There is a natural tendency in everyone to think about goals and new beginnings at the first of the year. But what we may not realize is Christmas can be a time of refocusing before we begin goal setting.
What better way to prepare for setting new goals than refocusing on life’s true purposes? If we allow Christmas to be a time of reconnection to our Lord and King, the resolutions we make at the first of the year will be far more meaningful.
For some, December is a time, however, that takes them even farther off course, away from our divine destiny. When Christmas and holidays are focused in the wrong direction they can become a time of frustration, destructive financial management and depression. What should be a celebration of the birth of our Lord can become a massive effort at carnal indulgence. It can rob us of everything godly about this season we celebrate.
By making some good choices it can, however, be a time of refocusing on eternal priorities that prepare us to make New Year’s resolutions that honor the spirit of the season. If Christmas is a time of refocusing on what our life is really about, it can prepare us to make resolutions that truly add to the quality of our life.
Why do we celebrate Christmas? It doesn’t matter that this is not really the time Christ was born. What matters is why we celebrate! This is the time that God’s ultimate destiny began to take shape. He chose us in him before the creation of the world, to be holy and blameless in his sight (Eph 1:4, NIV). This was God’s eternal plan taking shape before the eyes of mankind.
God has always desired an intimate relationship with his family. He has always desired that Jesus be the focal point of that relationship. In Him all things are reconciled to God. God’s secret plan has now been revealed to us; it is a plan centered on Christ, designed long ago according to his good pleasure. And this is his plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ; everything in heaven and on earth (Eph 1:9-10, NLT).
The birth of Jesus was the place where man’s relationship to God could be recovered. Jesus’ birth was announced by a host of angels singing and proclaiming, “Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace good will toward men” (Luke 2:14). This was not an announcement of peace between men. This was an announcement of peace and goodwill from God toward men. His birth, which would lead to his death, burial and resurrection, would do away with the enmity between man and God.
This season is the celebration of the Christ becoming a man so He could open the way for all men to know God. This is when God gave the unspeakable, most incredible gift to mankind. If this is what we celebrate this will be a time of reconnection. In fact if that is what we celebrate we will be focused, reconnected and have our priorities set for making new and more godly decisions at the celebration of New Year!
The way I have learned to benefit from Christmas is by using it as a time to refocus on the fact that I am celebrating the birth of my Lord and Savior, and the purposes for which He came. Jesus came to establish a Kingdom! Saving us was just a part of that process. Becoming a steward of the Kingdom, resulting in managing my new life for His purposes is the fulfillment of His purpose for coming to planet earth!
Christmas can be an incredible time of reconnection to ultimate purpose! Look for ways to turn this season into a time of reconnection. Discuss it among your family members. Just find your own answer to the question, “what can we do to reconnect to God’s purpose for Jesus coming?” And then, “what can we do to help reconnect others to the purpose of the season?” Is there a way to get your family focused on Jesus and connected to a higher purpose? My daughter, Christy, has her son give toys to children that are less fortunate. I have heard of families that have their children buy presents for other families. Many times our church members will adopt families in the community and find ways to help them have a Merry Christmas. One musical family takes their children to banks, department stores and malls to sing Christmas songs and play their instruments. There are a million things you can do to reconnect to the purpose of God!
As stewards of the Kingdom, we are called to manage all of our life, time and resources for a Kingdom purpose. In fact, these things are not ours at all. The Bible says we were bought with a price, our life is not our own. Now that we, and all we own are His, we are called to manage these resources for His eternal purposes. But at the time that we should be honoring God, and the incredible gift He gave us in Jesus, this is when we stop giving to our local church. Too often we ignore our missions pledges and special commitments.
Churches and ministries around the worlds suffer financially at the time of the year that is set aside to celebrate the very reason for these ministries! Several years ago I was contacted by one of the national ministries we support. He had a team of missionaries trapped on a Muslim island that was violently hostile to the Gospel. The people who had pledged to support the evangelistic project stopped sending support at Christmas and left the team stranded with no resources to come home. They were sleeping on a bus, with limited food and no money for travel. They were not only in danger for their lives but they would be away from their own families for Christmas. Through our Partners we were able to send the funds they needed to deliver them safely to their families.
Make this Christmas a time of celebrating the real reason for the season! Reconnect to your Savior and His eternal purposes. Seize the season as a time to minister to others. Make Christmas about Christ and you’ll be ready to make next year a true time of renewal.