He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. (John 1:11)
Many people spend the month of December buying, wrapping, decorating, and preparing for the festivities of the holidays but are not ready for a transforming Christmas, nor free to experience its real impact for all of life.
My greatest concern is that it won’t make any difference, that we will go back to the same old life as the same people as we were when it all began. It’s possible to celebrate Christmas and miss Christmas!
Imagine a time around the Christmas tree in which you opened all your presents except those from one particular person. Feel the hurt of that rejection. Look at it from God’s point of view. What do you think He wants to give you? Picture Him waiting for you to open and enjoy His gift.
I can remember when I was a boy how my mounting excitement in the days before Christmas was heightened by any present marked “Do not open until Christmas!” When I thought no one was watching, I would crawl under the Christmas tree, squeeze and shake the carefully wrapped presents, and imagine that what was inside was my heart’s desire. Then, on Christmas Eve, I would go to bed to dream with excitement about what I was sure I would find the next morning when I opened my presents.
The gift I want to share with you during the days leading up to Christmas is marked a bit differently. The tag has your name on it. It says, “To be opened in preparation for Christmas and enjoyed all through the year!” The heart of Christmas is the heart. God’s heart in Christ offered to you and me.
The most tragic thing which could happen is to go through the Christmas season and never open and accept the gifts of love, joy, hope, and peace which flow from His heart to ours. Let’s plan to have a heart-to-heart Christmas this year!
The above excerpt is from God’s Best for My Life by Lloyd John Ogilvie.
Dr. Lloyd John Ogilvie (1930 – 2019) authored more than 50 books, including Conversation with God, When You Need a Miracle, and the immensely popular daily devotional God’s Best for My Life. He previously served as senior pastor of Hollywood Presbyterian Church in California and as chaplain of the United States Senate.