Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men (women) of courage; be strong.  Do everything in love. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NIV

The holidays are upon us.  Preparations are in full swing.  The turkey, then the tree, and four short weeks later Christmas morning!  Yikes!  

When we boil it down to the basics, it sounds like something to check off the list.

Yet we know it is to be more, much more.  The celebration of Christmas isn’t to be hurried and rushed into, but our enemy wants it to be just that: a rush.  Somewhere between shopping for gifts, decorating, and cookies, Satan tries to trip us into high gear so that we miss the simple beauty of the Gift.

Be on your guard…

In fencing practice, the command ‘On Guard’ means the opening position to either be ready to attack or defend and throughout the contest your stance must be on guard.  How can we be ‘on guard’ against the enemy?

Stand firm in the faith…

Building our faith comes with practice, just as being a good fencer does.

This holiday season will give us many opportunities to practice standing firm in the faith.  Our stance will be with the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.  Memorize our key verse, cling to it in those moments when you feel you’re being tugged in too many directions.

Finally, verse fourteen says

Do everything in love.

If love isn’t the motivation for baking the cookies, get the store bought ones and love the fellowship.  If love isn’t the motivation for the decorations, skip them and celebrate the moment instead of the ornament.

I want to be a woman celebrating the greatest gift ever given.

Will you join me in:

clinging to His Word

making people more important than baking or decorating

cherishing the moments so I don’t get lost in the rush

Father, help me to stand firm this holiday season, standing on Your Word and Your love.  Putting aside the urgent when it gets in the way of the important.  Help me be courageous enough to not have the best decorated house so that I have the best view of Your precious gift. In Jesus, Name Amen

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