Posted by: pmarkrobb | December 23, 2017

What gift will you be giving God this Christmas?

December 6, 1941
April 18, 1775
September 10, 2001

What do all these dates have in common with today?

They are all Eves of days that changed the course of history. On December 6th, 1941, the United States was just keenly aware of the terrible fighting going on “over there.” On April 18th, 1775 “the shot heard ‘round the world” was not in anyone’s vernacular. And on 9/10/01, terrorism was something that happened somewhere else. On those particular eves we had little, if any, clue how the next day would change the world forever.

As Christ-followers, we are in the final hours of a sacred waiting. We wait to celebrate. The ancients waited for a coming King, a Deliverer, a Redeemer, the most dramatic of all their dramatic rescues. As night fell on that particular Eve, the sky lit up with a chorus of angels and a star the likes of which had never been seen before or since. For the great majority of my life, I approached Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with a blindness similar to that of the ancients. I wholly misunderstood Advent, and I certainly didn’t practice it. I shopped and wrapped, made Christmas ornaments for the kids, made a tradition out of driving around to look at Christmas lights, and tuned my radio to 24-hour Christmas music. I was trapped in the trappings completely devoid of the intense expectancy that should define the season of Preparing Him Room … but all that is different now.

In so many ways, I feel like I’ve been awakened from a clueless and comfortable hibernation. I knew the Nativity. I’ve heard it preached and taught hundreds of times. I had become so “familiar” with the story of the birth of Jesus that when I read it (and that wasn’t nearly as often as I might have argued I did), it was as if I was reading disclaimer language or the legalese leading up to the signature line of a consent document. I knew what it said, when, in fact, I really didn’t.

At Journey, our sole (and soul) focus has been to support and encourage people to be in God’s Word daily. The Bible is a bottomless well of truth and application. You can read the same book, chapter or verse once, twice, three times and genuinely believe it’s like you’re reading it for the very first time. That has certainly been my experience with the truly limited narrative on the Nativity.  I have had the great honor and privilege of sharing what the Spirit was showing me each Advent season. This is our fifth one, and none have been “repeats” relative to content, thought or focus. God has been so good and gracious to bend my eye, heart and mind in a particular direction. Without any conscious effort on my part, thoughts and words flow and find a singular, kindred thread.

I pray this awakening for you, in a way that is unique to your walk and relationship with God. I pray that if my own voice is silent next Advent season, yours will not be as you walk through it together with Him.

I will ask you one last time in this present season of Advent to consider something with me. More than anything else, this one question has most often been on my mind, heart and lips …

“What gift will you be giving God this Christmas?”

I wonder if the Maker of heaven and earth has ever been a name on the list of people to whom you plan to give a gift at Christmas. I confess that until this year, He has never been on mine. It sounds more than odd when I say it out loud, but in a very personal and powerful way the Spirit has walked with me through a season of prompting relative to that question.

Is there a good gift God has given you that you have either consciously or unconsciously taken possession of? Is there something that has become an idol or that you’ve been deliberately withholding from Him? Is there something that has broken to pieces the time that used to be just you and Him? I have asked and answered those questions (and others that birthed from them) of and for myself. I wonder if you would entertain them yourself?

The time to celebrate Jesus’ first coming is but a breath away. There are few things more precious than the expectancy of Christmas morning in the heart and life of a child. Both in the moments just before, and then when it finally explodes like the biggest joy bomb ever!

Jesus gathered and challenged his disciples one day. To His hand-picked, closest followers he said…

Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 18:3 (NIV)

Hear that today. Let your joy explode today like that of a little child on Christmas morning!

Merry Christmas, my brother and sister in Jesus!  He has come, and He is coming again!! Glory to God in the highest!


Responses

  1. As little children! Yes! Father, might we enjoy you as we truly are – little children! We spend a good part of life playing “dress up”. Might we, by Your great mercy and grace, enjoy these next few days as Your precious chosen and provided for children! Might we find those clothes to be comfortable, fitting and still available on Tuesday morning. 😊

    🎆MERRY CHRISTMAS journey onWord!🎆

  2. Merry Christmas, thank you for sharing your heart this past season.


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