As we are just two days away from our national frenzied shopping day, Black Friday, these words are centering, balancing reminders of what matters most in this life for those of us who belong to Jesus.

I have a good friend who, along with her sisters and mom and pastor dad, enjoy the thrill of finding great bargains without succumbing to the temptation to excess or greed. They do most of their Christmas shopping on Black Friday and enjoy the rest of the month focusing on the celebration of Christ without their lists constantly nagging them. It’s not the day that can be the problem but our hearts.

The saints of old were much more mindful than we of living simply, frugally, and unencumbered by excess. They took seriously the exhortation to lay aside all that entangles in the race set before us (Hebrews 12:1), and the challenge to be like a soldier who also does not get entangled in civilian pursuits, but instead strives to please the one who enlisted him (2 Timothy 2:4).

We who have come to the Babe in the manger for salvation have come not of our own choice but because He called us and gave us a heart to follow. Therefore, we are His possession and we owe Him our all for rescuing us from death and hell.

So as we ready ourselves for the Christmas season that is already upon us, may we walk worthy of His sacrifice. May we think less of material things and more of Him and His work for us. May we renew our dedication to His service with our remaining days that we may hear, “Well done!” from the Father one day.

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2 thoughts on “Centering”

  1. Thank you so much Barbara for the beautiful prayer, “Lord Jesus, ‘Save me from bondage to things.'”
    It touched my heart so that I nearly began to weep. This is because I have such a problem with grieving over getting rid of things, even though I force myself to, ever since my Mother passed away in 2007.

    I believe this prayer will benefit me in this difficulty of mine, and that my continual praying of it will enable me to trust my Lord and Savior in all matters of my life. Although I do know that all that matters is our relationship with God and our families and others, I have a weakness of fearing God will not always provide for me if I am too generous with my possessions. I ask for your prayers in this regard that The Lord will bring me to believe that he will always be there for me to provide for me.

    God Bless you and your family always.

    God Bless,

  2. Barbara,
    I praise God for your website! I “stumbled” upon it- looking for ideas to help our family display/integrate Christ into our Christmas tree! (Go figure). You’ve done something I’ve contemplated for a long time; however, life and time constraints- not to mention limited artistic ability- kept most of my ideas merely that.
    I find your personal reflections comforting and inspiring. THANK YOU for sharing from your heart.
    Our family faced and continues to face DIFFICULT trials, as well. Only the joy of/in the LORD strengthens us!

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