Lucado Life Lessons Christmas Devotional
Week 4: Say “Hush” to Your Soul
Day 24: A Bit Of It All
Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
Situation in Nehemiah 8:1-18
Nehemiah and Ezra assembled the people in Jerusalem to hear the law of Moses. Many wept when they realized how disobedient they had been, but the assembly became a festive time when the people reclaimed their legacy as God’s chosen people.
Nehemiah not only encouraged the people to consider the day sacred but also to rejoice in the Lord, their source of strength. They could seek God’s holiness and be joyful at the same time.
Last night during family devotions, I called my daughters to the table and set a plate in front of each. In the center of the table I placed a collection of food: some fruit, some raw vegetables and some Oreo cookies. “Every day,” I explained, “God prepares for us a plate of experiences. What kind of plate do you most enjoy?”
The answer was easy. Sara put three cookies on her plate. Some days are like that, aren’t they? Some days are “three cookie days.” Many are not. Sometimes our plate has nothing but vegetables–twenty-four hours of celery, carrots, and squash. Apparently God knows we need some strength, and though the portion may be hard to swallow, isn’t it for our own good? Most days, however, have a bit of it all. Vegetables, which are healthy but dull. Fruit, which tastes better and we enjoy. And even an Oreo, which does little for our nutrition, but a lot for our attitude.
All are important and all are from God. “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). We, like Paul, must learn “both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:12, 13).
Christmas is a time for cookies, but also for kettles clanking with donations. We rejoice over the coming of the Messiah, but also mourn over our sin that made the incarnation necessary. We celebrate God for the Oreos, offer praise for the fruit, and give thanks for the veggies–all of it. Christmas teaches us that holy times can also be happy times.
Oh, and one last thing. It’s also a good time to ask ourselves, What are we doing to bring Christ’s “Joy to the World”?
(Adapted from The Great House of God by Max Lucado)
Are you a joyful Christian or a grumpy one? How can you make the joy of the Lord your strength this Christmas season? What can you do to make this the most joyful, merriest Christmas ever, whatever your circumstances?
Joy–John 15:1-11; Romans 14:17; Galatians 5:22, 23; James 1:2, 3; 1 John 1:1-4.
MERRY CHRISTMAS, Friends!!!