Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them. — Luke 2:20
How can you make the most of Christmas? For some it is all about decorating the house or tree, getting that special gift, seeing relatives, or getting invited to that certain someone’s party. But making the most of Christmas is so much more than any of these things.
Join the shepherds this year in making these next few days a time of “glorifying and praising God,” a time of celebrating all that Christmas is and means. God “inhabits the praises” of His people (Psalm 22:3 KJV). This is where and when God feels at home — in the midst of your praise.
Note the shepherds “returned.” Where? To their homes and businesses. What an impact this must have had on those who knew them best. May God give you the grace to follow these shepherds and make the most of Christmas this year.
Code Word: Joy
Another of the code words of Advent is joy. Celebrate Christ above all other things this holiday season. Sing it —
Joy to the world, the Lord has come!
Lord, thank You for the joy only You can give. Let’s celebrate Your birth! In Jesus’ name, amen.
Excerpted with permission from The Christmas Code by O. S. Hawkins, copyright O. S. Hawkins.
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Today, let our prayer be “Jesus, we rejoice in your birth! Help us to make the most of Christmas and live lives of prayer and praise. For You have come!” Share your comments on our blog. We want to hear from you!
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About the Author: O. S. Hawkins
O. S. Hawkins is president and chief executive officer of GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. GuideStone serves more than 250,000 individual participants from churches, missionary organizations, colleges and universities, hospitals, and other nonprofit institutions with their financial and benefit service needs. GuideStone Funds is the largest Christian-based mutual fund in the world with assets under management of over 20 billion dollars. Prior to the beginning of his tenure at GuideStone in 1997, Hawkins served as senior pastor of the historic First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas (1993--1997) and as senior pastor of the First Baptist Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (1978--1993) as well as earlier pastorates in Oklahoma.
Hawkins, a native of Fort Worth, Texas, earned the Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. He also earned the Master of Divinity and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. In addition, he holds the Doctorate of Literature degree from Liberty University (Hon.) as well as several other honorary doctorate degrees.
He has been married to his wife, the former Susan Cavness of Austin, Texas, since 1970. They have two daughters, Wendy and Holly, both of whom are also graduates of TCU. Wendy is married to Brian Hermes and Holly is married to David Shivers. The Hawkins’s also have six grandchildren.
Dr. Hawkins is the author of over 40 books including the best-selling “Code Series” with over two million in print, including The Joshua Code: 52 Scripture Verses every Believer Should Know, The Jesus Code: 52 Scripture Questions Every Believer Should Answer, and The Bible Code: Finding Jesus in Every Book in the Bible.
Follow O. S. Hawkins on Twitter @OSHawkins. For free videos, podcasts, and book downloads, visit www.oshawkins.com.