Summary: A brief Christmas devotion
I came across a collection of letters that children wrote to Santa Claus. Some of them were pretty good. One said, "Dear Santa, you did not bring me anything good last year. You did not bring me anything good the year before that. This is your last chance. Signed, Alfred."
My favorite went like this: "Dear Santa, there are three little boys who live at our house. There is Jeffrey; he is 2. There is David; he is 4. And there is Norman; he is 7. Jeffrey is good some of the time. David is good some of the time. But Norman is good all of the time. I am Norman."
If you could use one word to describe Christmas, what word would it be? Some folks would use words like headache, busyness, expensive, or even bothersome. To many people Christmas is just another day, only a little more expensive and a lot more trouble. I have heard even Christians use these words to describe the day we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. How sad that an event that brought so much joy in Heaven should bring so little joy here on earth.
I would like to suggest to you as we begin this beautiful season of the year that this Christmas season can be a time of joy, no matter how broke you are or how busy you are. Joy is like love- it is not merely an emotion, but a decision, and I believe you can be as joyful as you want to be. It’s all in where you choose to put your focus. If you really want to have joy this Christmas season, let me suggest 3 place to focus your heart and mind.
I. FOCUS ON J-ESUS (Gal. 2:20)
In my favorite Christmas TV special, Charlie Brown asks if anyone knows what Christmas is about, and Linus recites the story of Christ’s birth from Luke 2. Have we forgotten that Christmas is not primarily about us- our family, friends, church, presents- but about Him?
One year a Christmas afternoon visitor asked five-year-old Ruth, "Did you get everything you wanted for Christmas?" After a moment’s hesitation, she answered, "No, but then it’s not my birthday!"
Isn’t it easy to get so wrapped up in the celebration that we forget what it is we are supposed to be celebrating? The world does that. It has become politically incorrect to say Merry Christmas- they want is to say Happy Holidays or Merry X-mas. We have the Jewish day of Hannakuh, or the African celebration of Kwanzza to compete for the place that belongs to the Son of God. But even without buying into the world’s ways, you can forget what Christmas is all about by forgetting Jesus.
If you are a Christian, focusing on Jesus means that you not only remember the Savior in the manger, but remember the Savior in your heart. Remember that this baby grew up and went to the Cross to pay for your sins, that He rose again to give you a new life, and that He lives in your heart today to give you joy!
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Not only was Jesus born in Bethlehem, but by faith and by His Spirit He lives in me. That should fill us with joy!
II. FOCUS ON O-THERS (Acts 20:35)
Focusing on Jesus should also help us develop the attitude that He told was would bring us joy which we find in
Acts 20:35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Paul quotes Jesus here to point out the joy of generosity. Christmas is the time we celebrate the most wonderful gift God has given us- Jesus. His focus in giving Christ to the world was His love for others, and He gave us an example that we, too should be willing to follow.
Joy does not come from getting all we can get from others, but in giving all we can give to others. It is this focus others that will bring us joy.
If you want to know joy at Christmas, then discover the joy of giving. Jesus said whatever you do to the least of these, you do for Him. If you want joy this Christmas, find someone in need, and in the name of Christ, give to them of your time and your treasures. There are plenty of lonely, needy people, and the Holy Spirit will show them to you, if you are willing to look for them. The Bible says that you will find joy there by focusing on others instead of yourself.