What does Jesus want for Christmas? It’s not our begrudging submission, reluctant giving, half-hearted worship, indifferent service, or lukewarm affection. These may be costly gifts, but they do not shine, and they are not sweet-smelling to our King. What Jesus wants for Christmas is for us to get what we want for Christmas: full and lasting joy that comes from a heart that worships Him. He gets the honor He deserves and we get the happiness we desire. Therefore, let us seek Him more than all other things, for He will satisfy us more than all other things. Jesus doesn’t just want our treasure; He wants to be our treasure.
He Is The Gift
To receive the gift of God’s Son is to also get countless blessings and benefits from being in a relationship with Him. But let’s be clear about one thing: if you want what Jesus can do for your life but don’t want Jesus in your life, you won’t receive Him or His blessings. Listen… He’s not just useful, He’s beautiful. He’s not just resourceful, He’s delightful. He’s not just helpful, He’s wonderful. Don’t you see? Jesus doesn’t just give us gifts; He is the gift. Being together with Him is the most precious gift He gives to us. And the more time we spend in His presence, the more beautiful, delightful and wonderful He becomes to us.
Christmas Is For Stuck People
Christmas is for stuck people. People who are stuck in the past with its haunting reminders of what they have done. People who are stuck in the present with an endless cycle of never-quite-satisfied searching for happiness. People who are stuck in fear of the future with its paralyzing grip that prevents them from doing meaningful things. But here is good news: Jesus came to free stuck people like you and me. He was born to die for our sin. He was born to bring us a better joy. He was born to secure our eternity. Praise Jesus! He has stripped sin of its power and clothed us in His perfection to the glory of His Name.
Receiving The Gift Of God’s Son
What does it really mean for someone to receive a gift? It means that the gift has had its intended effect in the life of the one to whom it was given. The gift wasn’t ignored, but rather was worn, admired, eaten, enjoyed, watched, sprayed on, driven, listened to, put to work or played with. Truly, an unused gift is an unreceived gift. That’s why some people become believers and some do not. They are either changed by what is offered in Jesus, or they live as if He isn’t even there. How can we know if we have received the gift of God’s Son? We obey, share, trust, serve, enjoy, worship and love Jesus. We do not ignore Him.
Christmas Is A Broken String Of Lights To Many
Christmas is a broken string of lights for many of us. It’s there, but it doesn’t seem to do what it’s supposed to do. It’s bleak, not bright. It’s melancholy, not merry. This time of year is disappointing and depressing for a lot of people for a lot of reasons. We’re a broken people in a broken world where there is much that is not as it ought to be. But there is hope for us, because Jesus came for the very reason so many struggle in this season … to fix what has been fractured in us and our world. As we wait for this to happen, let us turn to Him in our present darkness and ask Him to shine His everlasting light in our hearts.
It’s Not About Me, It’s Not About You
This time of year is not about me. And it’s not about you. Yet, it’s easy to make it about us, isn’t it? We can get caught up in what we enjoy about, what we receive because of, and what we get to do during Christmastime and spend very little time getting caught up with Christ. It’s the most wonderful time of the year not because of the festive music, favorite movies, familiar decorations or family traditions that can rightly be a part of our holiday experience; it’s a time of celebration and jubilation and exaltation of Jesus. This year, may everything that is wonderful about Christmas make us full of wonder about Christ.
Your Hope Is That He Already Has
It is easy to lose hope when we lose a loved one, lose a job, lose a battle, lose control, lose our health or lose our way, but there is a sure and steadfast hope that is ours if we believe. This hope isn’t some self-created positive attitude that things will turn out the way you envision in your head; it is a Spirit-produced confidence in the faithfulness of Immanuel to keep His promises that is settled in your heart. He has been with you all along. He is with you even now. He will be with you always. Your hope isn’t in your ability to figure out how to make it work out in the end; your hope is confidence that He already has.
He Lowered His Son For Us
God demands we be perfect in order to go to heaven, declares none of us are perfect and therefore are condemned to hell, and then delivers us by sending Jesus to take our imperfections and be our perfection so we can have everlasting life. Here’s what won’t get you into heaven: your effort at trying to be good enough. Here’s what will get you into heaven: Jesus. Trust Him, and everything changes! We were… Lost, but now found. Bankrupt, but now rich. Condemned, but now pardoned. Enslaved, but now free. Dead, but now alive. Rejoice! God didn’t lower His standards for us; He lowered His Son for us.
For Our Sake
Jesus willingly exchanged all the wealth of His deity for the poverty of His humanity when He came to dwell on earth. Why? For. Our. Sake. We couldn’t live up to God’s standards, so Jesus lived perfectly for us. We couldn’t break free from sin, so He set us free. We couldn’t atone for our transgressions, so He died in our place. We couldn’t defeat death, so He conquered the grave so we too will rise. We couldn’t earn an eternal retirement, so He paid for our inheritance. We have become rich through the finished work of Jesus. And long before it was finished at Calvary, it was started in Bethlehem. For our sake.
The Gift That Keeps On Giving
When was the last time you thought about eternity and what it would be like to perish forever? When was the last time you rejoiced that you have a completely different eternity awaiting because God gave His Son? When was the last time you considered the implications of receiving this gift? Everything bad is turned around and traded in for good when we trust in Jesus! Because in Jesus we are given a countless list of blessings with each entry having sub-lists of countless more benefits that we enjoy now in part and will enjoy fully throughout eternity. Rejoice today in God’s Son. He’s the Gift that keeps on giving.
Good News That Overcomes Bad News
The bad news that is plastered all over the social media and news media stories will leave us disturbed and discouraged if we don’t remind ourselves of the good news of the Greatest Story Ever Told. Every day we must remember who Jesus is to us and what He does for us. The more we trust in the message of joy that a Savior and Lord has arrived to rescue us from bad and rule over us for good, the more we will experience real joy in our hearts. Today, don’t fill your mind with the garbage of this world but rather fix your mind on the glorious good news of Jesus. This will lead to great rejoicing for those who believe.