How to Survive Thanksgiving and Black Friday {Believer’s Bounty}

How to Survive Thanksgiving and Black Friday {Believer’s Bounty}

 

 

My eyes sprung open.

I looked at the clock to see 3:00 AM staring back at me. I groaned and turned over, re-positioned to ease the ache in my hip, and began to pray as I always do when I wake before 5:00.
It’s not holiness that prompts my petitions. It’s a determination to frustrate the  enemy if he is the culprit to my middle of the night rendezvous with consciousness. Yet at the same time, if my alert state is the Lord’s prompting, I don’t want to miss His cues, so I pray.
And I think.
As I stared in the dark, waiting on the Lord to fill the time or put me back to sleep the words “Believer’s Bounty” echoed through my thoughts.
What a great title! 
Then a second thought strolled through the air. “The Fruit of the Spirit is the believer’s bounty. They can have as much of me as they will allow me to fill them. The blessing of my fruit is never ending. It’s a bounty of goodness and kindness, peace, and joy that always blesses those who are in the presence of someone filled with My fruit.”
I sat up in bed disturbing the cat (Sorry, Hank.) 
Yes, Lord! That’s a great post for the week of Thanksgiving!
 
I can’t imagine a better topic to equip the saints for a week of possible exhaustion, meeting with difficult family members, and frantic Black Friday shoppers to just name a few scenario of the week ahead.
We will need all the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control we can get!
Because face it, holidays can be taxing and trying no matter how wonderful your family is, and there is always that one member that requires extra grace.
But this is what’s so great about the fruit of the Spirit–it’s His fruit produced in us. God knows we can’t manufacture these qualities on our own no matter how hard we try. He knows we need His fruit to do the good works waiting for us this week.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law” Galatians 5:22-23 NIV.

Let’s Do Some Digging

 

How can this verse help us during the holidays, especially weeks like this one? There’s a clue hidden in the ancient Greek under our translation. It’s found in the word we translate as Spirit.
The Greek word is Pnuema, and it means “current of air, that is breath (blast) or breeze” (Key Word Bible).
Though we can’t see the Spirit, we can focus on His Presence, claim this verse, and breathe. When we are in need of a little love or joy or peace, maybe some patience, kindness or gentleness or self-control, we should first take a deep breath or two before we respond.

Just Breathe

A good friend of mine would say, “Breathe in a rose, blow out a candle” when she practiced her calming breaths.

Recite Galatians 5:22-23

When my kids were small, I would practice breathing and reciting Galatians 5:22-23 before reacting to their shenanigans. If you notice, the last fruit is self-control. By the time I got to it, I usually had some.

Get into the Word so it can get into You

Breathing is a great technique, and memorizing this scripture can help, but I’ve also made a Bite of Bread reading plan and printable that will also prepare us for each day.

Sneak Peek of the Scriptures, Questions, and Prompts on the Printable (click)

 

1 John 4: 16: And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.

  • Is there anyone you have trouble loving? Ask the Holy Spirit to help you love them. It’s always great too to ask God to help you love Him more and the people in your immediate family.

Romans 15: 13: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

  • I find joy and peace when I surrender my agenda to God’s. That’s called trust. If you’re struggling in the joy and peace department, is there something you’re trying to control?

Isaiah 40:30-31: Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired. They will walk and not become weary. (New American Standard)

  • Patience is a bad word in our culture. We don’t have much of it. But we need it. According to this verse, what happens to those who wait on God? Consider everything you do even the smallest detail as waiting on God.

Ephesians 4: 2: Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

  • Humility comes before gentleness. Humility doesn’t mean thinking less of yourself but more of others, especially Jesus. Put Him first in all relationships. Ask Him to give you eyes to see others as He sees them. Broken, wounded, in need of a Savior.

Ephesians 4:32: Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

  • Who do you have trouble forgiving? Ask the Lord to help you break the chains of pride that keep you captive unable to forgive. Pray for grace to let it go.

2 Peter 1: 5-7: For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.

  • When do you lose it? Ask Jesus to reveal the root of your lack of control in this area. Let Him free you.

Ephesians 5: 8-9: For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth.)

  • Are you a child of the light? Oh, that we would shine with all goodness, generosity, and honesty. What does living this way look like to you?

You can click here to print off these verses and questions.

 

Only Two Days of Facebook Live

 

Normally we fellowship five days a week on my Bite of Bread daily broadcast. But all my children are coming home, and I want to be totally focused on my family. So, I’ll be live at 8:20 ET Monday and Tuesday morning of this week only. But the BoB is packed with great verses! I hope you’ll go through them.  I will really miss sharing them with you. If you miss me, you can catch up on my YouTube channel! 

 

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving my friends. I am so thankful for you.

Do you shop on Black Friday? What’s the most difficult of the fruits of the Spirit for you? Practice your bounty. 🙂

 

Digging Deep,

 

Andy

 

PS. If this was encouraging, and you don’t want to miss any Bite of Bread reading plans and posts, subscribe today! You’ll receive a 22-Day Devotion on Psalm 119 called Finding the Beauty {Full} in God’s Word.Just click here to dig deep to live fully. 🙂 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “How to Survive Thanksgiving and Black Friday {Believer’s Bounty}”

  • 1
    Cheryl Johnston on November 20, 2017 Reply

    Happy Thanksgiving Week, Andy. It will be wonderful to have your children home for more memory-making. Yesterday in Sunday School class, our teacher asked us to grade ourselves privately on how we reflect the fruit of the Spirit in our own lives (not an easy task because we also know we are to be humble). It is a blessing to consider how God’s grace grows us into a deepening spiritual maturity with each year we stay in communion with Him. But as I asked, Lord, how am I doing with this love, He showed me how I fell short in showing love to my husband…and with this patience, how I might be practicing complacency and calling it perseverance…and with this goodness, He had me asking, “Is my goodness self-serving?” While it hurts, I love how His Word causes us to search our souls. And as we search His beautiful truth-book for answers, He offers encouragement for this life-long walk. Thankfully, He keeps us moving forward. Today, I’m grateful for your reminder to breathe.

    • 2
      Andy on November 20, 2017 Reply

      Hi Cheryl! It’s wonderful to hear from you! Thank you for sharing these revelations of the fruit of the Spirit. By His grace, He desires to pour into us. No striving. Just being and breathing Him in. How we need Him! Amen! Bless that sweet husband of yours and give him a hug for me. Have a blessed Holiday!

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