Week 3 of Advent: How to add PEACE to the busy.
Christmas is nine days away. The last day of school for many children is only four days away. Adding to our normal daily routines, this season delivers helping children study for midterms, gift shopping, Christmas cards and extra doses of groceries, cooking, baking, traveling, guests, family dynamics and cleaning.
Quite honestly, on most days my first thought is Jesus before my feet even hit the floor, but not this week. My to-do list is shoving to the front of the line! Rather than get angry or feel guilty or let it win, think about trying any of the following along with me:
Have you tried to pray your to-do list?
My list is in my phone. Consider grabbing your phone and praying, “God, thank you for today. I need you to infiltrate all parts of my day. Enter into my tasks and walk with me through each one”….then read your list to Him.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
Do you let God carry the to-do list around?
Now that you have invited Him into your to-do list, walk through the day listening to His voice, not your list! The list is no longer in your hands because you gave it to Him. Two things will happen.
- First, since you invited Him in with your prayers, He is going to show up! Your blessings will increase. Things will occur like finding items on sale and crossing paths with people you know you were supposed to see. Be present in each moment. God is running the show, not you.
- Second, let Him change the list. There might be an item that would be better to do tomorrow, or God may prompt you to exchange one item on the list for an even better idea. Or perhaps something will be erased altogether. Let the list change. After all, it’s Christmas. It’s God’s Son’s birthday. Let Him be the event planner of the holiday, not you.
The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9
Do you have peace with God?
Jesus is the Prince of Peace. He came to create a way for us to have peace with God. We each have a past with messes in it. Have you considered that Jesus died for those messes even before we were born? He paid for our past, our present and our future. The thing is, we need to reach out and accept His gift.
In the next few weeks, people are going to offer you gifts. You will respond by reaching out to receive them, or allowing them to be placed on your lap to be opened. It’s the same with Jesus. He’s been holding out the gift of forgiveness your whole life. Reach out and let Him know you want His death to count for your sins too. Ask Him to be your Lord and Savior.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
Do you have peace with people?
When people aggravate me, I have a choice to respond with either peace or discord. Thinking we don’t have a choice is incorrect. When we made peace with God through Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit took up residence in our hearts. Instead of conjuring up peace, we can release the peace we already have from God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)
The fruit of the Spirit already resides inside every person who has received the gift of Jesus Christ. Those who access the fruit will have a much more merry Christmas than those who keep these grand gifts hidden and unused.
Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. (James 3:18)
...those who promote peace have joy. Proverbs 12:20
This week, let’s let God have our to-do lists, our hearts, and infiltrate our relationships.
Picture Explanation: Last week I featured ornaments my dad has given me over the years. This week I feature carolers my mom has given me over the years. These are more than cute figurines to me. I grew up in rural Pennsylvania and carolers from a neighboring school actually dressed like this to go Christmas caroling through our village. (Yes, I lived in a village.) What a beautiful experience it was to have them walk through the snow to our door with lanterns lit and sing Christmas carols to us in perfect harmony. Mom always rushed to assemble an assortment of homemade Christmas cookies on a tray and then one of us kids would walk the goodies out to serve those who had just sung so beautifully. I know that to have such memories is a gift, and these figurines remind me of my rural roots.
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