Holiday Guests

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 (ESV)

Watch out for these unwanted holiday guests… Stress and Anxiety

You don’t invite them but they show up, seemingly out of nowhere. Often however, their arrival is a result of these three “R’s”:

Relationships. Conflict between family members can happen anytime. But the holidays seem to heighten our tension levels, or at least our awareness of it. Romans 12:18 ESV says, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” That’s a pretty tough assignment when the “Griswolds” are coming to visit. Do what you can to get along but remember, you are not responsible for the actions and attitudes of anyone but yourself. Smile, and be nice. Laugh, and be nice. Here’s a thought… make amends. Maybe even give forgiveness a try.

Resources. Making ends meet is always a challenge, and especially in today’s economy. Trying to make everybody on your “gift” list happy can be a real “joy”, and send you down the drain… financially and emotionally. Ask yourself these two questions: “Whose birthday is it?” and “What are we really celebrating?” 1 John 4:9-11 ESV, “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only son into the world, so that we might live through Him… Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” Your greatest gift is love – His love. So be careful in your attitude and words.

Routine. Extra demands on your time, dietary free-fall, and a lack of rest will jerk the jingle out of you!! 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 ESV reminds us, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?…For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” Take care of yourself. Rest. Eat right. Exercise. And don’t let the “busyness” rob you of time with your Heavenly Father. Keep your routine. Don’t get off track.

Isaiah prophesied concerning the true Christmas guest when he declared that a child would be born (Isaiah 9:6 ESV). Then, as if to call attention to the monumental importance of this child, he went on to say that a son would be given.

Why? “For this is how God loved the world, that He gave His only son…”John 3:16 (ESV footnote) Jesus…God’s only son…born of a virgin…simply in an effort to show the world how much God loved them. And this was no haphazard birth. It was no accident. The Apostle Paul proclaims in Galatians 4 that “…when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His son…so that we might receive adoption as sons.” (Galatians 4:4-5 ESV) God’s only son, given so that we too might be called sons and daughters of God. Amazing.

Remember the true miracle of Christmas. It’s in your heart. Make it all about Jesus this season. When you focus on Him as your guest, every “unwanted guest” fades into Peace and Joy…

This Christmas, keep Christ Jesus as your focus…

Be sure to read Matthew’s and Luke’s account of His birth…

Sing Noel…

Stand up when you hear the Hallelujah Chorus…

Make His story…THE story…

Having Him as your guest will turn your life – and your Christmas – around.

Posted on: Dec. 18, 2013, 5:13 a.m.