Life is full of distractions. It’s so easy to lose sight of what is most important. And with Christmas right around the corner, I’m reminded of this now more than ever.

The urgent tasks of today have a way of crowding out the ultimate priorities of eternity.

Christmas is about Christ. It can take intentionality to realize this – a conscious effort, by the grace and power of God, to remove the distractions and focus on the reason for the season.

How will you do that this Christmas?

Please take a few minutes right now and plan how you will focus on Jesus this year.

Here’s one way to do it: Read the biblical passages of the birth of Jesus.

Here they are:
Matthew 1:18-25
Matthew 2:1-23
Luke 1:1-80
Luke 2:1-40

You could read one passage each day over the four days leading up to Christmas. Or you can read all four passages on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. If you’ve never done this before, start a new tradition for yourself and/or your family. Decide on a place and time and have different family members read the various parts. In the Luke passages, for example, you'll need someone to read the words of the the angel, Zechariah, Elizabeth, Mary and Simeon.

Before reading, offer of prayer that asks God to “Open my/our eyes, that I/we may see wonderful things” about Jesus in His Word (Psalm 119:18).

And after you read, spend time reflecting and meditating on the passages by answering a few simple but life-changing questions:
What does this passage teach me about God (Father, Son, and/or Holy Spirit)?
What does this passage teach about the promises of God?
What is my response to these teachings?

Write out your answers in a journal, or discuss them with your family. Start a new tradition in your home in which you read these passages every year. What a great way to remember, celebrate and meditate on what this holiday is all about.

What do you say? Perhaps you've been wanting to do something like this for years but have been reluctant to do so. Procrastination has a way of circumventing the best of plans. If so, this is the time to take action and establish a new practice to bring Jesus into your life or the life of your family.

God promises to bless the reading of His Word. "As the rain and the snow come down  from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it" (Isaiah 55:10-11). Certainly He would love to do so for you this advent season.

Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!

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