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Christmas Devotion

'Tis the Season

By Daphne Delay

"Merry Christmas!" says one. "Happy Holidays!" says another. "'Tis the Season" is proclaimed and posted everywhere this time of year. But what do we really mean when we refer to this "season"?

In general, a season can be a particular time of year, such as winter, spring, summer, and fall. It can also refer to a time characterized by a particular circumstance, like in a "season of awakening." Some may use this word to describe a suitable or natural time, like when their "season" comes. Or it could mean an indefinite period of time; for example, a person on assignment for a "season."

However you want to look at it, we all need to be reminded of Paul's words to Timothy: "Be ready in season and out of season" (2 Timothy 4:2).

Before the great flood, in the days of Noah, everyone was carrying on as usual, having a good time. All the way up to the day Noah and his family boarded the ark, the people knew nothing (and cared little) about the things which were to take place. Although Noah preached righteousness to a mocking generation, none were saved except eight souls. The flood hit and swept everything away (Matthew 24:37-39; 2 Peter 2:5).

The arrival of Jesus will be like that: Two men will be working in the field - one will be taken, one left behind; two women will be grinding at the mill - one will be taken, one left behind. So stay awake and alert. You have no idea what day your Master will show up. But you do know this: You know that if the homeowner had known what time of night the burglar would arrive, he would have been there with his dogs to prevent the break-in. Be vigilant like that. You have no idea when the Son of Man is going to show up (Matthew 24:39-44, Message). Therefore, be ready in your season - whatever it may be.

You may be in a season you are ready to see end. Or perhaps you are in the best season of your life, hoping it will never end. While still others, may be altogether oblivious to the season around them. In any case, seasons come and seasons go, but our instruction remains the same: be ready in season and out.

Serious athletes prepare year-round for their season. If they were to wait and begin preparing at the start, not only would much time be lost but they would be at great risk of being cut or suffer the consequences of loss. Are we really much different in this game of life? We are told to "be ready for every good work" (Titus 3:1), "be ready to give a defense for the hope within you" (1 Peter 3:15), and if need be, "be ready to suffer for the sake of the Gospel" (2 Timothy 1:8).

The point is, there will be no excuse for our conduct or readiness despite our season. George Washington once said, "Bad seed is a robbery of the worst kind: for your pocket-book not only suffers by it, but your preparations are lost and a season passes away unimproved." Every one of our actions is a seed. And every seed will produce in its season. We should learn from those who have preceded us. Mother Teresa is noted for saying, "Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand." Even out of adversity, Charles Spurgeon humbly said, "It is good for me to have been afflicted, that I might know how to speak a word in season to one that is weary."

"So whether the opportunity seems to be favorable or unfavorable [whether it is convenient or inconvenient, whether it is welcomed or unwelcomed], stand by, be at hand and ready..." (2 Timothy 4:2, Amplified). 'Tis the season!

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