What Are You Giving Jesus this Christmas?
…but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
I love Christmas. Though I must admit, my love for the season is not always rooted in its true reason–Jesus. The magical appeal of shopping, strolling and sipping hot drinks to Michael Buble’s holiday hits in front of a crackling fire…can often overshadow the true meaning behind this time of year, which of course is celebrating the love God showed us by sending His Son Jesus into the world to forgive us of our sins so we could have a personal and eternal relationship with Him. Even as I write this, I am reminded anew of what an incredibly awesome and undeserved gift this is and yet, how easily I can take it for granted. Father forgive me, forgive us…and help us bring our focus back to YOU!
I was challenged by a friend recently who asked whether I had given any thought to the gift I was going to give to the One we are supposed to be celebrating. I was stumped. Did she say the gift I was going to give Jesus? I had never thought of Christmas in this way. How would I even go about presenting a worthy gift to say thank you for His amazing gift of love?
Then I was reminded of something Jesus told His disciples, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35). Perhaps our gift to Him could be loving those around us this Christmas. I mean radically loving them with a Jesus kind of love. Like going out of our way to say kind things, do nice things and serve their needs whatever they may be. Difficult, I know. It may even seem impossible for those who may be facing difficult circumstances. But we must choose to believe that with God’s help, all things truly are possible. Even loving the unlovable.
So this Christmas, as we are running around frantically like chickens with our heads cut off, or even if we are chilling in Starbucks sipping our favorite Peppermint Mocha (make that skinny, extra hot)…I hope we can be mindful of where our hearts are in the midst of it all. Is Jesus at the forefront of every thought, deed and need? Are we asking Him to help us see others as He sees them and love them as He would love them?
I want to share with you a clever idea a dear friend of mine came up with as a way to give Jesus a precious gift of loving others this Christmas. If you are feeling so inspired to step outside of your normal Christmas rush routine, please, read on.
The Jesus Challenge Christmas Gift (Created by Angie and Ed Wright)
The challenge: do your very best to think, act, and make loving decisions just as JESUS would for one entire day before Christmas. See how closely you can live your life loving everyone that you encounter JUST as Jesus did. Then, sit down for a few minutes and journal your feelings about what it was like to try to live your life as JESUS would. Finish by writing out a prayer thanking God for all He has done for you. Put what you write in an envelope and place it under the Christmas tree. If you would like, share it with your family on Christmas morning. Maybe some of your loved ones will want to take the challenge with you!
Be blessed this Christmas as we seek to keep JESUS at the center of it all!