Well, we are in the mix of the holidays and there’s no turning back now! Every year I feel like this season blows past me, and yet by God’s grace He still meets me here. The Lord is constantly reminding me of reasons to praise Him, things to give thanks for in another year gone by. Through the good, the bad and the ugly I feel like I’m getting to know Him better, and for that I am grateful.

So I ask myself the question, how can this Christmas be different? How can I make this year even better? And, no, I’m not so much thinking about the stuff of Christmas. But what can I do to make this Christmas a greater time of worship for me and my family? I want to be intentional but sometimes it feels hard to find a way to start, am I right?

As we’re studying the psalms and asking the question of how to prepare Him room this Christmas, I’ve already been really encouraged. But I want to take a moment and share with you what I’ve seen in Psalm 16. In this Psalm, David begins by saying,

“Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord;

I have no good apart from You.’”

In the Hebrew, the phrase “I have no good apart from you” is literally, “beyond You, no good thing.” The word picture is that of David standing before the Lord and looking out past Him and seeing nothing but pain and suffering. There is nothing that David could call good without the Lord’s presence in his life. David is acknowledging as he is standing in worship before the Lord that there is no place else he would rather be than before the Lord. His sustenance was none other than the Lord Himself. In fact, down in verse 11 he says, “You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” In this season, we remember that it’s not the stuff that satisfies, it’s the relationship — both with God, and with others.

In verses 3 and 4, David goes on to call the saints of the land to acknowledge with him the sorrows they have seen of those who run after other gods. It is interesting the way David says this, “those who run after other gods.” They ran in haste past God. Picture that, there are those who run after things apart from God and are stricken with all kinds of evil and the sorrow that goes with it. God is faithfully present with us at all times, we are the ones that run past Him after other things that only cause sorrow and heartache. In this season, do we think that running after more is better? That joy is actually found in the quantity of the things sought out? I don’t want to go there and I know you don’t either, so what do we do?

Read verses 5-8.

“The Lord is my chosen portion … I bless the Lord who gives me counsel … I have set the Lord always before me…” This is a sobering thought to me and a great reminder: we will have what we choose this Christmas. What will be our portion as a family this Christmas? If I start with my heart in the right place, the right actions will become clear in the moment. How can we make Christ the center of this Christmas as a family — it starts with my heart. Maybe you need encouragement to put Christ there for your family this year … remember, “because the Lord is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”

Will you pray with me?

Lord, please help us all to slow down this Christmas and seek the path that is walked with You. When we sense the feeling to move in haste, help us give pause to your presence and acknowledge You. It is here that we truly find life in abundance, may your abundance be clear to those whom we meet during this season and may we all be captivated by the joy of being in Your presence! Lord, You are my chosen portion, there is nothing beyond You, Amen.

 

Merry Christmas!

Andy Bowen

CHECK OUT MORE BLOG POSTS

______________

Day 5: Psalm 42

December 5

Advent_AllPsalms_42

Day 4: Psalm 40

December 4

Advent_AllPsalms_40

Day 3: Psalm 28

December 3

Advent_AllPsalms_28