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A Call to Courage — 113 — Christmas Chaos
It’s finally here. Christmas. The most anticipated, and maybe most dreaded time of the year. What was created as a special time to remember the birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior for us all, has become the most over-commercialized, stress-filled, overwhelming time of year.
As a Christian, I truly want to live out this season, and every day of my life, as a reflection of the hope I have in Jesus. I want to remember the “Reason for the Season” and live like I do, but the pressures of the world around me have closed in so much that I often do not. That will stop this year. I am certain of it. And today, on this final episode of A Call to Courage this year, I want to share with you how you, too, can live out the Truth of this season, and continue to live in that Truth all year long.
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Scripture Reference (versions listed are NIV, unless otherwise indicated, but links are for NIV, NLT, MSG, and NASB)
Ephesians 3:20-21: “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever, Amen.”
Matthew 11:28: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT): “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” Proverbs 3:5-6, NLT)
Hebrews 13:20-21: “Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
Psalm 16:11 (NASB): “You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”
“So come on, let me dream for you. I am strong when you’re weak and I will carry you. So, let go of your plan, be caught by my hand, I’ll show you what I can do when I dream for you. Let me dream for you!” ~~ God via Casting Crowns “Dream For You” song on the Thrive album
“Let’s be courageous in these coming days. Let’s choose to love and rest and grace. Let’s use our minutes and hours to create memories with the people we love instead of dragging them on one more errand or shushing them while we accomplish one more seemingly necessary thing. Let’s honor the story — the silent night, the angels, the miracle child, the simple birth, with each choice that we make.
My prayer is that we’ll find ourselves drawn closer and closer to the heart of the story, the beautiful, beating heart of it all, that the chaos around us and within us will recede, and the most important things will be clear and lovely at every turn. I pray that we will understand the transforming power that lies in saying “no”, because it’s an act of faith, a tangible demonstration of the belief that you are so much more than what you do. I pray we’ll live with intention, hope, and love in this wild season and in every season, and that the God who loves us will bring new life to our worn-out hearts this year and every year, that we’ll truly live, truly and deeply, in the present.” ~~ Shanua Niequist, from her book, “Bread and Wine”
There are pressures all around us to follow the ways of the world and continue doing things the way we always have. But we have a choice in how we choose to use the time we are given each day. The stress we face can be diminished. We can live a life that glorifies God and honors the uniqueness of our individual lives. We must first choose to be courageous, to choose to trust God’s plans for us over our own plans. When we make that choice first, everything else will fall into place.
As you move through today, tomorrow, and every other day after that God grants you, it is my prayer that you will S.T.O.P and Start Trusting in God’s Overflowing Presence no matter what you face. He alone is faithful. His ways won’t let you down.
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