The season arrives. Faster, it seems, than the year before. Hearts leap for the sweet-smelling trees, sparkling lights, and magic in children’s eyes. But grueling traffic, long shopping lines and financial pressure come along with that, too. Our hearts may ache as we miss loved ones or acknowledge unfulfilled dreams. We make plans, attend parties, it goes on and on. All the while, we have a nagging feeling that our eye is off the ball. That there’s something missing. We know somewhere inside that it’s about more than the presents, decorations, and rushing around. It may even be about more than the food and family gatherings. We know we’re supposed to, but no matter how much we try, it’s hard to keep Christ in Christmas.
Why is this true? We’re human, I guess. We get sidetracked and simply make it about other things. So, let me suggest something different this year.
Make it about you.
Yes, you read that correctly. Make this Christmas about little ole you. Why am I suggesting this? Let me explain.
It has been said that Jesus is the reason for the season. Many of us strive to keep this in mind. But it’s challenging as the month marches on. So, ask yourself this question: Why is Jesus “the reason?” Think about it. I know it seems obvious. It’s because of what He accomplished for you. This little baby was born and grew up to be the man who died on the cross. He was human. He experienced pain, betrayal, exhaustion. But why? For YOU. So, admit it. This is really about you in the end. Your acceptance, freedom, redemption. God’s reason for this season…is you. Through His Son, God gets you. And you were worth it all! What if Christmas was defined in your life this way from now on? Pretty powerful, huh? Would it make you live differently? I sure hope so.
I’ve often wished that every day of December I had a reminder of who Jesus is to me. Many of us have an Advent calendar of sorts, but I’ve always wanted something more personal. Well, I’ve created one for us! Twenty-five days of God’s Word reminding us of who Jesus is. My hope is that by reflecting on these daily reminders you will realize that Jesus is not only the reason for the season, but that you, my friend, are His reason for coming into the world. Your joy, peace, encouragement, healing, strength, courage, forgiveness are the reasons, and you can experience this every day of your life!
Jesus loves you. He understands you. Most importantly, He knows your Heavenly Father. He knows the plans He has for your life. And He knows what is waiting for you in Heaven. So why don’t you let go of the desire to push through the holidays or perform to everyone’s liking, and instead make this Christmas about you. Make it about how God’s Gift can change your life.
And think about this…While we are celebrating the birth of our Savior on Christmas Day, could our Savior be celebrating us? Does He remember the moment He died for you and smile for what awaits in your future? Could He be beaming as He remembers the moment you invited Him into your heart? I believe so. Or maybe He’s still waiting for you. He knows you’ve been going your own way, but still has hope you will accept what He has offered. Maybe He prays you will one day realize that He is the reason for the season because you were His reason for being born!
So, enjoy the magic of Santa with the little ones in your life. Celebrate family and friends at your dinner table. Be grateful for presents both given and received. But more importantly, as you awake on Christmas morning, remember the greatest gift ever given…Jesus Christ the baby, born to save little ole you. What does God treasure on Christmas? Look in the mirror, that’s what. His love for you. The promise of a future with you in His Kingdom. This Child was sent to enable this. This is the reason! YOU are the reason!
If you would like to receive 25 days of Jesus this Christmas season, you have two choices:
1. Print out the link and cut out the cards. You can post them in your home or carry them with you all day. They can be used in your morning devotional. You can bring them out at dinner time to share with your family or pray with them with your loved ones at night.
2. Sign up to receive daily emails for 25 days in December.
Jesus' words are our foundation.
Jesus said, “If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.
Jesus shows compassion.
A man with leprosy came to Him and begged Him on his knees, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man. “I am willing” He said. “Be clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles…
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Jesus brings peace.
For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Jesus calms our fears.
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear…Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
Immediately He spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
Jesus models our prayer life.
…He went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray.
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed.
Jesus understands our suffering.
Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around Him. They stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on His head. They put a staff in His right hand and knelt in from of Him and mocked Him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on Him, and took the staff and struck Him on the head again and again. After they had mocked Him, they took off the robe and put His own clothes on Him. Then they led Him away to crucify Him.
Jesus shows us how to be humble.
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!
Jesus shows us how to love.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength…Love your neighbor as yourself.
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.
1 John 3:16
Jesus teaches us how to treat those who have hurt us.
But love your enemies, do good to them, without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High…Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
Jesus comforts us.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
Jesus is our strength.
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Jesus taught us how to pray.
This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
Jesus knows how it feels to be tempted.
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days He was tempted by the devil.
Jesus desires God's will to be done.
Going a little farther, He fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from Him. “Abba, Father,” He said, “everything is possible for You. Take this cup from Me. Yet not what I will, but You will.”
Mark 14: 35-36
Jesus is our helper.
So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid”…Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Jesus understands our sorrow.
They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to His disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took Peter, James and John along with Him, and He began to be deeply distressed and troubled. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.”
Mark 14: 32-34
Jesus provides rest.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
Jesus rewards our faith.
Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind Him and touched the edge of His cloak. She said to herself, “If I only touch His cloak, I will be healed.” Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” He said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed from that moment.
Jesus goes to God on our behalf.
Whoever acknowledges Me before others, I will also acknowledge him before My Father in heaven.
For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all men.
1 Timothy 2:5
Jesus is willing to give us understanding and wisdom.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God- that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.
1 Corinthians 1:30
Jesus forgives our sins.
Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to His own town. Some men brought to Him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son, your sins are forgiven.”
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.
Jesus understands betrayal.
…He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men.”
While He was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss Him, but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”…then seizing Him, they led Him away.
Luke 22:47-48, 54
…and the people all tried to touch Him, because power was coming from Him and healing them all.
He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed.
1 Peter 2:24
Jesus becomes our light and makes us new.
I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17
Jesus is our everything.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth…He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together…
For God was pleased to have all the fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things… by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross.
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End…I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.
Revelation 22:13, 16