In yesterday’s post, I spoke about the sermon my husband preached last Sunday. Well… here’s the rest of the story (like Paul Harvey used to say.) Enjoy!-anita
Christmas is all about Christ. Have you ever wondered what Jesus would include on his Christmas wish list if He had one? While we don’t have the specific answer, we can gather some insight from His prayers, specifically John 17. Jesus says, “Father, I desire that they also whom you have given me, may be with me where I am” (John 17:24).
Jesus states that His Kingdom to come, which will eventually bring justice to all, is very concerned with the poor and the underprivileged. The Bible tells us, “None of you should be looking out for your own interests, but for the interests of others” (1 Corinthians 10:24). Jesus expects us, whom He has called and commissioned to represent Him as Ambassadors on earth, to share his love and concern for those in positions of need. How can we better keep the Christ in Christmas and be the hands and feet and heart of God? What is it that Jesus desires from us?
Here are six things I think Jesus wants from us this Christmas.
- Jesus wants us to love Him with the same love God has for Him.
Jesus’ goal is not only for us to see Him in all of His glory, but also for us to love Him with the same love that the Father has for Him. Jesus says, “ And I have declared unto them thy name and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. (John 17:26). Jesus’ longing and goal for us is that we see His glory and for us to be able to love what we see with the same love that the Father has for His Son. This doesn’t mean that we simply imitate the love of the Father for the Son. He means the Father’s very love becomes our love for JESUS, and our 1.fellow-man. This is what the Holy Spirit places in our lives: Love for the Son by the Father through the Spirit, which is then passed on to our brothers and sisters on earth
2. JESUS WANTS US TO help those in need.
As Christians, we are commanded to help one another but we are also called to help those who are less fortunate than we are. Proverbs 21:13 says, “If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.” 1 John 3:17 also says, “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?” A great way to help the poor and needy during the holiday season is by volunteering or donating to those in need. The Salvation Army, or Denver Rescue mission are great charities! Getting involved in giving to your own neighbors! What better gift to Christ than to help our fellow neighbor in need? Be sensitive to those around you and seek God to impress upon your heart where you should give. You may be surprised at what he reveals to you! How many of us declare we are going to do this year, but never get around to it because we are too busy, or some other reason? Let’s make a concerted effort to put feet to our faith this year. It does not have to be a major undertaking how about making a casserole for a sick neighbor or friend, or a small monetary donation to a shelter. That gift you bought for yourself? Give it to someone else… see how it makes you feel. It may reveal something to you about your character….
3. Jesus wants to be first in your life.
Anything or anyone other than Jesus that holds first place in your life is an idol. This Christmas, Jesus would want you to choose to make Him first, ahead of your finances, interests, relationships and schedule – even your troubles. OUCH… this one hit home for me. I have no troubles giving when the Father impresses me, but I do like my ” things” as my wife will tell you….but all idols aside, This starts by giving Him your heart. The Bible tells us, “Where you treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Luke 12:34). Your heart is what you love, value and care about most. One way you can give Jesus your heart this Christmas is by giving your resources to His work. This doesn’t mean that Jesus needs your money, but He wants what it represents – your heart.
4. JESUS WANTS YOUR TRUST
One thing that would probably be at the top of Jesus’ Christmas wish list is your trust. Do we really trust God? Remember, faith is a voluntary matter. And easy sometimes, but Jesus doesn’t have your trust unless you give it to Him. Trusting in Christ means that you’re not relying upon yourself but on Jesus. This is another area where I personally struggle. If things are to get done, I have to do them, or so my thought process is. The most important part of following Christ is to learn from Him. By relying on Christ as our Teacher, He shows us how to change our thinking and leads us into living a new life that is more in line with His will and truth. Jesus shows us how to live and will even guide us in how to pray. When we learn what Jesus wants from us, then we rely on His strength and power, through the Holy Spirit, to do be able to accomplish His will.
5. HE WANTS US TO WITNESS
What better gift you can offer Christ than to be a powerful witness to His life and
what He has done for us and bring others into the family of believers. He wants followers who choose to love and trust Him. This is the very reason we celebrate Christmas. You can invite someone to Jesus this Christmas by telling them what Jesus has done in your life. We know from Scripture that the Wise Men didn’t just give Jesus whatever they had leftover when they visited Him on the first Christmas. Instead they gave Him three very significant and valuable gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh (Matthew 2:11). As you bring other people to Christ, you are giving Jesus a gift far more valuable than the ones the Wise Men brought. JESUS values souls over any other gift we can offer.
6. JESUS WANTS US
One of the greatest gifts you can give Jesus this season is the gift of you. Jesus wants a relationship with you. Closer and deeper than the past. Of course, Jesus wants other people too, but you are not in a position to give other people to Jesus. They have to make that decision for themselves, realizing that we all need a savior. However, you have the power to witness. God will do the rest to bring others to Christ. This first begins by truly giving yourself to Christ. You can begin by taking these four steps. First, you can give yourself to Christ by giving Him your time, your talent and your money. Second, you can give yourself to Christ by serving others instead of yourself. Third, you can give yourself to Christ by living a holy life in an ungodly world, spending time in His presence, listening to Him. Finally, you can give yourself to Christ by teaching others about Him.
What better gift can we offer Christ this Christmas than seeing Him in His fullness and accepting all that He has to offer us. Christ is always showing us His glory, but we have to find satisfaction in His glory and delight in it. This Christmas, be committed to growing in your relationship with Jesus and doing all that you can to reflect His love and greatness to those who do not know Him or need , or desire a closer more intimate relationship with him!