THIS SERIES: FINDING WINTER’S REST
Mindfulness is a hot topic right now, with magazines, books, TV programmes and conferences, all telling us the benefit of focusing on, and celebrating the present. Although there is undoubted value in such an emphasis, the Bible tells it a little differently—it’s not just about what you do—it’s about who you’re with.
Pursuing God Himself is the most important thing we can do. We were designed to live in His Presence—designed to have Him as our number one focus—and it is the short cut to a joy-filled life.
You make known to me the path of life;
You will fill me with joy in Your Presence,
with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.
And in the context of His Presence, everything we do has the potential to be an act of worship, an offering to Him.
…whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
[1 Corinthians 10:31]
…whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens….
He has made everything beautiful in its time.
He has also set eternity in the human heart
[Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11]
There is no division for Christians between spiritual and secular. Jesus came to redeem the commonplace and make it holy. Even our regular chores, or Christmas checklists can become things of beauty, and our faith-filled activities touch eternity. Ephesians 2 tells us we have been seated with Christ in the Heavenly Realms, and the Name of Jesus [Acts 4:30] releases His kingdom life in our actions on earth.
So let’s combat stress by making our daily lives an opportunity for sacramental living: let’s take regular pauses, where we still the demands of the soul and seek His presence; and then let’s offer up each activity as an act of worship, asking Him to bless and release His power and grace through them.
CUTLIVATE CHILD-LIKE JOY
Our lives are supposed to be joy-filled—it’s a characteristic of the kingdom. And joy is key in counteracting Christmas-induced stress, and an essential source of energy!
The joy of the Lord is your strength
Part of living sacramentally is receiving the blessings of each day with thanksgiving. If we have eyes to see, our days are filled with love-gifts from the Father, designed to make our hearts sparkle. What gifts of joy can we find this season? It will be different for each of us: maybe a seasonal ornament or a letter from a friend, perhaps this year’s first mince pie or a comic Christmas card, maybe a neighbour’s Christmas tree, or a favourite movie.
And we don’t have to own things to enjoy them. We can delight in a Christmas card design without buying a pack, revel in the artistry of a window display without craving the contents, and enjoy next door’s wreath without having to compete.
Let’s cultivate child-like attitudes, delighting in simple things, and rediscovering our sense of wonder—after all, it’s an important kingdom attribute [Matthew 18:23]. And then let’s embrace our gifts of joy with thanksgiving.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
To read more about embracing life’s grace-gifts, go to CHOOSING GRATITUDE, or click on
EXPERIENCING GOD'S PRESENCE to learn about our fundamental birthright.
NEXT WEEK: LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS
The message of Christmas...
GET IN TOUCH!
[Photo credits: Tim Gouw (girl); Aaron Burden (bauble); Kelly Sikkema (writing paper) @ Unsplash, with thanks]
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