Why Christmas is Even Better than You Think

I clutched the New Testament pages of my worn and highlighted Bible, as I read through the gospel of Mark. Matter of fact and quickly moving, I sped through the life of my Savior morning after morning, miracle after miracle. We so commonly know of Him, even if we don’t fully understand who He is. Those in His own hometown, including His family, thought He was crazy when He stepped out of the simple life He was born into and into His earthly ministry of miracles. 

Christmas can make us feel like we’re crazy. We abide in an ever-increasing “PC” society that refuses to give the holiday’s namesake it’s greeting. Commercialism threatens to cheapen the man that raised people from the dead and healed them miraculously. Disheartenment can drown out our holiday cheer, leaving us to feel like the kid in Home Alone …”is this a joke?” 

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The Wreath (#jammed daily devo, day 359)

December #jammed: Grace, gifted.

Day 359, Merry Christmas!

 And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born.” Luke 2:6

Merry Christmas, readers! On this morning, how can we not reflect upon the beautiful DECJAM25baby Jesus? For, as today’s verse celebrates, “the time came for her baby to be born.”

The time came! In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon lists that there is time for every human emotion and activity under the sun. But what we cannot ever get a grip on is God’s timing. The Author of time will reveal everything in His time.

The Christmas wreath that hangs on my door each Christmas season welcomes everyone at my doorstep into Christmas wonderland. There are baby Jesus’ and Santa’s everywhere! The Halls are Decked! But the intriguing thing about that wreath is it’s circular shape.

It’s a circle.

Christmas kicks off the biggest celebration of the circle of life in all of history. Finally, after an entire Biblical testament of prophesy, Jesus splashes onto the page in the flesh. Right on schedule. Right where God said He’d be. Just how it was supposed to be. We could study the Bible our entire lives and God would never run out of new things to reveal to us through it.

That circular wreath symbolizes everlasting life. In a circle. Whether we are running around on earth or skipping happily through heaven, life since Jesus’ birth means death isn’t the end for Christians. It’s, in fact, only the beginning.

Maybe this is the first time you’ve looked at Christmas this way. Commercialism has had you in it’s grip and you’ve succumbed to the “why are we skipping Thanksgiving for a retail holiday” hum drum. Don’t. Don’t let anything steal away from Christmas. It only can if you allow it to. Because Christmas is Christmas. It’s Jesus. It’s Him coming to earth to live and die for our sins so that we can go to heaven. It’s all about gifts. His gifts. The gifts He gave us. Grace, Heaven, to be in the presence of God, and to live with the power of the Holy Spirit inside of us.

Yes …freak out a little. It’s cool!

The Gospels of Luke and Matthew record Jesus’ birth. You can read them here (LUKE  MATTHEW) if you’re not familiar with the story. Welcome Him in to your Christmas story. Welcome Him into your life. The magic of Christmas never fades when Jesus takes up residence in our hearts.

I’d like to pray for you, specifically, today.

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Father, Praise You for Christmas, and the miraculous circle of new life that began when Jesus came down to earth. His birth means everything to us, and we thank You for sending Your one and only Son to us. Father, there are people reading this today who have never heard or read the Christmas story before. Ignite their hearts as they discover who You are through the birth of Your Son. Help them to ease into conversation with You, asking Jesus to come in and take over their lives …vowing to follow Him all the days of their lives and onto heaven. We praise You, God. Thank you for loving us for who we are, right now, and always. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

 Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Merry Christmas!!!

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

 

The Christmas Bird (#jammed daily devo, day 358)

December #jammed: Grace, gifted.

Day 358: Keepsakes.

“We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:2

There is a little statue that sits on my desk. It’s a blue bird with a Christmas hat. I think it DECJAM24was stuck in a Christmas planter sent to my Grandma one year, and she noticed I liked it and told me to take it. Now, it reminds me of her endless generosity and love for her family. For me. Christmas was her favorite, and she was mine.

The wisemen charted stars and knew that when they saw Christ’s star rising, He had been born. From a scientifically proven stand point, they showed up. No cell phones or computers …google maps or Facebook updates. They just saw the star, knew what it meant, and went to see Jesus.

Not having all of the pieces of the puzzle, but enough of them to get there.

Life is full of pieces, and through prayer and time in God’s Word, He will convict and change our hearts on at a time. We won’t be whole until we meet Him in heaven. This little bird on my desk is a piece of my Grams. Until I get to heaven to hug her again, a glance at it brings back how loving her feels. I don’t want to forget how much I love her. It’s like that little bird stores it for me.

God blesses our lives with memories so that we can hold on hope. Christmas is one of them. We have heard the story so many times, that we can almost picture ourselves in the scene. It’s a familiar truth and love that gives us hope. He came. He was here. Now, He’s in heaven …and for all those that believe in Him, we’ll be there someday, too.

Until then, we hold onto the pieces, and work on our own …keeping our eyes on the star in the sky.

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Father, Praise You for Christmas. Thank You for guiding us through this life, and forgive us for focusing on it more than the one to come in heaven. Bless us to love those around us, and to be a reflection of Your love, to everyone that knows who we are. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Piecing,

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

The Presents (#jammed daily devo, day 355)

December #jammed: Grace, gifted.

Day 355: Christmas presents …and limits.

“Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” Matthew 2:11b

“He came! HE CAME!!!”DECJAM21

The piles of presents under the tree and the magical looks on my kids’ faces as they ran down the stairs will be etched into my heart forever. It was a gift to us to be able to give to them more than they needed, expected, or could imagine.

Jesus received gifts from the three kings. Today’s verse tells us that they opened their “treasure chests.” They gave the best they could to the King who would give them more than all of the treasure on the earth could ever compare to.

When I looked up the definition of “treasure,” I found three separate ways to define it. Appropriate, because gifts …treasure …can be defined in so many different ways and at different angles.

treasure- a (1) :wealth (such as money, jewels, or precious metals) stored up or hoarded; (2)wealth of any kind or in any form: riches. b: a store of money in reserve.

In one part of this definition, wealth is defined as “in any form” and/or “money.” How do we measure our treasure? Is it something we can store up, earn, or use as currency? Can we trade it, simply flaunt it for what we (and others) know it’s worth statistically?

treasure- 2:something of great worth or value; also :a person esteemed as rare or precious
A chipped glass that used to have a match from a best friend who’s no longer on this side of heaven … It has a friendship quote etched in the glass. Ironic that one broke, and she’s gone now. Treasure.
“Be a leader,” he instructed me over and over. He’s no longer here, but his words …his life in pursuit of his Savior …are as real as they ever were. Treasure.
treasure- 3:a collection of precious things
Anything with a handprint on it gets tossed in the “save” box. Pieces of wrinkled up paper with stories they wrote about their family, or their Jesus.
Treasure. The refrigerator is littered with artwork, and the office is piled high with memories.
Treasure.
The wise men, as they were called, realized that no treasure they gave the King of Kings would be enough. They were wise, after all. But they still gave their best, brought their best, and before they gave anything at all …they worshipped Him.
Christmas is Christmas. The baby boy who came to earth. Who was the Word and is the Word. The greatest Gift of all time. Humanity is always striving for more …treasure. No matter how much we give, we will never out-give the Giver.
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Father, Praise You for loving us. Thank You for giving to us extravagantly, and forgive us for letting commercialism steal any meaning from that baby in the manger. Bless us to pay the love of Christmas forward, extravagantly. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Stepping,

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

Lost Your Christmas Spirit? 10 Easy Ways to Get it Back

“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:15

It’s not hard to lose our zeal for Christ and Christmas alongside the commercialism that capitalizes off the holiday season. In the busyness of the season, it’s possible for the Creator of Time to stretch our minutes to spend a moment with Him. Often, we run through life, especially around the holidays, convinced we don’t have time to sit in silence with Him. Our neglect to carve space to be with Him frays our minutes.

Do we trust Christ with our lives? This Christmas, we can strengthen our relationship with Jesus to reveal things we didn’t know or perhaps forgot. Jesus has the power to soften our hearts to the point that just a glance at a manger scene brings a tear of love for our Savior at Christmas time.

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