It is the first Thursday of December, exactly 3
weeks before Christmas, and all around you hear the same questions: Have
you finished your Christmas shopping yet? Have you done your Christmas
baking? Is the house decorated? Are you ready for Christmas?
I'm happy to report that the answer to each of these questions is a loud, enthusiastic "yes!"
The baking is done and in the freezer and so is Christmas dinner, the house is decorated, presents are bought and under the Christmas tree, and the plans are all made. You see, my goal since last Christmas has been to be able to dedicate my entire attention on the birth of my precious Lord and Savior at Christmas this year, and when the opportunity came up for a surgical date for a rotator cuff repair on the 19th of December, I jumped on it. Not only would this be the extra motivation I would need to be prepared in advance, but the immobilization of my dominant arm would ensure that I am not even able to let preparations distract me from Jesus this Christmas!
But wait. Have I forgotten the most important preparation of all? Have I been so focused on the "things" of Christmas that I have not even given thought to preparing my heart for Jesus? Have I failed to even consider what I’m going to give Him for Christmas?
Fortunately, I still have time. Christmas is still three weeks away. But what can I give to Jesus, anyway? After all, He holds the entire universe in His hands! What I need is Jesus' wishlist, and yes, He does have one with at least three items on it! Let's take a look:
1. "My son, give me your heart, And let your eyes observe my way." (Prov 23:26 NKJV).
That's it, friends! Jesus wants our hearts! This means He wants to be the Lord of our lives. He wants us to give up the driver's seat, hand over the reins, and submit to His will.
2. Jesus' second wish is for us to receiving the fullness of the gift He died to offer us, not just in part, but in full. Consider this text: "that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe..." (Eph 1:17-20 NKJV)
3. The third item on Jesus' "wishlist" is that we obey His commands. These are three-fold: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind..." (Luke 10:27a); "Love your neighbor as yourself." (Luke 10:27b); and "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matt 28:18-20)
That's it, friends! Jesus wants us to love like He loves, and He wants us to share the good news of His unending grace!
So I ask you again: Are you ready for Christmas? Are you prepared to give Jesus the three things on His wishlist? If so, will you join me in submitting your all to the Lord and Savior of the Universe? Will you walk in the fullness of His grace? Will you obey His commands to love one another and to go forward and carry the gospel to the nations?
If you will do just that, then it doesn't matter the state of your decorations, Christmas shopping or Christmas dinner. You are truly ready for Christmas.
In His love,
Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.