Monday, December 13, 2010

An Undivided Heart

What can I do to make life easier?  Have you found the answer to facing the overwhelming difficulties life can bring?  For some reason, when we near the Christmas season it seems that more people face depression, the stack of bills seems higher, the weather is colder, and the car doesn't want to start.  How can we avoid the utter anguish that all of this brings?  If Jesus, the Prince of Peace, came to bring "peace on earth" then where is it?

I think the answer is simple.  Our despair comes from a divided heart.  Not that we're divided over whether we should worship God or worship Satan, but our worship of God is compromised by our self-focus.  You have to admit that most activities around Christmastime are not God-focused activities.  Don't get me wrong - I love Christmas parties, carols, shopping, exchanging gifts, pigging out, and all the other festivities that accompany the holiday.  However, these activities are usually void of anything holy. 

But we can change that by not neglecting our communion with the Father and by maintaining our relationship with Him in the midst of utter chaos.  Deliberately focus upward and outward.
  • Listen for His direction.  Is there someone who is not on your gift list or card list that He wants you to reach? 
  • Don't let all of your scripture reading come from the first two chapters of the Gospels. 
  • Set the clock half an hour earlier at least once a week and start your day with a devotional reading and prayer.
  • Find a charity in your city and help them by making a donation of money, time, toys, or food.
  • Think of someone who has touched your life and include a note of thanks in a Christmas card.
  • Take a small group of friends to a nursing home with Christmas cards that you've all signed.  Ask the staff to direct you to residents whose families do not visit them.
What's your favorite Christmas memory where you found the meaning of "It is more blessed to give than to receive"?

So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he'll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. James 4:7-8

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