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Day 10 – Thursday, Dec 14

Colossians 3:16-17 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you…do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.  (NASB)

I often feel overwhelmed by my schedule – family, ministry, work, and more. The Christmas season arrives during a Thanksgiving family get-together when everyone pulls out their iPhones and electronic calendars to schedule family Yuletide festivities in less than a month. I admit it.  I panic. I have no time. Even though I specialize in time management, alarm bells go off in my head. When do I have time for Christmas? Shopping? Office party? Festivities with business associates and friends? School programs? Decorating? Gift purchase? Gift wrapping? Gift delivery?  And, now I need to calendar an evening or Saturday with family. Does this frustration seem familiar?  Oh, it hurts! Where is the joy in that?

How can I experience the ‘peace on earth’ and ‘joy’ during Christmas with so much busyness leading up to the holiday? I learned that the answer lies in Jesus Christ alone. One frustrating Christmas many years ago, I found contentment and joy by pleasing One only – the Lord Jesus Christ. I realized I was selfishly looking for happiness in the reactions of others instead of the One who inspires my celebration of Christmas. I nearly lost everything because I tried to please everyone except Him. And, I was the most selfish of all, because I believed that I deserved to receive blessings from people when they received my goodwill and my gifts.

Now, I want the Christmas season to continue year-round. Paul declared “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.” (Col. 3:22-23).  Joy comes from Jesus Christ. The Christmas season delivers Jesus. Won’t you find contentment in Him?

Dr. Skip Hessel, Chief Development Officer