A girl of ten years went with a group of family and friends to see the Christmas light displays at various locations throughout the city. At one church, they stopped and got out to look more closely at a beautifully done nativity scene.
"Isn't that beautiful?" said the little girl's grandmother. "Look at all the animals, Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus."
"Yes, Grandma," replied the granddaughter. "It is really nice. But there is only one thing that bothers me. Isn't baby Jesus ever going to grow up... he's the same size he was last year."
Is Jesus the same size for you as He was last year? Does He occupy the same space as He did 365 days ago? In your heart? Your mind? Your soul? Or is He smaller, having less reign in your life?
Will the Christmas season cause Him to get bigger or smaller? Will the busy-ness push Him out or will your actions pull Him in?
Sadly, for many, Jesus doesn’t stand a chance. Doesn’t have to be that way, it’s a choice. At the end of the season He can be bigger than ever. And that is incredibly better for us.
It’s not complicated, but takes effort. Mary knew the way,
30 But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."
34 "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" 35 The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37 For nothing is impossible with God." 38 "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her." Luke 1:30-38 (NIV)
Saying, “Yes” by living out 3 priorities will cause Jesus to get bigger in us.
1. Time with God. What better gift can we give to people than our time? What better Christmas gift can we give to Jesus than to spend time with Him? Time in conversation, listening and speaking. Time with His Word. Time in worship. Time in service to others. But in all times, time getting to know and love Him in personal relationship. That will make Him bigger.
The season is about Him, after all.
2. A God-focus on the season. Going against the consumer driven culture that envelopes us by surrendering and focusing on God. In everything we do… sending cards, giving gifts, visiting with family and friends, shopping (yes, gentlemen, even shopping), worshipping, decorating. Whatever we do, doing it through the filter of a priority of God’s firstness. By so focusing we give Him His proper place and He will get bigger.
3. Salt and light opportunities. Jesus is everywhere during the season. This time of year is an annual unique opportunity to point Him out and what He’s doing in our lives. At every turn, every situation, every chance. Being salt of the earth that flavors and the light of the world that shines the way to real life.
As we spend time with Him and focus on Him, Jesus will be at the forefront of our minds and hearts. Talking about Jesus is the natural response. We must consciously choose to do so, especially with those who need it most. THAT is the heart of God and will do more to make Him bigger than anything else we can do.
So … do you want to hit December 26 weary, exhausted, empty and with a smaller Jesus in your soul? Or physically spent, but spiritually refreshed, mentally renewed, emotionally filled and with a bigger Jesus to propel you into the next year?
Your choice, but you’ll have to make it throughout the season.
Friday, December 03, 2004
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