Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Devotional 2008



Years ago the Lord spoke to me as I sat down to write the traditional family newsletter to be included with our Christmas cards. As I was jotting down the highlights of the past several months, excited to share successes and accomplishments, the Lord revealed that my heart was filled with pride. Our family had been truly blessed, but my motive behind my sharing was wrong. Christmas was not about me or my family. Our Christmas letter was not to be used as a bragging tool, but a time to point friends and family to the real meaning of our celebration. Since that time I have written more of a devotional each year to share His heart. I thought I would post this years letter. I hope you enjoy.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Do you ever get a thought in your head that persists like a broken record? Recently the title of a very familiar Christmas carol will not stop circulating in my mind. Actually, the title of the carol asks a question that requires an answer.

“What Child is this?”

So much rests dependent on your answer. To some He is nothing more than a fairytale. A myth. A sweet baby with a story surrounding His life that holds no meaning whatsoever. A glance at the nativity stirs no feeling. They see the figures as manmade and assume the same for the epic account encompassing them.

Yet, for thousands of years, He is still remembered and His birthday marked on every calendar. From shepherds to Kings, from homeless to millionaires this Child still receives attention. Although cast aside by some, He remains the center of our celebration. Whether you choose to acknowledge Him or not, His existence is not dependent upon your opinion.

I can answer the question above with confidence. In Luke 2:11 we are told, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you, He is Christ the Lord.” What Child is this? He’s our Savior. He’s my Savior.

With the economic upheaval we are all facing, I don’t know about you, but I’m so thankful and glad to have a Savior. Placing our trust in someone else or anything other brings false hope. There is only One who can give the peace for which our hearts long in these days of uncertainty.

If you acknowledge the answer to the first question, another one begs to be asked. A question asked of Peter in Matthew 16:15 - “Who do you say I am?” It’s one thing to believe there is a God, but quite another to know Him personally.

This Child is also called Immanuel - God with us. Do you hear the cry of His heart right now saying, “Child I want to be with you. Not only will I be your Savior, I will remain with you. I already know you intimately, don‘t push Me away.”

There is no better present you could unwrap this Christmas than His presence. Who is this Child to you? Have you even stopped to consider the reason for the season? If you celebrate Christmas at all, you are celebrating Christ. Christ cannot be separated from Christmas, only ignored. He is there amidst your tree, parcels, feasting and decorating. As my friend Renee reminded me, it’s not too late for your heart to be His manger.

Receive. Believe. Merry Christmas!


14 comments:

Melinda said...

Just beautiful. I hope the recipients of this letter do receive it and will answer the question with the words you penned:

He's MY Savior!

Blessings,
Melinda

On Purpose said...

Hello Joy...this is a great devotion and oh how God gets all the glory in this! I loved it..and its a great way to love on and share the love of Jesus with all your family and friends.

I am praying tonight for you and your family!

Sita said...

Beautiful, Joy...and so worth sharing in our current climate...have a blessed Christmas...Love, Sita

Catherine said...

Beautiful Joy. I love how you reminded us that Christ cannot be removed from Christmas. So many try, but none succeed.

Celebrating the birth of our Savior, Lord and King!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Lovely Christmas letter this year! For the past who knows how long, I've been doing the same. You'll be getting mine soon. You've already read it before. I simply couldn't improve on it, nor didn't try.

The ancients were here today for lunch. Whew, check that one off the list. We had a great time, but I'm pooped! So glad for the mangered rest I'm going to take this evening.

Lots of love and love the family pic!

peace~elaine

Amy L Brooke said...

Great devotional. Great thoughts.

I love the picture.

Amy

Joy in The Truth (Sharon Sloan) said...

Joy: Thank you. I do pray my heart, my family's hearts, are His manger and His sanctuary always.

And I love the family picture! Gorgeous!

Christmas blessings to you and yours!

Julie Gillies said...

Hi Joy,
What a nice picture of your family...you guys are adorable. LOVE your necklace!

I have to agree that the best Christmas present is HIS PRESENCE.

Merry Christmas!

Bonita said...

Amen!

Tracy said...

What a beautiful and powerful devotional. I can think of no greater gift to share with those you love.

Love that wonderful photo of your family.

Blessings and Merry CHRISTmas!
Tracy

Yolanda said...

Glad to have received this via your blog and your family picture adds such a special touch. A beautiful family, beautiful hearts for our Beautiful Savior.

Lovingly,
Yolanda

Joy in the Burbs... said...

Joy, this is a wonderful Christmas letter that you're sending to friends and family. It's not about us is it it's all about Him and I'm so thankful He came to this earth and we celebrate Christmas.
Great family picture!
Merry Christmas sweet sister in Christ,

Joy

Spring Fricks said...

That was beautiful. Very meaningful and well written. I pray it touches the heart of many.

Marilyn in Mississippi said...

BEE-YOO-TEE-FULL family portrait! And a great Christmas devotion!

Bless you,
Marilyn