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“So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.” (Zechariah 4:6 NIV)

God’s Spirit will get you through Christmas.

Even though Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’s birth, for many, celebrating is hard.  Especially in this year of loss.  As I write, a young friend, only 22 years old, is battling for her life in the Cleveland Clinic.  Unforeseen complications turned a routine surgery into something far different than anyone expected.  Why my young friend suffers, I do not know.  Her faith remains constant in the face of adversity.  God is the source of all her strength; He has power for you too.

On Christmas day, many years ago, a child was born in a manger.  During that period in history, political upheaval and unrest similar to ours today existed.  Everything our world is enduring, the same as in the days of old.  What is different today than on the day Christ was born? We have His hope.  Jesus’s birth was the beginning of the hope we have today.  His life and ministry yet to come that blessed morning in Bethlehem.

Joy: Jesus, Others, You.

This year, look to Jesus for your joy, no one else.  Spend time reading Luke chapter two,  relive His birth.  Bake a birthday cake and sing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus.  Celebrate Him like you would a beloved family member because Jesus is family.  He is with you on your tough days as well as your good days.  No one is closer to you than Jesus; no one knows you better than Him.  And He adores everything about you.  He is your hope.  In Him, you can find joy.

A teacher friend years ago introduced me to JOY.  Each Christmas, she finds ornaments spelling out the word.  Then she teaches them the principle of loving God, loving others, themselves last.  I’ve never forgotten the lesson.  Now, when I need JOY, I know how to find it. Remembering this simple acronym can help you find JOY!  

Each Christmas, I find a little “give-to-friends” gift.  Sometimes the item is something I make, other times not.  This year I’m giving away angels.  Some of the angels are crystal, some metal. Most of them are hand-delivered, a few mailed.  Praying over the winged ladies as I prepared them for their recipients brought joy to my heart.  The first one I gave away was to a sales associate working at the Dollar Tree.  Her smile as she peered at the ornament is forever in my mind, bringing me joy for years to come.

Enjoy the next two days.  Find strength in Jesus. Find JOY: Jesus, Others, You.

Question of the Day:

Whose strength are you relying on to get through the holidays?

Further Reading: Zechariah 4:1-5:11 NIV, Revelation 14:1-20 NIV, Psalm 142:1-7 NIV, Proverbs 30:21-23 NIV

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