It is too easy to get out of a spiritual rhythm during breaks like Christmas. It may seem like it should be the other way around but it is not. That reality makes Christmas break a great opportunity for you to lose ground spiritually or to really push ahead. I prefer the pushing ahead….
Here are a few very simple things that may help you dig in spiritual over the next several weeks.
1) Commit to a Plan in Reading the Word
Decide now what and how you will read the Bible during the Christmas break. Don’t be random in your reading. If you do not make a plan you will probably not read. Make a goal that realistic for you. Maybe that could be something like reading through the 12 Minor Prophets (probably haven’t read those lately anyway), asking the one question, “How do I see Jesus in these books”? Read through an entire Gospel focusing on how each chapter leads you to worship Jesus. Read and memorize one verse per day. It can be anything. They key is to do it. To top it all of, ask someone to hold you accountable for your plan.
2) Commit to Pray for Missionaries
There are several students from Clemson that are serving in places all over the world at some point during the Christmas break. They will be in China, NY/NJ, and Atlanta, GA. Their work needs the prayers of the Body of Christ. They will be away from family, some on Christmas day. They will experience spiritual attack. They will experience victory. Commit to a few minutes each day of praying for them. If you know some of these missionaries personally, take the time to shoot them emails/text messages/FB messages etc. letting them know you are praying for them.
3) Commit to Serve Someone in Need
Don’t let Christmas become about you. There are several great ways you can serve someone else. 1) Volunteer for a morning at a local food bank, nursing home, or thrift store. 2) Donate canned goods to a local food bank. 3) Send a financial gift to an organization such as Compassion International or Samaritan’s Purse. Both of these organizations have special Christmas options for giving on their websites. They make it very easy for anyone with any amount of money
Commit to Reconciling Relationships
At the heart of Christmas is reconciliation. It is God reconciling us to Him through Jesus Christ. It is possible that you are going into Christmas break with a relationship or two that has been damaged. Do not let that stay in your heart over these few weeks. Take the initiative to go to that person and make things right. Don't go and point out what they have done wrong but own what you have done wrong. Ask for forgiveness and offer forgiveness if needed. The Bible is clear, Jesus is clear, that when our relationships are messed up, our worship will be unacceptable (Matt. 5:23-24, Psalm 24:3-4).
4) Commit to Honoring Your Father and Mother
The command to honor your parents is still important. Maybe you struggle with being home for several weeks because your parents are tough to be around. Maybe your parents are not Christians. Maybe they are amazing. Whatever the case, spend time asking the Lord for practical ways that you can daily honor them. Thank them for how they love you. Help them around the house without them asking you. Take them out to eat. Pray for them.
5) Commit to Pray for Spring Semester
The break will be over soon and you will be back on campus. God wants to use you to make His Name known this spring. Pray each day that your heart would be ready for whatever He wants to do with you next semester. Keep praying for someone you know that is not a follower of Christ. This next semester may be the semester when God has the biggest opportunities for you. You need your heart to be ready.
I Hope You all Have a Merry Christmas!