MONDAY, DECEMBER 11
“And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.’”
Luke 2:10 ESV
PERSONALIZE THE MESSAGE OF CHRISTMAS
In many of our homes, one of the joys of Christmas is seeing all of the gifts neatly stacked under the tree. In our home, the kids love putting on a Santa hat and distributing the gifts. They can tell which gifts belong to everyone because their gifts have their names on them. The message of the angels was that Jesus is YOUR gift this Christmas. Luke tells us, the angel brought, “good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” The joy was not for a few people, but for all. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son” (John 3:16).
Pastor Rick Warren told about a very embarrassing time in His life when he found an unopened Christmas gift in one of his drawers of his desk. The gift was given to him a year before at Christmas time. He opened it and it said, “A gift for Rick Warren.” It was a wonderful gift certificate he was concerned that the certificate had expired. Warren went on to explain that an unopened gift is a worthless gift. If we haven’t placed our faith in Jesus for our salvation, we haven’t opened God’s Christmas gift to us.
The message of Luke 2:10 was given to shepherds. Shepherds weren’t considered the most likeable of people. They were considered thieves and cheats. If the shepherds came to town, you might want to lock up your kids to keep them safe. The gift of Jesus’ birth was for everyone, including the uneducated, not wealthy, unattractive and relatively powerless people in the community.
Perhaps you can identify in some ways with the shepherds. Maybe you don’t see yourself as the best and the brightest the world has to offer. The good news of Christmas is that Jesus came for you too. If we have not taken advantage of an opportunity to have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, we are wasting the gift of Christmas. If we are not allowing our relationship with Jesus Christ to shape our daily choices and daily experiences, we are wasting the gift of Christmas. Write on the top of a sheet of paper “God’s gifts of joy 2017 to (Your Name).” Under that heading list some of the joys God has provided to you in 2017.