faith

The Number One Way to Make Christmas More Meaningful

We want the holidays to be meaningful. We don’t want to forget why we celebrate in the first place, but the hectic pace of the season can make it difficult to focus. Do you find yourself checking off the boxes of a to-do list this time of year? Big boxes, like:

 

I love checking those big things off. Even though I love them, it’s always a relief when another year is accomplished. (Don’t stress, I don’t have the Christmas decorations out or the tree up…not even close! The image is just a demo.)

As I prayed about what to write this week and how I can help you do life better in this season, I realized that I had done tons of research, checked off some boxes, but there was one box I hadn’t checked today. Do you see it? Do you see where it is in the list of things to do?

Yep. “Read my Bible” was the last on the list, and it isn’t checked off. I know! How can you glean wisdom from a Bible teacher who did not read her Bible today?!

The truth is, I’m better reading my Bible on my scheduled days than my days off. Why is that? Are you like that too? God’s grace is with us. He understands our need to rest. He’s not sitting in heaven ready to club us on the head for missing our Bible reading. But I know that nothing can order my day and fill my hungry soul like taking time to get some calorie-free, Keto-friendly Bread of Life to nourish my spirit.

candle

Make this Holiday Season More Meaningful

We’re a month away from Christmas. One month until we open gifts, eat too much again, visit family and friends, and try to hold the sacred close to our hearts in the midst of last minute shopping, mailing, and baking. The struggle is real, but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s some steps to take to make this Christmas more meaningful.

  1. Quiet Time everyday. Take time for you and Jesus. This is the number one way of making Christmas more meaningful.

Get up a few minutes early or sneak quiet time in the afternoon when the baby is sleeping. Each Bite of Bread Bible Reading Plan will focus on Jesus as we prepare our hearts for Christmas. Light a candle. Breathe in deep. Journal the scripture and what you hear.

Let’s start this preparation for Christmas with the focus of Jesus as King. This baby who lies frozen in our nativity sets sitting on our mantels and coffee tables, that baby was a king. That is why Herod feared him and ordered the killing of all baby boys two and younger. Jesus is the king. With each daily scripture reading, ask yourself how Jesus’ kingship rules in your life. Pray to the king.

coffee bible

 

Bite of Bread Christmas Bible Reading Plan- Jesus is King

Day 1- Daniel 7: 13-14: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man,[a] coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority,glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”

Prompt: Daniel was a prophet, and this was a very famous messianic prophecy. Underline any words, phrases, or sentences in this passage that you have read in other scripture. Do a Google search on “son of man” and “everlasting kingdom” and see what other scriptures come up, or if you have a study Bible, notice the verses that are connected with this one. Read them. What is the significance of Daniel’s prophecy? (Read Luke 1: 32-33).

Day 2- Psalm 93: 1The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty;
    the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength;
    indeed, the world is established, firm and secure.

Prompt: If time allows, read the whole chapter of 93. Take a long, deep breath. What does it mean to believe that Jesus reigns? Does this give you assurance when life seems to be falling apart?

Grab the Printable to Use

Day 3- Revelation 1: 5-7: 

….and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen. “Look, he is coming with the clouds,”[a] and “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him” and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.”[bSo shall it be! Amen.

Prompt: How was Jesus the faithful witness? What did he testify about? How did he give the ultimate testimony of God’s heart?

Day 4- Revelation 5:8: “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Prompt: Write down the roles Jesus played in the past, what he does now, and the what he will do in the future. Write a prayer of thanksgiving. 

Here’s the Free Printable/Download

Day 5- John 18: 33-36: Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”34 “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?”35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?”36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

Prompt: Close your eyes and picture Jesus in his kingdom. What do you feel in that place? Write it down.

Day 6- John 18:37: “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

Prompt: Sit in a quiet place with your journal open and a cup of coffee or tea. Wait on Jesus. Write down anything your spirit hears. Then take some time to let him direct you to a scripture. Write it down.

Day 7- Psalm 121: 1-2: I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

Prompt: Spend time writing a prayer of worship to your king, your help.

woman bible laughing

 

Other Ways to Make Christmas More Meaningful

  • Give to those less fortunate— every time.

Use every opportunity to give to those in need. Don’t just rush past the Salvation Army bell ringer. Throw some change in the bucket and smile. Be a blessing. If you have small children, or grandchildren, let them put the money in the bucket. Backwoods Mama has some great ideas of how to make Christmas more meaningful for those with small kids. I loved her ideas. 

  • Do less. Less is More.

Don’t try to do everything. Permission to do things differently this year. This may mean  drawing names for gifts or baking only two desserts rather than ten. It may mean giving neighbors a small poinsettia or a heart-felt Christmas card instead of a plate full of cookies.

Visit the Invisible

  • Don’t Forget the Elderly

I know some people cannot handle visiting the elderly in nursing homes. I know it’s hard, but these folks are invisible to our society. For that reason, if you have an elderly neighbor, go visit. Ask your church for a list of home-bound members. Ask the Lord which ones he wants you to visit and go.

The Jesus I Never Knew

There are a handful of books that made a deep impact of my understanding of Jesus. One of those is The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey. It’s an old book, but it was revolutionary when I read it over twenty years ago.

Yancey wrote:

” . . . I am not writing a book about Jesus because he is a great man who changed history. I am not tempted to write about Caesar or the Chinese emperor who built the Great Wall. I am drawn to Jesus, irresistibly because he positioned himself as the dividing point of my life. ‘I tell you whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God,’ he said. According to Jesus, what I think about him and how I respond will determine my destiny for all eternity” (p. 17).

 

The Dividing Point

Jesus is the dividing point of life, period. He doesn’t force himself on anyone. He simply invites us to participate with the divine–a destiny far greater than any book, philanthropy, platform, song, painting, or medical discovery could accomplish. Jesus came to be our king.

The Kingdom of God is near.

Join Me Thursday Night!

Let’s get together this Thursday night at 7:20 ET ( promise to be done before football starts) to dig into these scriptures and talk about making room for King Jesus this Christmas. Come be encouraged. Put on your stretchy pants and brew a cup of something warm. Gather your Bible, journal, and let’s do some Bible study together! It’s a virtual Bible study group via Facebook live. Follow on Facebook to get the notification when I go live. 

Digging Deep,

Andy

 

P.S. Make this Christmas different. Here’s the Bible Reading Plan Printable 

 

Christmas Gift Ideas (To Help You Spend More Time With Jesus and Less Shopping!)

Christmas Catalog

“Thought you would enjoy this 2018 Holiday Catalog. Great gifts for family and friends. These are gifts that keep on giving enjoyment for years to come. Enjoy!” 

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