Ah, the age old cliché that everyone uses around Christmas time. It’s this one and “Remember to keep the CHRIST in Christmas!” I know, I know, it’s a little annoying. But really, if you think about it, it’s true. If Jesus had never been born in that manger in Bethlehem, Christmas wouldn’t really exist now, would it? Nope!
While all this Santa Claus and presents stuff is fun, it’s really not what Christmas is all about. Christmas should be focused on the birth of our Savior. He is the one gift that we should be thankful for this, and every, Christmas. The gift of Christ came to purchase, for sinners, the cost of death in our place.
I was given a daily advent devotional for this month, and have been going through it. Granted I’m 6 days behind because of finals week, but I read more than one a day now. Anyways, I’ve been really overwhelmed (in a good way!) by some of the things that this devotional has been teaching me, and wanted to share them with you:
1. God ordained for Jesus to be born in Bethlehem. There was a census that year, and because Joseph belonged to the house of David, he had to travel to Bethlehem with his fiancé to register. And, low and behold, Jesus was born there! How crazy is that!? God told Caesar Augustus that all the Roman world should be enrolled each in his own town! Which brought Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem! It was all in God’s plan!
2. The question that we should ask is not of what God can do, but what he willed to do. Christ was rich. He could have just taken over the earthly throne and made everyone listen to him, but he didn’t. He became poor for our sake. (2 Corinthians 8:9) He came to us where we are, to be like us. And on top of all of that, he came as a baby! A BABY! He could have just shown up one day on earth as a 20-something year old, but he didn’t!
3. The people who enjoy the peace of God that surpasses all understanding are those who in everything let their requests be known to God. Philippians 4:7 couldn’t say this any better.
4. God’s aim is that all nations will worship his Son. The star that the magi followed to find baby Jesus is a good representation of this–it brought the magi to the Son, so that they may worship him. If all nations could come together to do just that, then God’s aim will be reached. The magnifying of Christ in the white-hot worship of all nations is the reason the world exists!
5. When you give a gift to Christ, it’s a way of saying, “The joy that I pursue is not the hope of getting rich with things from you. I have not come to you for your things, but for yourself. And this desire I now intensify and demonstrate by giving up things, in the hope of enjoying you more, not things. By giving to you what you do not need, and what I might enjoy, I am saying more earnestly and more authentically, ‘You are my treasure, not these things.'” It’s so hard to do, but so worth doing.
6. Good Friday is the reason for Christmas. Christ was BORN so that he may DIE for our sins. Let that sink in.
7. Christ is and always will be a true friend if you let him. If we put our trust in Christ like we do in our friends of this world, we could have the BEST best friend. I’ve experienced what it’s like to lose a really close friend; one that you put a lot of your trust in, as I’m sure most of us have, but Christ will never betray you. He will never stop being your friend. He is faithful when we are faithless. When we trust in Him, we can be sure that He is the one thing that will never change.
Friends, I beg you to please remember these things as you are with family this Christmas. As you’re opening those presents, remember the one gift that is the most important on Christmas day–Jesus. Remember that he is the reason for this season.
If you’d like, pray for my family this Christmas. Some of them do not know and follow Christ and might not be as impacted as I am by these truths.