Let There Be Joy!
You may have heard the Christmas story thousands of times before, but do you believe it? Have you embraced it as reality and truth? Or have you filed it away under Christmas fantasy along with magical bags of toys and elves? Is Christmas merely as significant to you as snowmen who dance, reindeer who sing and the false promise that all of your Christmases will be white?
The true Christmas story, the one that I have chosen to weave as truth into the fabric of my life is the story of a girl who was ordinary, young and unqualified. God chose to place Himself inside her womb so that you and I could, one day, carry His presence inside of our lives as well.
God, the Father, the Creator of the Universe, the Instigator of everything glorious and miraculous, chose you and I as the vehicle through which our generation would receive its greatest gift. It is our miracle that we have been called to demonstrate Jesus to the world in which we live.
The world will only experience the joy of His birth to the extent that I set aside my grief and pain and then embrace and exhibit His joy. The world will only taste the peace of His coming to the extent that I reveal the authority of His peace. The world will only know the hope of Christmas when I respond to pain and disappointment as an expectant believer. The world will only see the Light of the world when I allow my life to become a shining beacon to humanity. The world will only hear the song of Christmas when I sing it to the frozen, dark world of my culture.
Christmas was not all about Mary ... or Joseph ... or Elizabeth and Zacharias ... or shepherds and Magi. Christmas is all about you! It is about making yourself available at this time in history to reveal the presence and love of our Savior. You are the present that today God is choosing to give to your world. Your generation is desperate to know the glory of a Savior. Without you, they may never know His name or the purpose of His coming.
As you now contemplate New Year’s resolutions and plans that will encompass the 365 days to come, will you recommit yourself to be used by God? Will you decide this Christmas day to allow God to use your life as the manger upon which the Savior of the world may be found?
Will you allow the Father to use your life as the womb into which Jesus is delivered to the world? God has planted a seed of Himself in you. Will you respond like Mary with the submissive yet expectant words, “Behold the bondslave of the Lord, be it unto me according to Your Word,”?
Let there be joy! Jesus has been born in you. God is looking for believers who will be bold enough and joyful enough to embrace the miracle of Christmas not just one day a year but every day of every season.
Bible Reading: (click on the Bible verse to open in reader)
Let There Be Joy In Me:
Now, after reading this devotional, define the word “Christmas”. How has your definition changed after reading this devotional?
As you make your New Year’s Resolutions this year, resolve to be a receptacle of joy to a dark world. Make a list of 10 people who need your prayers, your faith and your joy. Resolve to pray for those 10 people every day and to bring Jesus into their lives.