In those days, Caesar Augustus issued a decree…” those words from Luke chapter 2 (NIV) are some of my favorite in the whole Bible. When I hear them, my mind and heart flood with good memories and excitement. My Dad read them every Christmas Eve before the four of us kids went up to bed for the night.
I am amazed (really saddened) at how many families go through Christmas without ever reading the Christmas story directly out of the Bible. They may talk of Jesus and his birth, attend services, set out a nativity, but to open up a Bible and actually read the documented historical account of the events seems to be too much.
Ladies, put an end to that. If opening up your Bible is low on your list of things to do today, move it up to the top. You are missing out on so much if you don’t. And by so much…I mean everything!
So below are some scripture references I encourage you (better yet, your husband) to read OUT LOUD today or on Christmas day to the family. You can do it like we did just before bedtime or maybe at Christmas dinner or first thing Christmas morning (how about all three). Make it a standard for every Christmas from here on out and your children too will come to treasure the Words of God.
The birth of Jesus and the visit by the shepherds – Luke 2:1-21 (this is what my father read every Christmas Eve as I was a child and continues to do so). Also in Matthew 1:18-25.
The visit of the Wise Men (Magi) - Matthew 2:1-12.
The birth of Jesus foretold – Luke 1:5-26-38 (not to mention the entire Old Testament).
Speaking of that…great Old Testament scripture references about the birth of Jesus – Isaiah 7:14, 9:1-7, Micah 5:2.
The birth of John the Baptist who prepared the way – Luke 1:5-80
Don’t stop there! I believe it is also extremely important to read why this Jesus baby is so important and worthy of celebration:
The story of Jesus’ arrest, crucifixion and resurrection – Matthew 26-28, Mark 14-16, Luke 22-24, and John 17-20.
I really will be praying that you who read this, will open up your Bible and read it today. No other words spoken or written have the power of God behind them as does Scripture. My words cannot change your heart, but God’s can (Hebrews 4:12). Here is one final portion that I love from the Word and I feel is a beautiful summary of Jesus:
“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” – Philippians 2:5-11
Allow no substitute! Open up God’s Word and discover his perfect peace available to you today. Only with Jesus can you have a joy-filled and truly merry Christmas.