Merry Christmas! Christmas Day can be such a joy to care-free children who are anticipating, opening, and enjoying their gifts! Christmas can easily lose its luster for adults though when loss, fears, hurts, and worries overwhelm us. No matter your current experience this Christmas, can you imagine what the first Christmas was like?
Jesus Is Here! Jesus came to us! Think about the joy of Jesus’ mother Mary and adoptive-father Joseph had when the Christ-child arrived; the promises of the prophets and the angels fulfilled! Imagine the sweetness the Shepherds savored when they saw the Savior of the world (Luke 2). What a wonder for the Wise Men to encounter their Wonderful Counselor (Matthew 2)! What child-like joy they all must have experienced as they worshipped Jesus with child-like trust, love, comfort, security, delight, joy, and awe at what God was doing!
This Christmas, here are 5 tips for entering into and experiencing the “good news of great joy!” (Luke 2:10)
1. Receive the gift of love. Gifts aren’t ultimately about the object itself, they are about the love of the giver. Don’t let your Christmas become a ritual or routine. Don’t reject a heart-felt relationship with your Creator. God wants you to experience the relational love He has for you! You are loved.
2. Trust the rescue. Have you ever been in a desperate situation where you have no choice but to ask or cry for help? You and I are in such a situation now, in our sin. We need a Savior to rescue us. We can’t work our way out of our sin dilemma. Don’t resist His saving work but instead rejoice in His salvation from sin and death!
3. Listen to the King. Slow down. Open and read your Bible. Make time to play an audio Bible. Watch the “Visual Bible” on YouTube. There are lots of ways to experience the truth and love of God’s voice through the Bible. Be still, open your ears, and engage your mind while you marvel that your King wants to speak personally to you.
4. Enjoy the Relationship. God doesn’t issue rules and commands as a harsh dictator. He wants us to hear His fatherly protection, warnings, and encouragements toward His children. Be more child-like this Christmas, submitting your heart to His amazing comfort and care. Even when others will abandon, burn, and betray you, God is faithful and will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).
5. Spend Time in His Presence. Devotional time matters. Church matters. Small group matters. Godly friendships matter. God has organized His family into opportunities to experience Him directly through His Spirit and together through others. Prioritize Jesus in your Christmas Day and everyday and you will experience joy.
I hope and pray that you and your family have an amazing Christmas as you delight in God’s amazing love!