Devotions

A Reason To Celebrate All Year

by Laura Bailey December 7, 2022
“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21 (NIV)
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I watched my little girl float between her party guests before she took a deep breath to blow out the candles on her cake. Through the smoke of extinguished flames, she whispered, “I wished I could celebrate my birthday every day!”

Returning her grin, I replied, “Wouldn’t that be something? But you might grow tired of celebrating your birthday every day.”

She paused for just a beat before exclaiming, “Well, we already have something to celebrate every day — Jesus!”

Only a few months had passed since Christmas. My husband and I made it a point to tell our girls that, although we celebrate Jesus' birth on December 25, this, along with His death and resurrection, is reason to celebrate Him all year long.

I've spent many past Christmas seasons consuming Advent devotions and attending Christ-focused celebrations. However, when the party is over, the excitement over God's great gift to humankind soon wanes.

Numerous times I’ve brushed over the words from our key verse, neglecting to ponder their significance: “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). The Greek name for Jesus comes from the same origins as the Hebrew name Joshua, which means “Yahweh saves.” Yes, Jesus' birth is something to celebrate because God sent His only Son into the world to be our Savior.

We need not dampen our excitement for exchanging presents, swapping cookies or trimming the tree during the holiday season; what we do need is to keep our hearts and minds on Jesus — not just at Christmas but throughout the year. Here are a few ideas of how we can continue to celebrate the gift of Jesus year-round.

  1. Grab a mini artificial Christmas tree, and place it somewhere you will see it frequently. Don’t take it down after Christmas! Trim your tree with Bible verses of encouragement and reminders of God’s love and forgiveness.

  2. Set a reminder on your phone to play your favorite worship song on the 25th day of every month. Lift your voice in praise and gratitude for God’s continual gift of salvation.

  3. Host a “Christmas in July” celebration, and invite someone who doesn’t know the Lord. Talk with them about why you celebrate, sharing with them your testimony and what God has done in your life.

  4. Keep bags filled with nonperishable food items, toiletries and a Bible in your car so that if you see someone in need, you can provide them with a “Christmas gift.” Invite them to church or share about the gift of salvation if you feel led.

God has given us good reason to celebrate: the birth, death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. Not only is salvation a free gift from God but it's also freeing, for it is the only gift that provides everlasting hope and eternal life.

Heavenly Father, how grateful we are for the precious gift of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Please help us keep our spiritual zeal year-round, celebrating the Good News on all occasions. We pray for boldness as we share the gift of salvation to the world this holiday season and in the days to follow. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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FOR DEEPER STUDY

1 Peter 1:3-5, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” (NIV)

Is there someone in your life who needs to hear about the gift of salvation? Make a plan to share the gospel with them this Christmas.

Which of Laura’s four ideas for celebrating Christmas year-round will you commit to doing? How else can you continue celebrating Jesus’ birth beyond the holidays? Let us know your ideas in the comments!

© 2022 by Laura Bailey. All rights reserved.


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