Before you know it, it will be the season for "making a list and checking it twice."
As we start to navigate through the holiday hustle and bustle, maybe it would help us maintain our focus on the gift of Jesus - - - filtering our actions on whether they will bear fruit for God's kingdom.
Do we need to double-check our intentions as we dive into the holly-strewn path of the holiday?
- As we contribute to charity, are we being generous and truly giving from the goodness of our hearts?
- When we decorate our homes, are we discovering joy and looking forward to opening our homes to others during this season?
- As we shop for loved ones, can we maintain self-control and avoid the "one for him, one for me" slippery slope?
- Perhaps most of all, are we living out of love as we anticipate the celebration of Jesus' birth?
The ESV version of today's verse states that "righteousness abides in the fruitful field. And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever."(Isaiah 32:16b-17)
The term "righteousness" sounds a bit stuffy and somewhat of a lofty expectation:
Righteousness = the quality of being morally right or justifiable
Maybe if "check our list twice" to review our attitudes and intentions, we lean closer to what is "right and just?"
If we are striving to live out the Fruits of the Spirit in our families and communities, then perhaps we can experience peace with one another.
For me, a collective feeling of peace does quiet my soul and reinforce the trust I have in God to provide what we need for today:
His presence in our present.
Now, that is our true gift for this season.
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