Thursday, December 11, 2014

Welcome Christmas!

Heavenly Father, as we rush head first into this Christmas season, help us learn to cherish and make time to simply sit at Your feet and be in Your presence. At the same time, Lord, show us how to live a life of integrity in which we are a woman of our word. Empower us to control and measure the words we speak.
Teach us how to discipline our steps and invest time in a way that pleases You and honors the plan You have for our lives.
Only You can bring a holy balance to our life as we surrender our agenda and every priority to Your perfect plan.
In Jesus' name, Amen. 

During this, what should be a, joyous season, are you feeling like your life is out of control or that your world is spinning out of control. When there is no self-control, when there is no grace erecting a hedge of protection around us, we are sitting ducks and vulnerable to attacks from every direction and every enemy. 

Discipline is obedience, a lifetime process that brings us to a state of order by training and controlling our behavior. Discipline is focusing and eliminating, zeroing in on what is important. Titus 2:11-12 is clear on the importance of discipline in the life of the believer when it says, "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "no" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age." Discipline holds restraint in one hand and commitment in the other. Discipline can only be accomplished in our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit. When we give our lives to God, the Holy Spirit is set free to train and direct us in the ways of God. God will not give us good habits or character. We have to choose to walk in an "upright" way. We must choose the good habits over the bad and "work out the salvation that God has worked in." That's discipline.

In Proverbs 4:27 Solomon warns us to stay away from evil paths: "Don't turn off the road of goodness; keep away from evil paths." In this verse "keep away" literally means "to turn aside or drag from." In other words, when we see sin or even the opportunity to sin, we should turn around and run in the opposite direction. We should "drag ourselves" away from sin. What do we do instead? We flirt with sin. We want to be delivered from temptation, but would really like to keep in touch. We pray for God to "lead us not into temptation" and then deliberately place ourselves in its path. In our arrogance, we think we can handle sin and the temptation to sin on our own. That very attitude is an open invitation for the enemy, daring him to take his best shot.

There is no holding pattern for believers nor can we live in a neutral state. Either we are going forward or backward. We are being either renewed or consumed. Don’t relinquish any more life territory to the enemy. Guard your heart and the words you speak.
  1. Remember who you are: “Be resolved to remember who we are in Christ”
  2. Redirect your focus to Jesus: “In and of ourselves, we have no power to face a situation. If we keep our eyes focused on Jesus, He can work through even the toughest of crisis.
  3. Recognize God’s job isn’t your job: Bring our willingness to be obedient to God and ask Him to step in and add what only He can add. Our responsibility is to bring our willingness to God what is natural to us and God will add to it His “super” to it (making it supernatural because ONLY God can do it!) RESULTS are God’s job.
  4. Recite praises and thanks to God: There’s power in praising God and giving thanks to God! Thinking about who God is in the midst of this circumstance. Doing this, positions our heart to see the blessings all around us even in the midst of hardships.
  5. Realize that actions determine reach: In 2 Chronicles 20, it says in verse 24 that “He had rest on every side”. God rested – even when he didn’t have to… REST!

I truly hope that you will use control during this wonderful Christmas season and realize you don’t have to have a “Norman Rockwell” Christmas to have a beautiful, wonderful, even spectacular Christmas – you just need to remember the reason for the season, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Let’s Pray:
Heavenly Father,
As we come to you, still learning to use control, we trust You to guide us closer to peace. We will pause, this day, this moment, to revel in Your Presence and soak up the glory of Your Love for us! Help us to look honestly at our lives and at any areas we need to use control and show us what steps You would have us take to walk the path You have for us. We look to You, the One that knows the truest peace and gives it freely, to show us how to reap crops of Love and showers of righteousness in our lives.
In Jesus' name, Amen.

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