Christmas is just around the corner and I can’t think of a better way to spend December than growing in the Word! This month we’re talking about the promise, birth, and sacrifice of Jesus.
If you’re in Momentum, we’re diving deep into this topic plus we’re creating interactive elements in our Bibles! In each of the five courses, there are templates and printables so that you can easily create these entries. It looks complicated, but it’s really easy with the templates. From pull tabs to waterfalls…our Bibles are sure to be filled with joy! Scroll down to see all of the examples this month!
Putting Christ Back in CHRISTmas Bible Journaling Devotional
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How to Put CHRIST back in Christmas
I feel like every year there’s less Christ in Christmas and more marketing promotions for the latest gadgets. Apparently, it’s even controversial to say Merry Christmas to people at work or in a store. You can say Happy Halloween, Happy Valentine’s Day, or Happy New Year, but if you say Merry Christmas, you might end up with some required sensitivity training. Before you know it, people will forget why we started celebrating it, to begin with.
The birth, death, and resurrection of Christ are the most important events in human history. Not celebrating them seems like a missed opportunity to shine in a world that’s so often dark. So, I celebrate Christmas with passion and purpose.
This year, I continue to focus on putting CHRIST back in Christmas. If you feel the same way, here are a few ideas that might help.
It Starts with Purpose
Christmas Day has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1870. The main purpose of Christmas for most Christians is to celebrate Christ’s birth, share the good news with others, and bring light to others through various activities. No, this isn’t something we only do in December, but we like to put extra emphasis on it this month.
As you consider what Christmas means to you, ask yourself why you celebrate it. What purpose does it hold for you? Are you celebrating Jesus’ birth? Asking this question should help provide some clarity.
How to Keep Christ in CHRISTmas
The #1 way to keep Christ in your Christmas celebrations is to keep him present in your everyday life. A practice of daily Scripture reading, Bible journaling, prayer, or worship can create a habit of pointing to Jesus in everything you do.
Of course, if you want to make it extra special this month you can spend more time with your family, give, volunteer, and share the good news. If your time is short, take small moments with the ones you love, but make them focused and meaningful. Consider setting aside time together as a family to read Scripture, use an Advent calendar, or simply present all those you come into contact with the love, spirit, and character of Christ that lives in you through your actions.
Make a To-Don’t List
Unfortunately, many of us spend far too much time on urgent matters and not enough time on the things that are important. Not everything that you want to get done will get done. Prioritizing is key.
To prioritize, write down everything that you’re planning on doing to celebrate Christmas. Next, put a check next to the ones that fulfill the purpose that you listed above. The ones that don’t have a check can move to your “to-don’t” list. If you’re unwilling to move them to the “to-don’t” list, ask yourself why.
You’ll be surprised at how many things you have on your list that you do, but they don’t tie back to your purpose at all. Perhaps you’re baking cookies because you always have. Maybe you’re overspending on presents because you want to feel better or because it’s a habit that you’ve created.
Christmas should not be centered on all the things that stress you out. Your to-don’t list will help.
Don’t Get Caught Up in the Marketing
The Christmas spirit isn’t about the things. If you find yourself getting caught up in the consumerist Christmas mindset, find the courage to step away and focus the season on Christ. Instead of the stress, have a Christmas that’s as peaceful and vibrant as the night Christ was born. If stockings stress you out, don’t do them. If you enjoy them, add them in. Do what works for you and your walk with Christ.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
We all tend to compare ourselves to others, especially during the holidays. The important thing to remember is that someone else’s imagined excellence or luck is only your perception. Be thankful for your blessings and focused on the things that matter.
Dedicate a Special Gift to Jesus
During the Christmas holiday give Jesus a special gift. Search deep within you and consider forgiving someone that has deeply hurt you or ask someone you’ve wronged for forgiveness. Not ready for that? That’s ok. Consider committing to spending time with God each day and developing a closer relationship with him. Make this gift the most important one of the season. You might find that in doing so, you’ve given yourself a gift.
Choose to say Merry CHRISTmas
Let the joy of the Christmas show in your life in all ways, and don’t be afraid to use your voice as well. When someone greets you with a “Happy Holidays!” Smile in return and cheerfully say “Merry CHRISTmas!”
What If You Don’t Celebrate CHRISTmas?
Christmas is controversial both within the Christian community and outside of it. Some Christians celebrate it as they recognize the birth of Jesus and others prefer not to.
Celebrating Christmas is not a requirement, and you shouldn’t feel bad about enjoying it or feel left out because you don’t. However, if you do choose to celebrate it, know why you do, and honor that.
For me, I choose to celebrate it as the birth of my Lord and Savior. Is there data that suggests it’s not truly His birth date? Sure, but, I celebrate it anyway. Christmas for me is a purposeful time to remember and reflect on what Jesus did for me, and how grateful I am for salvation.
Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 16 In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’
And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
1 Peter 1:1-13
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.
Born Again to a Living Hope
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.
Called to Be Holy
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 Timothy 1:17
To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
For to the snow he says, ‘Fall on the earth,’ likewise to the downpour, his mighty downpour.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
Merry Christmas! I hope this year has been amazing for you. Next year will be even better!
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