December 20. “JESUS AND OPPORTUNITY”
“But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son born of a woman…” Galatians 4:4
This is the last weekend before Christmas. What are your thoughts? Are you panicked at how quickly the days of preparations are fading? Are you overwhelmed at how much you need to accomplish at home, at work, or perhaps even at church? What are your thoughts? Maybe you have resisted the cultural sway of last minute preparations, and now you are relaxed, peaceful, and caught up. But, whether you are stressed out or caught up, the question for Christmas still remains: “what are your thoughts?”
Here are some suggested thoughts to fill your mind with in the form of questions during these final days before Christmas. There is one question for each day from now until Christmas Eve. (Apply these questions in the “first person.”)
Question #1: Is there someone I have lost connection with and need to seek to restore the relationship? Question #2: Is there a project I have needed to do for or with someone, and procrastination has taken over? Question #3: Is my home truly centered on the mission of Christ? Is there a family alter (figuratively speaking) that gives us time to worship Jesus and focus on His love for the world? Question #4: Are there neighbors that I have too often passed by that need a contact, greeting, or an expression of love? Question #5: Do I need to rest?
These five questions are significant, because, unless I miss my guess, most of us will have time to work on all of these this Christmas season (note the possible answers to the above questions):
- Question #1 – You will likely spend time with friends and family; take the time necessary to nurture, strengthen, reconnect, or restore relationships.
- Question #2 – Most everyone is given some time off at Christmas; if so, plan at least one afternoon to take care of that project that would be a true blessing to someone in your family.
- Question #3 – Busy schedules interrupt much needed family time in Scripture reading and prayer; more than likely, all will be together at some point during the holidays. Plan a “family alter” time where you and yours gather for meaningful prayer, scripture reading, and even the singing of some of our most sacred Christmas carols.
- Question #4 – As you drive in and out of your neighborhood over the next few days, remember that Christmas time is the perfect reason to stop by a neighbor’s house you rarely get to visit. Drop off a card, or a baked good. Or, simply stop by and wish your neighbor a Merry Christmas. Don’t forget your neighbors.
- Question #5 – Rest. Sit down, grab a blanket, and rest. But, make it meaningful rest. Sometimes we view rest as recovery. Instead, rest for discovery. Slow down, sit down, and allow your mind and body to be still. You never know what God may do, or what He may show you when you “stop.” Or, you may never know how much rest you need until you give yourself permission to be still.
As I reconcile my own life with these questions, once significant encouragement from the Bible comes to mind: redeem the time (Ephesians 5:16). Most scholarship agrees that this exhortation is the simple reminder of making the most of every opportunity. The original phrase means to buy back or purchase, thus giving the idea “to redeem.”
During this time of year, as we are the benefactors of Jesus having come in the fullness of time (Galatians 4:4, “at just the right time”), allow others to benefit from you redeeming the time – make the most of the time you have at home and with others this Christmas season.
This is opportunity! This is Christmas! This is Jesus!
READ: Read Ephesians 5:15-21 to rediscover how our lives can make the most of opportunities this season and always!
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