10 Verses to Include in Your Christmas Cards This Year
Here is a great idea. I love this one: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
Christmas is such a wonderful time of year when so many take time to gather with family and friends, share gifts and meals, make memories, have fun, and worship together. It’s also a great time to reconnect with those you may not see through the year, or just send a heartfelt sentiment to those you care about with a Christmas card or simple greeting. Maybe you’ve sent family photos and Christmas cards for many years; it’s your annual tradition. Maybe you include a note of a few of your family’s highlights from the year. Or maybe, like many in today’s world, you choose to send a greeting through email or social media so that you’re able to reach more of those you love.
As we begin the season to celebrate the birth of Jesus, let us consider God’s plan all along.
The Bible tells us that long before the world began, God had a plan to bring redemption through Christ to all those who would choose to believe and follow Him (1 Peter 1:19-20). God knew we would need a Savior. He knew we would need to be set free. And He made a way, by sending His One and Only Son, so that we could receive forgiveness and find new life and hope through Him (John 3:16).
Who were the Magi who visited Jesus? Dwight Longenecker sorts it out for us. Dwight is a parish leader, award-winning blogger, and speaker. A graduate of Oxford and Bob Jones University, he has written sixteen books on different aspects of religion. He is the author of a new book, Mystery of the Magi: The Quest to Identify the Three Wise Men, available in bookstores now.
Everyone knows the legend of the three wise men’s visit to Bethlehem as retold every Christmas. Three Arabian princes followed a star to find baby Jesus, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. They presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. This story has lived on over the centuries as a key part of the birth of Jesus. But is it truly factual?
What is the meaning of Christmas? How should we celebrate it? Here is some great insight from Author Sheila Alewine. Sheila is a pastor’s wife, mother and grandmother. She and her husband lead Around The Corner Ministries, which serves to equip Christ-followers to share the gospel where they live, work and play.
Are you ready for Advent? Here are some questions that will help.
As the autumn leaves dance and twirl, I’m reminded that it won’t be long before we celebrate the holidays. To avoid the last minute hustle it is good to think ahead.
Many shop early and get their Christmas cards ordered and signed. Others bake Christmas cookies for weeks to prepare for guests and gifts. Whatever we do to prepare for the holiday, when we are intentional it can reduce stress.
Preparing our heart and keeping our focus on Jesus takes planning too – otherwise the weeks fly by in a blur before we rein in what’s important. Using an advent devotional or activity is a wonderful way to engage the whole family with the central message of why Jesus came.
Having a plan for your family celebrations minimizes stress and helps you to focus on the things that are important to you. Begin by adding the events and traditions most important to you and your family.
Asking yourself these questions during this season of your life will help you to focus as you celebrate from the heart. Questions like:
Read the article here: 7 Questions That Will Make You Ready for Advent
The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot put it out. (John 1:5 ISV)
Larry was busy hanging lights around our Christmas tree this weekend. We had purchased some new strings of lights to make our tree even brighter. So, to add to the lights already on the tree, he painstakingly placed them on a few bare spots.
The thousand shining lights staring back at us were gorgeous for about thirty seconds…and then…BOOM! Darkness. The circuit was obviously overloaded! So, he rushed to Lowe’s and purchased a new circuit breaker and BOOM! All was bright and shiny again. The beauty of the lights on the tree lit up the darkness of our living room. We loved it!
“and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive’”
– Acts 20:25
This anthem and the local espresso drink has been carrying Holiday sales for a very long time – and the American economy is very appreciative of the clever use of scripture to carry their revenue into the black before the year ends. But don’t let their clever marketing rob you of the true meaning and purpose of Christmas.
Christmas Must be Received First
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given”
– Isaiah 9:6
“He came to His own, and His own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in His name, he gave the right to become Children of God.”
This year, since before the Thanksgiving meal had even been served, Americans have been flooding the stores and cyberspace to find amazing deals for Christmas. Many well-intentioned Christians have not been excluded from this frenzy, hoping to give wonderful gifts to friends, loved-ones, and co-workers with the saying in mind “it is better to give than to receive.” But have we stopped – really stopped – in our tracks of running around in a spirit-of-the-season-holiday-frenzy to consider the coming of Christ and it’s implications?
There is no greater gift this Christmas than Christ the Son. All our giving flows from the reality that we have received the greatest of gifts – from God. Receiving Christ and His kingdom in our hearts and lives is immeasurably greater than any physical gift we will receive this holiday season. And yet many of us will be focusing on giving physical things.
Thinking back to the story of Mary and Martha, we recall that Martha had a great heart to give as well – she believed serving the Lord and the disciples was the most important thing to do in that moment. What could possibly be wrong with that?? Yet the scripture goes on to say Martha was distracted with much serving (Luke 10:40), asking Jesus, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her to help me.” She had allowed herself to get caught up in a frenzy of giving without understanding the spiritual importance of what Mary was doing – receiving from Christ. The Lord answers her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
So what is the “good portion” we are to seek this Christmas? Could it possibly be better to receive this Christmas?
Three Ways to Receive Jesus This Christmas
Know Christ more intimately this year than ever before. Use those new gift cards and buy yourself a new Bible – a good bible, a great bible! Your greatest joys next year will be discovered with Christ, and in Christ.
Treasure Christ as supreme, set apart, and special above all other gifts. Stay up late or rise early and think upon the life of Jesus. Let your mind be filled with the narrative of His birth and listen to songs that declare His arrival.
Share Christ with your family and friends. A good gift is not only treasured but shared. Don’t limit your giving to that which is merely physical in nature, but in the name of Jesus freely give blessings, encouragements, prayers and supplications. Lay hands on the sick. Comfort the hurting. Share the blessing and good news of His kingdom come to earth.
Celebrating His life with you this Christmas and always,
Your friends at Christian Training Center International