Advent Devotional

Day 11

Deck the Halls

I wasn’t thinking a Griswold family spectacle, just enough Christmas lights and ornaments to distinguish our house as the prettiest one on the block. I had bought my first house that spring, and couldn't wait to decorate.

Good intentions, however, are only as good as the plan of execution. In reality, I hung one measly star-shaped lantern in the front window. We decorated inside, but our house’s facade stayed dark that December.

In Matthew 5:14, Jesus calls Christians “the light of the world.” Clearly He wasn’t talking about Christmas lights, but like my decoration plans, I might neglect Christ’s command without even trying.

I can get too busy thinking about myself – my Bible studies, fellowships and Christian friends – and never place myself around people who don’t know Jesus. I just end up with a heap of good intentions.

Jesus said to “let your light shine before men” (Matthew 5:16). This task requires action on my part, but I don’t have to try too hard: inviting neighbors over for a card game or eating lunch with a co-worker instead of in my cubicle. Unlike Christmas time, I don’t have to buy bulbs and bows – Jesus equips each believer with everything he needs to be light. But I do need a plan of execution. I need to be around unbelievers so they can see Christ’s light.

This past year, several neighbors complemented me for my decorations, including wreaths, colored lights, some garland and my lantern. I’m learning to let my light shine. I won’t settle for good intentions.

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