I am taking a break today from my December “Reel Christmas” series to focus on the devotion I have running over at P31 Encouragement For Today, called A Cup of Christmas COCOA.
If you are visiting my blog today, then welcome! At the bottom of the post, find out how to win today’s COCOA giveaway which was mentioned in the devotion.
It is hard to believe that Christmas is only nine days away. It seems that it takes forever for the holidays to begin, then the whole season flies by way too quickly! So quickly, it often comes around before we have all the gifts bought, decorations put up, and cards mailed. There is just too much to do in too little time!
Unfortunately we often use this excuse of “busyness” to secretly justify that it’s okay to focus all our time and energies on all those Christmassy-type things that are screaming for our attention. But deep in our hearts, we know Jesus should be our focus, and we may even feel a twinge of guilt for having an out-of-focus Christmas. So how do we change that habit? How do we get in-focus, in the midst of the holiday whirlwind?
Today’s devotion talked about using the acrostic C.O.C.O.A. to help us stay focused on Christ – because COCOA is synonymous with Christmas, right?!
Aside from drinking hot cocoa, and to insure that I stay focused despite all my crazy-Christmas-to-do’s, I made a list of ways to decorate our hearts for Christmas. Even though there are only 9 days left until Jesus’ birthday, it is never too late to get in-focus on the reason we are celebrating!
1. Display a nativity scene in a prominent place. If you don’t have one, consider getting one. They come in all shapes, sizes and colors, and range from very expensive at specialty stores, to very inexpensive at dollar stores and thrift stores. Regardless of the monetary value, any nativity scene is beautiful. You can even make your own if you are a crafty type of gal, by doing an Internet search with the words “homemade nativity”.
2. Read scripture each day of the month, including the Christmas story found in the gospels.
3. Attend a Christmas program, or a Christmas Eve service at a local church. If you do not have a home church, attend at a friend’s church, or check your local listings. This year you can also attend church on Christmas Day, since most churches will offer regular Sunday worship.
4. Listen to Christmas music that is focused on Jesus, not just jingle bells.
5. Spending more time in prayer this month than you usually do – thanking God for the blessings of the past year, and seeking His peace and blessings for the coming year.
6. Keep a Christmas journal. Record your thoughts about the Christmas season, how God is working in your life this month, or meaningful Christmas poems or articles that you come across. You could also jot down Christ-centered ideas or activities that you have heard about from others, and consider doing them this year or next.
7. Share Christ with someone who needs to know that there really is “Something more” to Christmas, just like the Grinch discovers.
8. Step outside of your comfort zone to serve someone in a way that you would not normally do. Put aside convenience, and put on compassion.
9. Give the gift of scripture. A special way to share God’s Word is through a blessing box, or a treasure box as I have often referred to it. It’s a little box full of bible verses, with your friend or loved one’s name inserted into the verses. This is a priceless gift, which can minister to someones heart all year round. Click here to see a previous blog post for more information and a list of verses.
10. Give a gift to Jesus. Give each family member a red note card, and ask them to write down one gift they want to give Jesus this year. It could be forgiving someone who has hurt you, surrendering a negative attitude, committing to serving others, stepping out in faith to embrace a special calling, or spending more time in His Word. It is simply a promise from our heart to God’s heart. Hang the completed note cards on your tree, or wrap them up and put them under the tree, and open them on Christmas morning and pray over them.
Today’s COCOA giveaway is a festive Christmas coffee cup with Romans 6:23 on it, filled with chocolate, and the acrostic C.O.C.O.A from the devotion attached with curly ribbon. It would make a great Christmas gift for a friend, or keep it for yourself!
To enter the drawing, just leave a comment stating how you keep Christ in your Christmas!