“SO WHAT if Jesus was Born?” (Part 1): https://youthgrouptruth.com/2012/11/15/so-what-if-jesus-was-born/
Its so easy to think, “Jesus was born. I believe that.” as a Christian, but not know what to do with it. Christmas is not only a great time of celebration for Christians, but also for the whole world. It seems like the entire world is buying and swapping presents while pretty much ignorant of the real reason as to why we observe the unique holiday. We can be very quick to point our fingers at the world and blame them for their ignorance, but I believe that we Christians are more guilty. While we may not be ignorant of the reason, we are ignorant of the application of Christmas. Celebrating Christmas can bring glory to Jesus (and there are ways that take glory from Jesus), but there are some solid ways spelled out in Scripture about how Christmas should change our lives, worship, and gospel obedience.
Let’s look at the Wise Men. Read Matthew 2:1-2, “1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, ‘Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.’ 9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.”
Now listen, this blog article is not to wow you with the history of these magi. Instead, it’s meant to challenge all of us (including myself) on how to respond to the birth of Jesus like the magi. For those of you like myself, I need a good reminder on how to apply, respond, and worship during the Christmas holiday. My Savior stepped out of heaven and became a human for me! So, I want to respond in worship to Him. So how do we? Watch what the Wise Men do! Because Jesus was born, they didn’t have a “So what” attitude, but they…PURSUED Him! In fact, they went to great lengths to do so. They left their comfortable lives, they went to where He was, they asked other people about Him, and they went to worship Him. Then they allowed God’s creation to point them to Him, they rejoiced with exciting joy, they experienced Him personally for themselves, they reverently worshiped Him, and they gave Him expensive gifts.
So what are some ways we can apply, respond, worship, and experience real-life change for Jesus this Christmas?
1. Leave your comforts. Leaving your own personal comfort may mean leaving your office, recliner, couch, kitchen, bed, home, or even country. The point is, leave your comforts to worship Jesus by serving others, fellowshiping with others, or telling others about Him.
2. Go to where He is. Ephesians 1:22-23 tells us that the fulness of Jesus is the church. I’m vacationing with my family in Gatlinburg over the holidays. We will worship Jesus with His people this Sunday. Don’t neglect the church this Christmas!
3. Ask others about Him. I’m not encouraging you to “Jesus juke” peoples’ conversations, but make sure to ask about their Jesus-experience this Christmas. Share yours. Make sure your family has Jesus-conversations as you discuss your lives for Him.
4. Go to worship Him. The word “worship” in the New Testament often has a definition of “serve.” Basically, be led by the Holy Spirit this Christmas holiday season and look for different opportunities to serve Jesus by serving others. Sacrifice!
5. Let God’s creation point you to Him. There’s usually something everyone loves about the creation during Christmas. It may be the chilly weather, the snow on the ground, the crowd of people (creatures), or even all of the decorations (creation by God’s creatures). In some way, make sure to let God’s creation point your heart to Jesus this Christmas.
6. Experience emotion with great joy. Christmas can be full of all kinds of emotion: love, excitement, anticipation, loneliness, anger, or depression. All kinds of people feel all kinds of different emotion over Christmas. Let the truth of Jesus’ birth to live His life in your place fill you with exceeding great joy! And let that joy change how you treat people.
7. Experience Jesus for yourself personally. Go to God’s Word and experience Jesus personally. Don’t just read your Bible, but experience Jesus by prayerfully reading the Christmas stories from the gospels. Or read Genesis 3, Isaiah 9, John 1, Colossians 1, Philippians 2, Hebrews 1, or 1 John 1. All great passages on the pre-eternal Son of God.
8. Reverently worship Him. Make sure there are times in your life where you slow down, hit your knees, bow your head, and offer your heart in reverent worship to Jesus as your King, Lord, Savior, sacrifice, substitute, example, resurrection, life, and salvation.
9. Give Him expensive gifts. People in the Old Testament would make a huge personal sacrifice by bringing animals to the altar. They were animals they could have used as food for their hungry families. These wise men brought gifts from their land. Gifts in the Bible days normally weren’t something they bought, but something in their possession that they loved. Romans 12:1-2 encourages us to make our lives a living sacrifice. Jesus doesn’t want you to give or burn your stuff to Him, but Jesus wants your valuable life to be lived for Him.
Lastly, let me just point out real quick that we do this as a response to all that Jesus has already done for us. Jesus left His comforts of heaven, went to where we are, had loving conversations with many on earth, and continues to speak to us today. Jesus invited us to worship Him, created the world to point us to Him, offers us abundant joy, experienced life on earth with humanity personally, reverently experienced His Father, and gave His life as the most precious gift to us. Our response and lives should never suggest a “So What” attitude. Instead, Scripture has given us solid ways to respond righteously to His birth.