We have kids make lists of everything they want and then have them send it to Santa. Or we take them to the mall to have them sit on Santa’s knee so they can tell him in person. Somehow, we’ve taken a holiday that was about giving and have turned it into holiday about getting. What if we started asking people, “What are you giving this year?”

As I watched a friend give a Christmas party with gifts, games, food and fun to a hundred under privileged kids, the scripture that says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” came to mind. I watched her hand each child a gift they had wanted and their parents probably couldn’t afford. I think her smile was larger than any child’s because she was the one giving. That’s what this season, and I think this life is all about. Giving.

In the beginning, God gave man he breath of life. He gave us everything we need to survive. Millennia later, He gave His only begotten Son to us so that we might have eternal life. When He was born, the wise men gave Him gifts. These gifts were sacrificial. They cost these men not just their money, but their time and effort as well to deliver them. That night in Bethlehem, they learned the blessing of giving.

This season, don’t let it be about getting. Take time to enjoy the giving. Look beyond your own family and give to someone else in need. You never know what a blessing it will be to them. When you see what your obedience does for others, you will find your own blessing. Luke 6:38 says, “Give to others, and God will give to you. Indeed, you will receive a full measure, a generous helping, poured into your hands — all that you can hold. The measure you use for others is the one that God will use for you” (GNB). This Christmas, give generously.

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Free From Worry

It’s Free Friday! What are you going to be free from today? The choice is yours to let it go. To celebrate Free Friday, I’m giving away a free copy of Lindsey Clifford’s book “Just Jesus: His Living Words”. Keep reading to find out how to enter.

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For a lot of people, Christmas is their favorite time of year. They love the spirit of it, the joy, the parties, the experience and fun. For others, it is the most depressing time of year. With all that Christmas brings, it also brings added stress and worry to their lives. Instead of being able to enjoy the season, they struggle with managing their schedule, paying bills and being able to buy presents for everyone on their list. They allow worry to come in and take over their mind. If that describes you, then today is your day to be free.

Worrying is not part of God’s plan for you. He doesn’t want you to stress out over things you can’t control. He didn’t design your mind or body to function with all that self induced heaviness. The Bible has a lot to say about worrying. In Matthew 6:34, Jesus said, “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” He was very clear that we need to let go of the “what ifs” that keep us up at night and to trust God.

I’ve learned in my own life that worry is toxic to your well being. Nothing good comes from worrying. All it does is cloud your mind and sap your energy. It will consume you, your thoughts and your sleep. God doesn’t want you to live like that. He wants you to release those worries to Him. I Peter 5:7 says, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares for you.” Worrying has never changed the outcome of a situation, but God has. If your reply to this message or others is, “Well someone has to worry about it,” you’re right. Someone does. God. Let Him worry about it.

So what should you do instead? In Philippians 4:6, Paul tells us, “Don’t worry or fret. Instead of worrying, pray.” Prayer is how you free yourself from worry. You hand the reigns of what’s bothering you over to God. You take yourself out of the driver’s seat and let God take over. If you are consumed with thoughts and worry, you haven’t let God take control of the situation. What’s worse is you haven’t trusted Him with it. You think you can handle it better than He can. It’s time to right the order of things and hand your cares and worries off to Him. It’s time to be free of the worries that have bound you up and kept you from enjoying life. Today is your day to be free.

If you’d like to win Lindsey Clifford’s book “Just Jesus” which is collection and organization of all of Jesus’ words here on earth, you have three ways to enter today. The first way you can get your name in the drawing is by signing up to receive Devotions by Chris in your email. The second way is to go to www.facebook.com/devotionsbychris and like my page. The third way you can enter is by going to that Facebook page and liking one of today’s statuses. Anyone who does any of those three things today, December 6, 2013, will be entered. I’ll draw tomorrow morning and announce the winner on my Facebook page. If you win, send me a private message with the address you’d like the book shipped to.

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