Christmas Candlelight Service
Christmas is truly a season of giving. Sometimes the stress of “giving” takes the joy out of the Holiday as parents, friends, and family who all want so badly to give the very best gifts are left feeling like they can’t do enough. But what if all your loved ones want from you is, well ... you!
In a world that is focused on exalting self—self-esteem, self-awareness, self-confidence, self-image, self-sufficiency, self-improvement, and even selfies!—what if you humbled yourself? What if this Christmas, you put self on the shelf and focused on the interests of others? How would that change your marriage, your children, or even your job?
The greatest gift you can give Jesus on his birthday is yourself. It’s the greatest gift you can give your parents, your children, your spouse …. And if you want to give all of yourself to those whom you love, you have to start by giving all yourself to Jesus.
Philippians 2 tells us that Jesus, who was God, humbled Himself as a servant. And because He humbled Himself, God exalted Him.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature[b] of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:3-11 NIV).
The very center of Christmas, the reason we celebrate the season, is because the King of glory put Himself on a shelf. He came down from glory to a stable. And though all the earth is held together by His Word, He “did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage” and was born to us a humble man. The message of Christmas is about the undeniable, unconditional love God has for you and me. It’s about a selfless act of love.
There’s so much more to life than living for yourself. Shift your focus. Help your family and your children shift their focus. You can have everything in the world, reach all of your goals, accomplish all of your plans—and that would be wonderful, and I hope you do!—but God says all of that is meaningless if you didn’t love other people … if you didn’t put other people first.
What if I could prophesy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge? And what if I had faith that moved mountains? I would be nothing, unless I loved others (1 Corinthians 13:2 CEV).
Don’t make life about what others think of you or what you think of you. Only what God thinks of you matters. And He thought enough of you to send His son through the Virgin Mary, to be born into the world as man, to suffer at the hands of man for your sins, and to rise as the one true King, Emmanuel - God with us.