Tag Archives: humility

FANNING YOUR CHRISTMAS FIRE

FANNING YOUR CHRISTMAS FIRE

By Carolyn Dale Newell

And Mary said:

“My soul magnifies the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. For He who is mighty has done great things for me, And holy is His name.

Luke 1:46-49 NKJV

A believer’s desire during Christmas is to keep Christ at the center, but by December 25th, I have fallen short. Overloaded schedules cause us to struggle every day for quiet time with God, and now, there is Christmas. We squeeze in shopping, dinners, decorating, and baking into an already busy routine.

Satan’s secularization of Christmas keeps us from the real meaning of Christmas. That is always his plan. Keep Christ followers preoccupied when we celebrate the birth of the one who died for us.

Familiarity creates indifference. Sadly, the birth of Christ fails to incite the enthusiasm it once did. Holiday activities weary us until our spiritual fire has almost gone out. We need to stoke the embers and stir up the flames. We need to get on fire for Jesus again.

Mary mastered worship. First, she magnified God with her song of praise. As a visually impaired person, I know all about magnification. It enlarges. It makes things visible. It enhances clarity and focus.

During the brightest time of the year, believers must magnify Jesus, but how?

Pride silences praise.   Mary did not esteem herself highly because she carried the Messiah. She referred to herself as a lowly servant. This is humility, the place where all worship begins.

Mary remembered what God had done throughout history. She rehearsed His goodness. Thinking back over the past year or reading a Psalm can jog our memories which can erupt into worship. When we magnify Christ, we decrease, and He increases.

We can only accomplish a Christ-centered Christmas through discipline. Amidst the crowded malls and twinkling lights, we have to carve out time for Jesus.

The true spirit of Christmas is worship. We see this repeated by the shepherds, the wise men, Simeon, and Anna. Even Elizabeth and her unborn child shouted and leaped with praise when Mary greeted her cousin.

How can we stir up our SPIRITUAL flames for Christmas? How can we magnify Jesus? Here are a few ideas listed below.

I challenge you to incorporate something different that keeps Christmas centered around Christ this holy season.

Lord Jesus, thank You for leaving the glories of heaven to be born in a barn. Help us learn to magnify Your name NOW AND FOREVER. Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Luke 1:46-55.

HIKING THE TRAIL

Here are some ideas to help stir up those Christmas flames in a busy world:

  • Let each ornament act as a reminder of someone to pray for or a reason to praise Jesus
  • Allow yourself to stop a tradition, especially those causing unwanted pounds
  • Say no to one dinner or play
  • Get up an hour earlier to have time with Christ
  • listen to Christ-centered Christmas music and when things become stressful, stop and take a break…with Christ

Leave your suggestions for others in the comments!

Copyright 2017 Carolyn Dale Newell.

The Humble Beggar

THE HUMBLE BEGGAR

And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple;
Acts 3:2 (NKJV)

This lame man which Peter and John healed at the temple was like many disabled folks in that time. There were no government programs, and their survival was based on the charity of others. Yet, with all that he did not have, he had one vital thing – humility.

This lame beggar could do nothing on his own. He depended on someone to carry him to the temple daily. He depended on the mercy of others to give him money. That is exactly how we come to Christ. We can do nothing to earn salvation. We should be humbled to think of all that Christ did for us. There is no room for pride.

We also need to come humbly before God when we pray. Notice that the beggar “asked” for alms. Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you;” (Luke 11:9a). Prayer is a humbling experience. Like that beggar, we are incapable of doing anything apart from God.

Let’s look at the blessings given to the humble beggar. He was only seeking money from Peter and John, but he received so much more. He was healed! For the first time in his life, he walked into the temple “leaping, and praising God” (Acts 3:8). What was the reaction of the people when they recognized him as the begger who had sat at the temple gate? “They were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him” (Acts 3:10). God uses humble people to witness to others. People will be astonished at what God does in the lives of those who are weak and merciful. Perhaps this is why Peter wrote, “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God,” (1 Pet. 5:6).

Dear Lord,
Humble me so that I may be pleasing in Your sight. Never allow pride to creep in. Cleanse me from all pride and arrogance. Thank You for salvation and also for all that You do in my life. Apart from You, I can do nothing. Amen.

DIG DEEPER
Read Acts 3:1-10.

HIKING THE TRAIL
We will never know when we are humble because that knowledge would be prideful. Pride is the exact opposite of humility. We need to pray for God to humble us every day. Never forget to thank God for His work in our lives. Without Him, where would we be?

Copyright 2014 Carolyn Dale Newell.