We face so many preparations this month. Christmas is right around the corner, and we have decorations to put up, gifts to buy and wrap, and scrumptious food to prepare. We anticipate spending time with family (and all the joy and frustration that comes with them). And although we have so many thoughts and tasks added to our calendars this month, we also have the usual routines and responsibilities of work, parenting, laundry, grocery shopping, and more.
It’s a lot.
It’s difficult to refocus once we get in the middle of mayhem. The time to focus is now, early in the month as the busyness begins.
Today’s post is for you to print and keep where you’ll see it every morning, evening, or whenever you can intentionally read, reflect, and focus on God. Each day is not intended to be time-consuming (one more thing to add to your list!) but heart-consuming. Empty yourself of your concerns, schedule, and stress, and invite God to fill you with his presence, wisdom, and peace. Instead of inserting God into your celebrations, let him guide every moment of the month ahead, inserting the essentials and setting aside the unnecessary.
Day 1. Prepare. The Old Testament is sprinkled with the foretelling of Jesus’ birth. It’s easy to see now, because we live beyond the birth of Jesus. Realizing the accuracy of the words spoken many years before is awe-inspiring. Read Isaiah 53 and let the prophecy soak into you.
Day 2. Plant. It’s easy to allow truth to be uprooted. We’re surrounded by clashing messages. The messages with a little truth mixed with a lot of falsehoods are particularly dangerous. In order to cultivate truth growing in our lives, it must be firmly planted. We can get lazy among the busyness and not take the time and effort to dig deep. God’s Word is deep, and he longs for you to fully experience him. Let the truth of who Jesus is soak into you as you read John 1:1-18. Read aloud for extra nourishment.
Day 3. Potter. As you read through Luke 1:26-38, let the reality soak into you that God is the master potter. He shaped Elizabeth’s life. He shaped Mary’s life. And he is shaping your life.
Day 4. Praise. Yesterday we read about Mary experiencing God’s masterful pottery skills. He molds and shapes our lives as we yield to him. We enter into relationship with him. He invites us, and we respond. What more could be praiseworthy! As you read Mary’s praise in Luke 1:46-55, consider and jot down your own praises.
Day 5. Purpose. Read Luke 2:1-21 aloud. Look for words that indicate purpose. Let God speak into you. He has purposed your life.
Day 6. Press. Jesus lived for many years on earth before choosing disciples and beginning his ministry. His ministry years were short in comparison to his life, but it’s what we know most about him. During this season of Christmas, we mainly focus on Jesus’ birth, but he came with a purpose that included death. Read John 3:16-19. The verses I’m challenging you to read and absorb today aren’t easy to read. Jesus was pressed upon by many people, including those who followed him. Read Matthew 27. How are you pressing against Jesus? How are you allowing him to impress upon your heart today?
Day 7. Power. As we finished yesterday’s verses, we left Jesus in the tomb. However, we cannot keep him there! We also cannot keep him in the manger of our Christmas celebration. Jesus’ life is much too rich for limitations. He is powerful! Read Luke 24. As you celebrate Jesus’ birth, may you also celebrate his death and resurrection. He came for you. He died for you. He rose for you.
May you see God’s many blessings in the coming weeks!