Daily Devotional for Tuesday December 29, 2009

Holiday Love for Family

(1 Thessalonians 3:12)

Holiday love for family. One of the common prayer requests I see daily are requests for God to reconcile family members whose relationship has been broken for a myriad of reasons. One of our tests of spiritual maturity is our ability to forgive, pray for, and love someone who has wronged us. It is especially difficult when that someone is part of our family.

I am going to challenge you today to exhibit Christlike love this holiday season as you share this blessed time of year with family members.

Regardless of who is at fault, who is wrong, the circumstances involved, my challenge to you this holiday season is to make an attempt to reconcile that broken relationship. I realize in many cases this is going to be a very difficult task, but it is what God wants you to do, and He will give you the strength and courage to make the effort.

Let me say up front, you are not responsible for the actions of another, only your own. You cannot force a relationship with someone who refuses to accept you. But you can, and God requires you, to make the effort. At that point, it is in His hands. He is the one who has to move on the other person's heart.

Much like in witnessing, you can never force someone to get saved. But God requires you to give them the opportunity, and after that, it is up to the power of the Holy Spirit to move on the person's heart.

I am not going to elaborate very much today, because the challenge God has for you today is very simple, very straightforward. God is asking you to make the effort to reconcile this holiday season. Forget the reasons, forget what has happened in the past, make the effort in Christlike love. At that point, you have done what God has asked you to do, and it is then up to the other person to respond.

I know this is not easy, and in many cases very painful. I will be praying for you. I will be praying for His strength, words, and love to be with you in a way you never have known before. God is love. It is His desire to see His children love one another. What better Christmas present for God than to obey His voice and make the effort to reconcile your relationship with that family member you are separated from.

I love you and care about you so much. I will be praying today specifically for you to heed this challenge and to be obedient to God's voice. I love you, care about you, and want to see you be all God has raised you up to be. One way we do that is by doing those things in life, even the painful things, that we know God expects us to do.

You will be surprised how much can be accomplished just with communication. The problems don't disappear, they don't wipe away in some cases years of pain, but God is able to heal and restore relationships. That is His desire for you this holiday season.

In His love and service,

Your friend and brother in Christ,

Bill Keller