I know I’m not. Our trees are decorated but nothing else. My house is a mess, and the hidden stash of gifts are almost all for the same child. The others? Well…I’m sure Santa will find something for them.
More than that though, I don’t think my heart is ready, you know? I’m so busy and tired and busy. My daily devotional time is brief, and to be honest, not quite so daily sometimes. Thank goodness for Jesus Calling…I can’t pass that little book by without reading it each day. If Jesus is calling, I want to answer, you know?
So, I thought that maybe, just maybe, some of you might need a little help getting ready for Christmas this year, too. I can’t come string your lights or remember to move your elf on a shelf every morning, but I can offer you this:
It’s a little guide I wrote for my church a few years ago, designed especially to help families worship together during the Christmas season. Our pastor was preaching on “The Missing Ingredient of Christmas: Worship,” and that’s where the whole thing starts. Here’s the intro:
Before we begin our journey back to Bethlehem, you’ll need a road map for the way. Each day, there is a devotional reading meant to ready our hearts for worship. Then, there is a small segment meant to guide you in a time of personal (or family) worship. It usually includes a more in-depth Scripture reading. Don’t fail to read the passages each day! Through the study of God’s word, he will prepare our hearts to praise him. In addition, each day has a “Family Focus,” which includes activities and suggestions for worshipping together each day. Even if you are single or have no children, join in the activities because they offer practical application to the spiritual truths we’ll see. If you have an idea that better fits your family, feel free to personalize this plan.
The holidays are hectic. Take the time to stop and focus on your family. Christmastime can be crazy; center it on Christ. By slowing down, you can savor it. Worship together, sing songs and praise him. On some days, certain songs are suggested. If you don’t know them, the lyrics and music can often be found online. Just search for the name, and you’ll find it! Finally, just be faithful. You’ve been given a “Christmas Call to Worship.” Answer the call each day.
*As you focus on Christ together this holiday season, your children or other members of your family may express a desire to know Christ. Don’t miss the opportunity to lead them to the Lord. If they show interest in becoming a Christian, walk through the truth with them. Explain that we have all sinned and have done things to displease God and that our sin separates us from Him. Remind them that God loves us so much he sent his son, Jesus, who lived a perfect life then died on the cross as punishment for our sins. He made a way for us to know God. Tell them, “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Ask, “Would you like to be saved right now?” If they say, “Yes,” lead them in a simple prayer like this one:
“Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I believe you died for me on the cross so that I might be saved. Right now I ask you to forgive me of all my sins. I open my heart to you. Come into my heart, Jesus, and be my Lord and Savior. Thank you, Jesus, for forgiving all of my sins and giving me eternal life. He me to live my life for you. Amen.”
Assure them that once Christ enters there hearts, he will never leave. Rejoice with them!
Starting tomorrow, I’ll be posting the daily devotionals every day until the new year…Enjoy!