“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins,” (1 John 4:9-10 NIV)

My family and I have been looking forward to Christmas all month, and now it is only a few days away. We will be coming together with loved ones, eating our favorite Christmas foods, waiting with anticipation, and gathering around the tree to share gifts with one another.

People often ask, “Are you ready for Christmas?” Really, what they are asking is, “Have you finished your shopping? . . . your decorating? . . . your baking? . . . your wrapping? . . . your Christmas cards?”

But during this Christmas season, in light of Love’s arrival, I wonder about these questions in another way. Are we truly ready for Christmas this year? Are we waiting in anticipation and ready to receive Jesus in the way we must receive Love?

As we look around our homes this Christmas, is it the lights, decorations, and wrapped presents that bring us the joy of good cheer?

Or is it the sight of the ones we love, and the love God gave through Jesus Christ? Because of the love God has shown by sending His only son, it makes us happy to know the good tidings of Christmas and we share our joy together.

If we focus on the presents, decorations, and food rather than the “Love that Came Down at Christmas,” we will never know what lasting love looks like, or what it can give us.

PRAYER FOCUS: Prayerfully search your heart . . . Are you truly ready for Christmas this year? Have you decorated your world with the good news of Christmas? Are you eagerly looking forward to celebrating the wonder of Emmanuel? Is your heart truly open to the Love that came down at Christmas?

Wes Palmer

© 2015 First Alliance Church | Jesus is the answer!
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