Sunday, December 1, 2019

Don't Miss Christmas: Focus on Jesus

Don't Miss Christmas
It seems like we just finished Thanksgiving dinner.  Now here we are, just days before Christmas.  I have not posted a blog post until now.  I have not worked either of my online stores.  I did have a few local orders to fill, but it seems like I have spent every waking moment trying to make sure all the decorations are out, all the gifts are bought (and wrapped or bagged), and all the Christmas parties and meals are planned.  Just moments before I began this post, I wrapped my last gift and placed it snuggly under my Christmas tree.  I have not stopped since Thanksgiving Day.  I have felt incredibly rushed and overwhelmed this year and I don't really know why.  Tomorrow, I'll go to the grocery store to purchase all the ingredients for all the family Christmas meals.  When I get home, I'll start preparing a few food items with only hours to spare before we begin the annual Christmas parade of family fun gatherings.  I love every minute I get to spend with family and friends this time of year but it is also very easy to get all bogged down in the "to do" list and miss Christmas.  We like to think that Christmas is a time for family and parties, but it really isn't.  Christmas is about the birth of Jesus and nothing else.  Everything else is just a bonus.  If we aren't careful, we can do all the preparing and make it to every single Christmas party but still miss Christmas.  Our pastor has been taking us through a series of Bible studies that teach us how to not miss Christmas and his messages could not possibly have been more timely.

The following are my Bible study notes based on my pastor's sermon titled "Don't Miss Christmas:  Focus on Jesus."

You are invited to watch, listen, and worship with us here.

Don't Miss Christmas

Focus on Jesus

Our Bible study text for today is found in Isaiah 9:6-7.
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this. - Isaiah 9:6-7
The holiday season can bring stress and even depression into our homes.  Many are dealing with loss of life, broken relationships, financial issues, etc which make the holidays less enjoyable and sometimes hard.  How about changing the focus?  Don't just turn on the lights.  BE the light.  Give less presents and more presence.  Gifts come and go but investing in someone has long term and sometimes eternal effects.  

Focus on Jesus

During the Christmas season, let's fix our thoughts on Jesus.
Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession. - Hebrews 3:1
Distractions make us lose focus.  Seek Jesus first.
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  Matthew 6:33

To miss Christ is to miss Christmas.

View Christmas as a promise, a snapshot of things to come.  Think about Heaven.  All the things we expect to be perfect about Christmas should remind us of what Heaven will be like.  Think about the names of Jesus.

The Names of Jesus

1.  Wonderful

Jesus is wonderful.  He is awesome!
He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. - Luke 1:32

Don't forget how wonderful it is to be forgiven with an eternity in Heaven.

2.  Counselor

We all need direction in decision-making.  Have you made poor decisions in the past?  Don't let those decisions define you.  Let them refine you.  Think about how much better we would be if we allow our Wonderful Counselor to guide our decisions. He knows what we need.  He is free.  He is a counselor for everybody.  He is a safe vault.  He won't tell everyone else your business.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go;
I will counsel you with My eye upon you. - Psalm 32:8
Take everything to God.  Take to Him your Christmas budget and anything else that troubles you.  Train your heart to listen to God.

3.  Mighty God

We have at our disposal a mighty, powerful God.
For nothing will be impossible with God. - Luke 1:37

4.  Everlasting Father

God is my Father.  My relationship with my Jesus ensures me an eternity with my father.  Do you have a relationship with Jesus?

We never have to walk alone.  

5.  Prince of Peace

This is the kind of peace that is not because of the absence of problems, but rather in the presence of Jesus in our lives.  It has everything to do with relationship, nothing else.
And through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in Heaven. - Colossians 1:20

Peace is not free.  It is paid for by the cross of Jesus. 

Don't Miss Christmas.  Focus on Jesus.
Don't Miss Christmas:  Focus on Jesus

Read other posts in the Don't Miss Christmas Series here.

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