I pray that your Christmas is Christ-centered! Jesus is everything you allow Him to be in your life. He desires to be your all in all! Consider the Christmas story and all that Jesus is…
Jesus Comes to Those Who Have Room for Him—the Inn Keeper!
I’m not so hard on the keeper of the inn as many people are. To me, he (or she) was making the best of a bad situation. You’ve sold all your rooms, but this young lady is about to give birth, so you scramble the best solution you can muster up in a hurry. Let’s face it, it wasn’t the best room—but it was room. Somebody got creative and made it happen.
How often, like first-century Bethlehem, our lives get busy and Jesus gets crowded out. If you haven’t noticed Him lately, perhaps it’s because you haven’t made room for Him in the over-crowded place you call “schedule.” Make it happen, and Jesus will show up.
Jesus Speaks to Those Who Are Willing to Listen—the Shepherds!
The shepherds weren’t much of a group upon which to drop Earth-shaking news. But they were available. They were still. They were willing to hear.
Even so, Jesus speaks to listening hearts. His Word is always speaking. His voice is the still small voice behind all the other noise in your world. If you haven’t heard Him lately, it isn’t because He isn’t speaking. It’s because you haven’t paused to listen.
Jesus Saves Those Who Have Faith to Trust Him—the Wise Men!
Outsiders, Gentiles, those perhaps least likely to anticipate, understand, or believe the prophecies of Messiah. Yet, they were men who saw with eyes of faith, trusted with hearts of faith, and pursued Him! They left their homes, and followed their faith.
So, Jesus is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. He responds to faith. Men say, “show me and I’ll believe.” God says, “Trust me and I’ll show you!”
Jesus Gives Himself to Those Who Want Him—Mary, Joseph!
Mary and Joseph were perhaps the least likely candidates to deliver and raise the God-man. Obscure teens from an obscure village during a time of oppression, poverty, and darkness. They weren’t a lot of things—but they were one thing. Willing. They were leading lives of love and honor before God, and they were just naive enough to avoid religious politics and love God personally in purity. God chose two teenagers who would accept His plan. Period. Bottom line—they wanted Jesus!
So it is today. Jesus manifests Himself and His will to willing hearts. He gives His guidance, strength, and blessing to those who are naive enough to want Him and His will, no matter what. He gives Himself to those who avoid the religious politics and love Him in truth.
Jesus Leads Those Who Have the Sense to Follow—Joseph!
Imagine the pressure on young Joseph—the sense of responsibility that fell upon this young man who would be the adoptive father of the Christ child! Within a short time, people are after Jesus’ life. Not only does Joseph have the normal fatherly duty to protect Jesus from every day dangers, but the king and his army are on a search and destroy mission! God led and Joseph followed. God provided a way out and Joseph obeyed.
So, God is willing to lead you. He desires to help you get from wherever you are to where He wants you to be. But you must have the sense to follow—to obey.
Jesus Changes Those Who Have the Humility to Need Him—Anna and Simeon!
Anna and Simeon were two people—amid thousands—who got it. Amidst all the traffic at the temple—all the buying and selling, all the religious bustle, all the flurry of ceremonial activity—there were two people who allowed the reality of Jesus to impact their heart and life. For the rest of the Jewish worshippers, Jesus was a non-event. Sacrifice was basically a financial transaction—a tradition of conscience that affected no real change. Worship was something to get taken care of so life could resume. But not for Anna and Simeon. In humility, they wrapped their whole identity into Jesus—waiting, anticipating, praying, loving, and truly worshipping.
So today, Jesus is either the center stage in your life—transforming you, molding you, using you as your very life and breath. Or He is simply a half-hearted transaction—a token of religion to salve the conscience. Real transformation takes place when you become deeply rooted in an authentic relationship with Him.
Jesus Uses Those Who Can’t Keep Silent About Him—All the Characters!
Speaking out about Jesus is all over the Christmas story! The shepherds went and told everyone. The wise men witnessed to Herod and “all Jerusalem!” Anna spoke to everyone she could about Jesus. Most everyone who encountered the Christ wanted to share the news!
It’s hard to find a life transformed by Jesus that doesn’t then go speak to others about Jesus. Have you told someone of Him recently. Herod wanted Him silenced. The Shepherds wanted Him proclaimed! Herod wanted Him neutralized. Anna wanted Him magnified! Which are you and I more like?
If you’re waiting for someone to ask you if you have ever encountered a miraculous Christ, it won’t happen. Our call is to willingly, gladly, and passionately speak up about the Jesus we have so personally and powerfully encountered!
A relationship with Jesus is to be a fully immersive life—one that so deeply penetrates the heart, that it affects every other issue of life until His presence and power flowing through you are unmistakeable, irresistible, and undeniable.
Let Jesus be who He truly desires to be this Christmas and new year!