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This Christmas, I hope you will work to create a stable environment in the pastures of your heart…one that will be a glorious example to all who pass by.
And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe
wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
(Luke 2:12)
Something that is lacking in much of the world today is stability. Everyone desires it, yet few are willing to pay the price to have the kind of environment that is so beneficial to every person, home, and business.

It's what I call a "stable" environment.

Create Your Own Stable Environment
When I was a boy, we lived out in a rural setting in central Florida. We were not what you would call a farming family, but small farms surrounded us, and many of my friends lived and worked on even larger commercial farms.

My older brother had an interest in horses. So we fenced in the acreage where he and his first wife raised some horses of their own and boarded some others.

There were additional small horse farms to each side of ours. Any passerby could notice immediately that large rocks and piles of manure were scattered throughout all the other horse farms - except for our pastures.

I'm not being biased, but our pasture was the prettiest, greenest pasture in the community. How did WE get so fortunate to have such a nice plat of terra?

Well, for one thing, we walked the field - for what seemed to be an eternity for a 12 year old - and picked up the rocks.

Secondly, about once a month, I would pull a contraption made of beams and chains behind a tractor to spread the manure around. Not only did this help break down the manure, it also fertilized the ground at the same time.

How To Do It
In light of the Christmas story in Luke chapter 2, as well as my limited experience with farm life, there are a few things I know about which can help you create a "stable" environment.

Is Jesus in your manger scene?

It's easy to look at your surroundings in life and see those things that are characteristic of a barn. The noise, the "waste," and the burden of responsibilities in life often discourage people.

Our only hope is to find the manger. Jesus is there; we just have to take our eyes off everything else and see Him instead of our circumstances. Don't focus on your problems. Focus on the solution.

Others are attracted to a "stable" life! No one wants to be around people who are always down, beaten, and miserable. They're happy one moment, miserable the next.

People just don't return that many RSVPs for those "Gloom, Despair, and Agony" parties. Although, for some reason, many people always want you to share in their misery!

By now we should realize that a star leads the way to hope and salvation. Is there a star shining above your life? You'll see that star if Jesus is in your life.

It gives you something worth talking about! In Luke 2:17 it says, "When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child." The world can always use a little "good news." Bad news can be found with little effort. When in search of a topic for conversation, nothing can compare to the love, joy, peace, and hope that I have in Jesus Christ!

But here's the really good news: You can have it too!

Let Him In
If He's knocking at your heart's door today, don't hesitate to let Him in. This could be the day everything changes for the better. And soon others will be talking about what a wonderful thing God has done in your life.

And just remember, if the grass looks greener on the other side; it's probably because someone worked hard and paid the price to get it that way. So this Christmas, I hope you will work to create a stable environment in the pastures of your heart…one that will be a glorious example to all who pass by.

How do you do that? By discovering the manger scene and letting Jesus into your life.

Copyright © Lighthouse Christian Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Stephen Shives
Web site: Finish Line Christian Ministries
 
The mission of Finish Line Christian Ministries is to encourage God's people to finish well. We believe this is the most exciting hour in church history; and that God is calling every believer to rise up and stand as one.
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