Ahhhh, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! What a perfect time of year for us to “wrap up” 😉 our study. I still can’t believe this is our final week of A Confident Heart!
I don’t know about you, but I often experience mixed feelings at this time of year. Part of me absolutely LOVES Christmastime. The high Sanguine in me (see Ch. 8 & p. 140) loves all the fun decor and festivities, and the Phlegmatic in me loves the traditions and extra relational time with friends and family coming together. However, the Choleric in me has a tendency to get bossy and impatient with the world. Plus, I have zero ‘Melancholy’ in my personality style so slow-paced, task-oriented routines that often simplify Christmas are simply NOT my strength. It’s easy to lose my confidence with my December to-do list and think there’s never enough time to do enough, get enough, spend enough, or even … worship enough. No matter which personality blend I have, there’s never enough in me to meet every need.
But that’s exactly what the enemy of this world wants! He wants me to ignore the real reason for Christmas and have me meditate on my multiple “Mayor of Schmuckville” moments where I inevitably disappoint someone (even myself). Satan works hard to have me forget that the whole world needs a Savior, which is why Jesus HAD to come to earth, because none of us is perfect. (See Romans 3:9-20.) Instead of meditating on God’s grace and the miracle of a virgin giving birth to God Almighty, I find myself thinking, Christmas comes at the same time every year, so why on earth can’t I get more organized to completely focus on experiencing every bit of Jesus this year??! Why does life have to be so difficult?
And that, sweet friends, is where we begin Chapter 10: “When Doubt Whispers … ‘I Can’t Follow God Consistently’.” (By the way, on our Connections Call last week, author Renee Swope said it was her FAVORITE chapter in the whole book! So we saved the best for last!) As Renee Swope writes on pp. 186-187:
“I want you to know we all blow it, but God offers grace to cover our guilt. Satan wants us to think we’re the only ones who mess up, but it happens to all of us, every day.”
Instead of dwelling on the ways we mess things up, we need to shift our focus to all that God has done for us. Remember our verse for the week? Hebrews 10:35-36 says,
“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”
Which brings us back to our hashtag term for the week: #ENOUGH. God Almighty is more than #ENOUGH to give us what we need to live with “God-fidence” (a term Renee uses in her DVD excerpt). So I don’t have to be enough, and neither do you. Thank you, dear Lord, that this is true! May I pray for us?
Dear Father God,
At Christmastime and always, help us to remember that You alone are enough. I pray You will allow us to give and receive grace to others, with confident hearts that come from You. We thank You Lord, that you nailed every one of our sins to the cross, so we need not dwell on them. Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence that only You can give, so we might receive mercy and grace when we need it most. Help us as Christ-followers to live a life worthy of Your name and continue to be strengthened with all power according to Your glorious might, so that we may have great endurance and patience and joyfully give thanks to You, Father. Help us to not throw away our confidence, knowing it will be richly rewarded. Give us strength to persevere so that when we accomplish Your will, we can receive the ultimate gifts You have promised us.
In Jesus’ precious name I pray, Amen.
(See Hebrews 4:16; Colossians 1:10-11; Hebrews 10:35-36.)
2.) Read Chapter 10 (aim to finish by Tues.) & Chapter 11 (by Fri).
For anybody wrestling with this, I grant you absolute permission to watch the DVD excerpt even if you’re behind on your reading, or are missing the book. IT’S THAT GOOD! (Plus as extra incentive, the publisher has only made these available through Dec. 14, so today’s the day to make it happen!) But what if I’m not caught up on the reading? You ask. Here’s my answer: Skip ahead!! These last two chapters stand alone and because they’re so powerful, we’d love to have you join us! (It’s okay to get caught up later, if you are an always-finish-what-I-start kind of person. That’s not exactly me, but it’s totally my husband!)
YOUR TURN: Share your thoughts below and be entered for a chance to win a copy of A Confident Heart Devotional this week!
- How does Christmastime affect your confidence? Tell us, what is it that especially impacts your God-given confidence this time of year?
- As Renee writes on p. 201, Have you ever blown it and felt like God was ready to give up on you? What happened?
- Do you sometimes doubt God’s grace and patience with you? How does doubt in your life perpetuate more doubt and distance from God?
- What are you thoughts from the DVD excerpt? Favorite quote, or what stood out to you?
TOMORROW, we’ll talk more about Chapter 10, and Gideon’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid-turned-Warrior. Can’t wait to keep the discussions going!! ~Steph Raquel