Our Christmas List
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
It constantly amazes me that our Savior was willing to go to such lengths for the likes of you and me. His focus was only upon one thing: obedience to His Father.
As Christmas approaches this month I want to encourage you to consider what our focus should be. I believe we should be focused on the gift that Christ has given to each of us. Joseph Bayly wrote the following words:
Praise God for Christmas
Praise Him for the incarnation
For the Word made flesh.
I will not sing of shepherds
Watching flocks on frosty nights,
Or angel choristers.
I will not sing of a stable bare in Bethlehem
Or lowing oxen,
Wise men trailing star with gold,
Frankincense, and myrrh.
Tonight I will sing praise to the Father
Who stood on heaven’s threshold
And said farewell to His Son
As He stepped across the stars
To Bethlehem and Jerusalem.
And I will sing praise to the infinite, eternal Son,
Who became most finite, a baby
Who would one day be executed for my crime.
Praise Him in the heavens,
Praise Him in the stable,
Praise Him in my heart.
How exciting! I am so glad that Jesus Christ considered us worthy of this wonderful gift. I want to encourage you to do three things this Christmas.
- Give as Christ has given to you. How has He given to us? He has given freely and lovingly and without begrudging. How can we follow his example? Chuck Swindoll writes, “Some gifts you can give this Christmas are beyond monetary value: Mend a quarrel, dismiss suspicion, tell someone, “I love you.” Give something away — anonymously. Forgive someone who has treated you wrong. Turn away wrath with a soft answer. Visit someone in a nursing home. Apologize if you were wrong. Be especially kind to someone with whom you work. Give as God gave to you in Christ, without obligation, or announcement, or reservation, or hypocrisy.”
- Give as Christ loved you. His gift was not intended simply to please you. His gift was not designed to make you feel good. His gift was given so you could be saved, so your sins could be forgiven. Give with that same redemptive mindset. Give a gift that will encourage people in their walk with Christ: Bibles, Christian music, Christian books. The possibilities are endless. Don’t give without thought and without prayer but give from your heart and with a deep awareness of the need of that person. Whether their need is for salvation or for growth in Christ.
- Give as Christ served you. Yes, I used the “serve” word. No one wants to be a servant in our society today. When asked, kids don’t say, “I want to grow up and be a servant someday.” They say, I want to be a doctor or a firefighter or a police officer or… Being a servant doesn’t come easily. But Jesus said that the greatest in the kingdom of God is the servant of all. As you give this Christmas, look for ways you can be a servant to the people God has placed in your life.
Well, there you have it. That’s the best advice I can give you this holiday season. But now, I had better get going. I’ve got a lot of work to do if I am going to follow my own advice.