“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love.” Zephaniah 3:17 (ESV)
“God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.” St. Augustine
- Remember to call your prayer partner today. In the midst of the holiday season, it is so important to keep praying with one another. Now is a time
when most of us need extra prayer to get through the stress and busyness, so don’t give up!
- Before you start your study today, calm your heart to hear from God. Psalm 46:10 reminds us to stop and be still. Sit down with your Bible, journal,
and a pen. Ask God to speak to you during this time, and then write down what He says to you.
- Make a reminder on your calendar to call your prayer partner this week. It is so encouraging to pray with one another!
A Note from Your Father to You this Christmas
As we count down to Christmas, I strongly sense God saying, “Tell moms that I love them.” How beautiful! The unfathomable God who formed the universe is also your loving Father and wants you to know how much He cherishes you.
All over the Bible, His love can be found. In Ephesians, it’s described as a more deep and profound love than can be understood. Zephaniah 3:17 says that God rejoices over us with gladness. James 1:17 shares that every good and perfect gift in our lives is from our Heavenly Father. Oh, that is so good!
How do we respond to God’s love, especially during the busyness of Christmas? How will you respond to the One who is rejoicing over you right now? Rejoicing! Who loves like that? Only Him. In the gospels, Jesus unveiled that the most important thing to do is love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. What does it look like to love God like that? When was the last time you did that? Consistently loving Him with our all is a right response to One who adores us with a love so joyful, glad, good, and perfect! In Luke 10:38-42 (NLT), Mary of Bethany painted a gorgeous glimpse of the response that pleased Jesus:
As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed them into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what He taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Jesus’ words, “There is only one thing worth being concerned about,” deeply provoke my heart. God reveals what He’s longing for from us! His love for us is immeasurable and poured out, and, in return, He’s looking for a Mary of Bethany, one who prioritizes worshipping and abiding in Him.
In light of this, with all the Christmas decorating, shopping, cooking, and cleaning, how will you make time to abide in Him? What can you take off your plate, release to God this season, and not take back? Is it strained relationships, stressful finances, or something else?
In Jeremiah 29:13, God promises, “You will find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Abide in Him, and He will show you how much He loves you. Right now, He is inviting you in, to surrender your heart, so He can open your eyes and show you His glory.
So I pray, “God, as you proclaim Your word over your daughters, open our eyes to your love for us. Teach us how to abide and do the one thing worth being concerned about, as Jesus told Martha. Whisper to us now how to sit at your feet, even with a wealth of tasks at hand this Christmas.”
Blessings and Love,
Questions to Ponder
- Take a moment to contemplate what your heart really longs for. Is it sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening to what He wants to say to you? Or something else? Be honest. He already knows anyway! Ask Him for help to love Him in a way that pleases Him.
- If you fully believed that God loves you the way the Bible describes, how would you live your life differently?
This Christmas, read the story of Mary of Bethany from Luke 10:38-42 with your children. Let them soak in the idea that Jesus is more concerned with our hearts loving, seeking, and abiding in Him than anything else in life. Then brainstorm with your children about how your family can carve out more time to do that. Maybe it means not having things as perfect as you’d like this Christmas. Perhaps your family will have to say “no” to something. Either way, rejoice in knowing that your family has pleased God by abiding in Him and focusing on the “one thing worth being concerned about.”