Thanksgiving has come and gone. Now we make the trek to Christmas Day. 25 days to celebrate the greatest event known to man! As yet! I just started a new devotional for Christmas from my friends at YouVersion Bible Ap.
(The devotional is fCopyright © 2011 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved and is called "Christmas Encouragement by Greg Laurie." I would like to thank Harvest Ministries With Greg Laurie for providing this plan. For more information, please visit: www.harvest.org.)
I will be reading this devotional and share my own thoughts of the readings from now until Christmas.
The first devotion proposes this thought: We may be ready for Christmas, but are we ready for the return of Christ?
So much preparation goes into Christmas. We need the right gift, the perfect decorations, the ideal weather ( not too much snow to prevent travel, but enough for a beautiful winter scene), family events modeled after Norman Rockwell, and peace throughout the world. We need snowmen, twinkling lights, jolly old Saint Nick, and flying reindeer. In the midst of all these puzzle pieces we miss the grand picture, the birth of our savior. Beyond that picture, which we miss more often than not, the even greater picture: the return of this tiny babe from the manger is lost to the world. That is the real story. The babe is going to return and it's going to happen soon. Are you ready?
As Christians we are more caught up in this miraculous FIRST Christmas story than we are the glorious future that lies ahead. We are so caught up in the magic of the beginning, we lose the truth of the reason the story is amazing at all. The birth of Christ just starts the story how God wants us to be with us for eternity. He came down to be with us, sacrificed himself for us, so that we might have eternal life and recieve it upon his even more miraculous return. Even WE miss the real meaning and we miss the grand opportunity to share this wonderful story this time of the year.
Jesus is coming again, we need to be ready. We need to prepare for that glory by helping others receive Jesus, beg forgiveness of their sins, and dedicate themselves to a life centered around him. Forget the first coming, the best is yet to come! The virgin birth , the wisemen, the shepherds, the angelic host all mean nothing without the second coming of Christ. If we just believe the story of the first coming without the truth of the cross and without the REST of the story, we are doomed to die and doomed to separation from God forever. Don't stop at the beginning, finish the story, accept Christ as your savior and the Christmas story will live in you through eternity!