Christmas can either be a hectic time of year, or as the classic carol says, “the most wonderful.” What is the difference between the two? How can we take hold of its joy?
The one word answer is worship. In the midst of decorating, baking, wrapping presents, and more, we can have a heart stilled and grateful over our Savior’s love – that He left the grand courts of heaven to come to us and make us His own.
“Intentional” may be cliché Christian word, but it truly cannot be overstated. Our Christian walk is about following Jesus in a broken world, which takes every ounce of our attentions, plans, and desires. So let’s be intentional about seeking Him this Christmas, about going to the nativity scene in God’s Word and carrying it with us everywhere we go.
HOW DO WE DO THAT?
Here are my 5 suggestions for worshiping Jesus this Christmas:
1. Sing Carols of Praise
While there are many delightful Christmas oldies like “Let it Snow” and “Rudolph the Reindeer,” meditate on the beauty of Jesus’ birth personally or with your family by singing faith-filled hymns. Plan on filling your home with reverent melodies like “O Holy Night” and “Silent Night,” adapted by modern artists. Some of my recommendations are Adore: Christmas Songs of Worship by Chris Tomlin and the Christian Contemporary
Holiday Radio on Pandora.
Also keep this tradition idea in mind: My church has caroling groups that go to nursing homes and single members with no nearby family. Pick your favorite hymns, print out the lyrics, and take your kids to share musical praise with those in need this Christmas.
2. Give Without Anxiety
When money is scarce and the wish-list long, we can lose sight of why we give gifts at all. Let’s escape the stress not only by letting go of high expectations, but remembering God simply cares about our heart. “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever
sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” ~ 2 Corinthians 9:6-7
This is speaking of tithing, which we must do cheerfully to exercise our love for Christ and His church, but the core concept stands clear—God loves those who give with joy, because He has joyfully given His Son to us. As we give to our loved ones, the needy, and missionaries abroad this season, we can have the spirit of Paul: “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” ~ Acts 20:35
When we step out to show godly generosity, we can be confident that God will supply our needs and also be content with what He empowers us to give. As long as our gift is bestowed in love, we can leave the responses in His hands. “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” ~ 2 Corinthians 9:8-9
Isn’t our Lord so good? Let’s embrace worshipful generosity this year with what we put under the tree and in the offering plates, knowing the best gift of all is Jesus Himself.
3. Go Through a Solid Devotional
In the fun festivities and church events, quiet your heart or your whole family’s with daily devotionals about the miraculous arrival of our Savior. There are many Christmas Bible studies out there, but if you’re a tight-budgeted, busy mom like me I heartily recommend this FREE devotional by the solid Christian ministry Desiring God called Good News of Great Joy.
4. Pray Through Jesus’ Story
A spiritual discipline we can all always grow in is prayer. As I prepare for this upcoming Advent, I wish to be more purposeful in my prayer life by treasuring Jesus. I’ve created a prayer plan with Bibles verses for us to meditate on and thank God for in the spirit of the nativity scene. Covering everything from prophecies about Christ’s coming to His second return in Revelation, and the Christmas story in- between, this is a simple means to be saturated with Scripture and let it bless our minds this December. It’s designed for little moments in your day when you can pause, read a few
verses, and respond with awe-filled prayer. Grab your FREEBIE prayer plan here, which also includes a decorative print and 2018 goal sheet.
5. Praise Him for the Past and Commit to Faith in Future
Finally, Christmas signals the year’s end, and is a perfect time for introspection. Let’s reflect on the last 12 months and worship His faithfulness.
It’s an opportunity to examine our heart and where we are in faith. As Paul writes to the Philippians, we are secure in our salvation by trust in Christ, but we can always continue to spiritually and humbly grow, discovering the good works He has prepared for us.
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12-13
My practical tip? Document God’s blessings in 2017 and your “faith” goals for 2018 with the sheet in my FREEBIE pack, reviewing it next Christmas and collecting the lists over the years to recall God’s goodness. Celebrate that Christ has come, and let it flood your heart with hope about the
year to come. Just as He amazingly and graciously lived a sinless life on earth and conquered death, He can powerfully work through anything you face for His glory and your good.
May theses practices build your worship this Christmas!
In His Love,
Dani is an Ivy-Leaguer turned homemaker immensely humbled and inspired by God’s grace. As a young wife and mommy, she’s eager to share how freedom and truth beautifully come together in Jesus in the everyday and extraordinary. Her blog Free Indeed – www.livingfreeindeed.com – aims to give women hope from God’s Word that refreshes their hearts to serve Christ faithfully.