And 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 (Matt. 2:11).
Have you ever thought deeply about the wise men? What kind of men were they? Why did they seek Jesus? There are a million questions that surround them, but as I was reading in Matthew this morning, one thing really stood out: The wise men’s journey took a long time!
Yet they never gave up. Nothing could stop them from seeking Jesus. And when they found Him, despite all the hardships they might have gone through to get there, they “fell down and worshiped him.” They centered their entire journey around Jesus, making Him their ultimate destination.
We’d be wise to do the same.
We need to strive to grow closer to Christ on a daily basis.
Often times it’s easy for us to simply make do in life, moseying from one thing to another, occasionally remembering to spend time in the Bible and to pray. But that’s all wrong. We need to strive to grow closer to Christ on a daily basis. He needs to be what motivates every step.
We don’t have to cross a desert bearing gifts to worship Christ like the wise men. Here are three practical ways you can focus your life around Christ during this busy holiday season.
1. Have your quiet time first thing in the morning.
In Psalm 5:3, the Psalmist writes, “O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.” I’ve found that when my day begins with spending time in the Word and prayer, Jesus stays my focus throughout the day.
2. Avoid becoming self-focused.
Christmas is one of the easiest times of the year to become self-focused. With people asking constantly about what you want for Christmas, what you wish you had, what would make you happy, no wonder it’s easy to become focused on ourselves! If you remind yourself on a daily basis that Christ is why we celebrate, and if you allow that fact to help you love and focus on others, I think you’ll find yourself focused less on yourself and more on others and demonstrating Christ’s love to them.
3. Begin a gratitude journal.
If you’re not in the habit of writing down what you’re grateful for, now’s the time to start. Write down a couple of things each night before bed (or in the morning after you read your Bible) that you’re thankful for. You’ll start to see how much you really have, and Christmas morning hasn’t even gotten here yet!
Psalm 118:24 reminds us that “this is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” So start rejoicing!
Just like a mysterious star motivated the wise men to drop everything and head toward Bethlehem, we need to center our entire lives around Jesus. It’s easy to become distracted with gift giving and gift getting, but don’t forget that Christmas exists to celebrate the birth of Christ. He is the ultimate gift.
So go on. Grab your Bible, and sit under the Christmas tree. Wise men (and women) still seek Him! Consider these questions before you go. We’d love to hear your answers in the comment section below.
- Can you name three things right now that you’re grateful for? Ready? Go!
- Christmas is a great time to share with others about what Christ did for us. How can you share the gospel with your friends and family?
- In what ways can you more fully center your life around Christ this Christmas?