Faithlife Sermons

Holiday Habit #1

Holiday Habits   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Unique Holiday Opportunities

Introduction to holiday opportunities
The holidays are a great time to develop new habits. This is an idea that is often overlooked. With all of the excitement and entertainment, it is easy to overlook the unique opportunities that this special time provides. The holidays draw families together. They have a way of opening hearts. The better part of the population will have more time off than usual. Young and old will be expectant and in a more generous mood. For once in the year, social sentiment will turn hearts toward home. Even the miraculous will be entertained. For a few weeks, the cynical spectacles of our “scientific” society will smile at sight of the supernatural. What a great opportunity to make positive family changes we have in front of us!
How can we take advantage of the season to introduce life “altaring” habits? Time, open hearts, generous good will, and the actual presence of our loved ones are all unique to this season that will pass come January 2nd. We may need to restore old and broken behaviors that once were central to our families. Maybe this is the time to strengthen and deepen faith. We could grow more into Jesus this season. Many will see this as a time to set aside normalcy and stop focusing what matters most, but distraction could cause us to miss these once in a year opportunities. I believe the Holidays are are great time to get into and not out of the Spirit of Christmas. The spirit of hope, love, and faith coupled with resources of time with those we love and for them make this a great time for developing habits that will help your walk with God.

How to Build Your Family Altar

There is not a better time to establish a family time with God than Christmas. This is almost built into Christmas already. Special times for reading, singing, and praying together are already a holiday clique, and not in a bad way. Many families are already doing things that lend themselves to starting a new habit. If your child is in a play, reciting a Christmas line, or preparing to go caroling you have the best platform ever to start a new habit.

Build it in your home. The standard for implementing family altar Ephesians 6:4

Proverbs 22:6 in the way- modeling - narrow, initiate, and discipline
Proverbs 22:6 KJV 1900
Train up a child in the way he should go: And when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Family is the prominent place where people of faith taught the truth of Christ.
Family is the principled place to teach Bible truth about Christ.
Family is a powerful place to teach Bible truth about Christ.
Ecclesiastes 12:1 KJV 1900
Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;
A $20 couch turned out to be worth a whole lot more for a group of New York college students. They purchased the lumpy couch from a thrift store, but were shocked when they began to investigate why the sofa was so uncomfortable. The students found money in envelopes stashed in different parts of the couch. The total added up to almost $40,000, and the friends instantly started discussing what they could do with the money—until they found a deposit slip in one envelope. The students tracked down the owner and returned the money to her. The owner was a 91-year-old woman who didn’t trust banks, and her family had donated the old couch while she was in the hospital. The woman gave the three students a $1,000 reward. When asked why the friends returned the money, one of them, Reese Werkhoven, responded, “It wasn’t a debate; we immediately reached a consensus that this is her money.”
—Jim L. Wilson and Jim Sandell

Build it this holiday season. The strategy for initiating family devotions.

Start new for the holidays and don’t stop.

Start fresh for Christmas and restore. Lam. 5:21 (turn back)

Lamentations 5:21 KJV 1900
Turn thou us unto thee, O Lord, and we shall be turned; Renew our days as of old.

Add for Christmas and build up. Rev. 3:2

Revelation 3:2 KJV 1900
Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.

Building materials you will need. The substance for inspiring family devotions

Read and Discuss
Pray and Request
Recite and Memorize
Luke 2:46–47 KJV 1900
And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.
Jesus was perfect. Look how he learned the Scriptures. describe the situation he was in
2 Timothy 3:14–15 KJV 1900
But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Include Grandparents...
Researcher Harald Wolf of the University of Ulm and his assistant Matthias Whittinger proposed ants possessed “pedometer-like” cells in their brains that count their steps. To test the theory, Wolf and Whittinger trained a bunch of ants to walk across a patch of desert to some food. After eating, the ants were captured and divided into three groups. The lengths of the ants’ legs in two of the groups were altered, while the third group remained unchanged. When released to return to their nest, ants whose legs had been lengthened walked right past the nest and then stopped and looked around for their home. The group of ants whose legs had been shortened did not travel far enough and also seemed confused when they couldn’t find the nest. The group of ants which were not changed walked right to the nest and went inside.
We have to be so clear with children in the America the land of mixed messages. Building a family altar is the way to do it, and there is no better time to start than now.
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