We read in Luke 2:20 that after hearing the good news that their Savior had been born “The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen.” How did the shepherds respond to Jesus’ arrival? They celebrated! From this passage we learn that Christmas is a time for celebration! But what you focus on determines whether you celebrate or survive Christmas. Those who survive Christmas focus on all the negative aspects of Christmas:
- the financial strain buying so many presents brings
- having to interact with family you have a strained relationship with
- no parking spots at the mall
- long lines in the stores
- the exhausting work of decorating, cleaning and cooking
Emotionally, we steer where we stare, so it’s so important to focus on the right things. Instead of focusing on all the negative aspects of the holiday season, we need to remind ourselves of all we have to be thankful for – namely Jesus! So let me give you four things to focus on that will help you celebrate Christmas:
- My past has been forgiven. Because of Jesus God remembers our sins no more (Isaiah 43:25).
- I’m never alone. Because of Jesus I don’t have to go through life difficulties on my own. God lives within me (1 John 4:15) and provides me with all the strength, support and encouragement needed so I don’t cave in under the pressure.
- My destiny is heaven (Revelation 21:1). Because of Jesus I don’t have to pay the penalty for my sins by spending eternity in hell. Jesus has already paid the penalty for my sins on the cross. Because of His substitutionary sacrifice I can enjoy the pleasures of heaven for all eternity (Psalm 16:11).
- I have a rich and satisfying life. Jesus said in John 10:10 “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” How futile to try and find satisfaction and fulfillment in life apart from Jesus! The Bible tells us plainly – the abundant life is found in Christ!