I prepare room for a lot of things during Christmas but I often struggle to prepare my own heart because I don’t leave any room for Jesus. Remember that ridiculous list I told you about yesterday that often goes through my head around this time of year? While most of those things aren’t bad and can even be meaningful, I often fill my days with all those “good” things and don’t leave any room for what is “best”.
Most of us are familiar with the passage in Deuteronomy 11 that instructs us to teach God’s Word to our children all throughout the day, wherever we are. As I read back through that passage I was struck again by how before I can teach my children, I have to have God’s Word in me! I love how The Message paraphrases Deuteronomy 11:18,
“Place these words on your hearts. Get them deep inside you. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder.”
Before we can be ready to survive the holidays with grace and love our families and others well during this Christmas season, we have to get God’s Word deep inside of us. In Treasuring God in our Traditions Noel Piper says, “The living water in our own hearts is the fountain from which we shower Christ on our family. Our time with God and his preparation of us is a necessary foundation. Without it our Christmas activities will degenerate into hoopla.”
I want to challenge you…and myself…to think of one way we can prepare room for Jesus in our lives in these days leading up to Christmas and after. If you don’t have an established time in God’s Word and in prayer each day, this advent season is the perfect time to start! Commit to a time each day and spend time in His Word, asking Him to prepare your heart and guard you from allowing Christmas to become just a list of activities you are trying to survive. If you are thinking, “I am way too busy to fit that into my schedule, especially at this time of year!” I challenge you to stop and reevaluate your schedule and activities. I have found that when I come to God in the middle of the busyness and seek Him first that He gives me time for the rest of the things that are important to accomplish that day. Or maybe you have a hard time even knowing where to start with a daily quiet time. If you’ve read this blog for awhile you know that A Place of Quiet Rest by Nancy Leigh DeMoss has been really helpful to me as I’ve fought to make daily time with the Lord a consistent reality in my own life. And you know it’s definitely been a fight!
If you already spend time in God’s Word each day ask God to stretch you a little this year. Use this time leading up to Christmas to memorize a passage or several passages in the Bible. Or commit to spend some time journaling as you read through the familiar Christmas story passages asking God to make the gospel go deeper and deeper in your heart this year. Or spend a little extra time each day reading through an advent book like Nancy Guthrie’s Come Thou Long Expected Savior. Elyse Fitzpatrick has a new Christmas Advent devotional out this year too!
I’d love to hear your thoughts. How have you prepared room for Jesus in the past? What will you do to make sure you prepare room for Jesus this year as the Christmas season quickly approaches? Let’s make a plan together!
Treasuring God is our Traditions by Noel Piper
A Place of Quiet Rest by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Come Though Long Expected Savior by Nancy Guthrie
Counting the Days, Lighting the Candles: A Christmas Advent Devotional by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson
Behold the Lamb of God by Andrew Peterson
Let Every Heart Printable by Heather @ Life Made Lovely