Monthly Archives: December 2019
Monthly Archives: December 2019
Here is day #2 of Kif Anderson's "Staying Focused at Christmas" daily devotional. I hope you are as blessed by this as I am every year I read it. Again, feel free to comment and add your thoughts to the comments section below.
The Inconvenience of Christ
I believe it was comedian Gallagher who once joked, "And Christmas...it comes right in the middle of the holidays...so we don't have anytime to enjoy it." Have you ever felt that way? One can get so wrapped up in the activities this time of the year brings that they can struggle to find time for Jesus. But lets face it...we were not the first ones to be put upon by finding time for Jesus.
Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while
they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered.
"And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger,
because there was no room for them in the inn." (Luke 2:4-7)
Have you ever noticed what an inconvenience Baby Jesus was? If it had been me, I can only imagine the questions that I would have been asking if I had been in Mary or Joseph's shoes. "Come on God, don’t we have enough to deal with? Why does this baby need to be born here in Bethlehem? Can’t you hold things off until we get back home to Nazareth? Or at the very least secure a motel room for us?"
Let's face it, our culture has done a great job of conditioning us to expect convenience. We’ve come to believe that it’s some sort of entitlement that each of us deserves. Everything is advertised as being more convenient, and therefore anything that poses an
"inconvenience to our lives" is by default negative. Enter Jesus. As the Christmas account shows, the Lord does not make life more convenient for us. In fact, as you read through the Bible you find that those who were closest to the Lord were those who were most
inconvenienced. Jesus is many things, but He isn’t always convenient.
We struggle with this because we want life to fit in with our own plans and expectations. This is painfully evident during this time of year as we make our plans to celebrate and enjoy the Christmas season. We strive to make our agendas precise and airtight. But
God’s agenda will often conflict with ours, and at these moments we have to make a choice. We can either fume at the fact that we’ve been inconvenienced, or we can surrender our expectations to God and ask Him to fill us with His agenda for our lives. When we choose God’s choice, we find the joy of obedience in the midst of being inconvenienced.
The following daily devotionals for Christmas were written by my friend, Kif Anderson, a few years ago. Kif lost his battle with prostrate cancer and has been with Christ, his Savior for awhile now. But his legacy lives on through these devotions and his devotion that he lived out, to Jesus.
Enjoy - And remember the TRUE reason for this season.
Feel free to comment and/or share any of the devotional messages.
Decorations are being dug out of the garages, trees are getting purchased from temporary lots set up in empty fields (or perhaps just being assembled like at our house), lighted trims and inflatable decorations are starting to illuminate our neighborhoods at dusk, and therefore the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season has begun.
So for the next few days as we approach this most joyous of celebrations, it seems if we don't want to lose the “Christ” in Christmas we need to find ways to take a little time and focus on Him. So this short run devotional series is being shared with you to hopefully brighten you day, or at least keep you pointed in the right direction.
When does the Christmas story actually start?
A lot of folks might answer that it all began in the manger in the little town of Bethlehem because this is when Jesus' earthly life began. However if we see this as our starting point, we actually place a huge limitation on the significance of Christ and Christmas.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)
In this verse, the Greek phrase in the beginning is more accurately rendered beyond or outside of the beginning of time. This means that Jesus, as the Word, has always been in existence. Bible scholars refer to this attribute as the eternality of Christ. His earthly life may have begun in Bethlehem , but His divine life has always been and has no beginning.
Numerous witnesses in the New Testament point out the eternal nature of Jesus. While John the Baptist was about six months older than Jesus, he makes the amazing statement that Christ's life actually preceded his own (John 1:30). This is an obvious allusion to the eternal existence of Jesus. The apostle Paul takes this thought even further when he wrote that Christ is before all things (Colossians 1:17). As if this weren't enough, the Lord
Himself made reference to His preexistent state on multiple occasions:
And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. (John 17:5)
Father . . . You loved Me before the foundation of the world.
Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” (John 8:58)
The Christmas story doesn't begin in the manger because Jesus' existence didn't start there. God's act of giving His precious Son to mankind was actually initiated before time even began, as the Bible tells us that Jesus was offered on behalf of our sins before the foundations of the world (1 Peter 1:20; Revelation 13:8).
That silent night in Bethlehem was simply a matter of time catching up with God's eternal desire to provide us with His salvation.