Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Christians Awake"1 (Lyrics)
Matthew 5:17-18 – Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. (NIV)
During His time on earth, the use and facts of Scripture were the basis of Jesus' ministry. Whatever He did or said lined up with the Word of God. It did not matter what situation He found Himself to be in, where it was, before thousands of people, His encounter with the devil, or speaking to His disciples: the facts of Scripture were His foundation.
Likewise, as Christmas approaches, I want the facts of Scripture to be my foundation for the celebration. So often, I have discovered during this festive season that I can easily be enticed into becoming so wrapped up in the feelings and modern-day glitz of Christmas, that the party becomes more important than the Person whose birthday we are celebrating.
Luke 2:4a,6-7 – So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (NIV)
Before I read this Scripture passage in its entirety during our annual Carol Service on the last Sunday evening before Christmas last year, I had prayed that I would be able so to read it with meaning that hearts would be touched. And God heard my prayer and answered. For as I stood and read these facts concerning the birth of Jesus, I was so moved by the love of God, through the giving to mankind of the gift of His Son and the humble circumstances of His birth, that I was unable to read the last verse without tears.
Jesus, the very Son of God, chose to come to earth to be the Saviour of mankind. And He chose to come as a poor and lowly child, not as the King that He is, that He might experience life as a human being with all its temptations and trials, joys and laughter, that He might identify with us, and us with Him. How marvelous, how wonderful is such a fact! And this is the One whose birthday we are meant to celebrate at Christmas.
So, this Christmas season, may we all be praying that our eyes and our hearts might be focused, not upon the festivities or the party, or even upon the traditions that we can't observe this year, but first and foremost on the facts of Scripture which point us to the truth of God: Jesus, Immanuel, Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, the Word Himself.
Prayer: Father God, thank You for this wonderful celebration of Christmas, a time to celebrate the facts of Scripture that outline the truth concerning the Saviour of mankind: Jesus, Mighty God, the Word, Himself. May our focus be upon Him, the reason for the celebration. In Christ's name we pray. Amen.