Christmas Countdown Day 9: Hands of Jesus

Lauren and Jackson display their unique wreaths, made of their hand prints.

Lauren and Jackson display their unique wreaths, made of their hand prints.

Our Advent Scripture passage for Day 9 is John 1:1-8.

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
All things were created through Him,
and apart from Him not one thing was created
that has been created.
Life was in Him,
and that life was the light of men.
That light shines in the darkness,
yet the darkness did not overcome it.

There was a man named John
who was sent from God.
He came as a witness
to testify about the light,
so that all might believe through him.
He was not the light,
but he came to testify about the light.

Just as John, we are witnesses of God’s light in our lives. We are God’s hands, His feet, His arms of love, forgiveness and grace to those around us.

To remind us of our mission, we made hand wreaths, as we are the hands of God. We enjoyed putting together our one-of-a-kind creations!

Matt cuts out hand prints and Jackson works on the glue.

Matt cuts out hand prints, and Jackson works on the glue.

Lauren traces the center of her wreath with markers.

Lauren traces the center of her wreath with markers.

Today, consider how God wants to use you to shine His light into the heart of a family member, friend or neighbor, so they can see and experience the great love of Jesus this Christmas. Reach out your hands and communicate the Messiah has come!

Daily Checklist

To do lists never end.

As much pleasure as it gives me to cross out every item on my task list, there will always be more. It’s like laundry: I could do a load every day and there will still be more that needs to be done.

Some items on the list, I get done right away. Others I need to schedule for the optimal time to do them, whether that day or a future date.

There are some tasks that continue to get pushed back further and further, until I choose to just take them off the list so I don’t feel bad about the perpetual postponement.

After reading Acts chapter 5 today, I want to become more intentional about keeping myself accountable, not with my daily chores but in sharing the Gospel.

For those coming to know Christ and forming the church in those days after Jesus ascended to heaven and the Holy Spirit came, sharing with others about how Jesus was transforming their lives was not just another item on their daily checklist. It was the entire list. Instead of fitting Jesus in, He was everything. He received priority over everything else.

Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.

Acts 5:42

Every single day, the apostles continued to tell how Jesus changed their lives. They would not stop, no matter the increasing persecution. They went to where people gathered in the temple, and proclaimed Jesus to the crowds. They spent time in their own homes and from house to house, leading people to find real life and hope and peace in Jesus. When they woke up, their aim that day was to share Jesus.

What if my focus was the same? What if instead of allowing my daily checklist to consume me, I allow Christ to consume me? How would my day be different if my one focus was doing everything for the opportunity to share Jesus’ love and message? The day would no longer be about what I could accomplish, but rather on what Jesus has already accomplished.

For many, this sounds great, but they are so buried by the responsibilities and commitments in their daily lives, there is no room to breathe. Jesus was buried three days to give you a new life and freedom. Turn to Him, and give Him control of all of those things you really don’t have control of but have been clinging to anyway. Cry out to Jesus in prayer, and ask Him to reprioritize your life. Reach out to a Christian friend, and ask them to pray with you. Jesus wants you to live, not just survive. And the only way you will truly live is to live in Christ.

To do lists never end. Neither does Christ’s love for me and for you. When I shift my focus to Him and Him alone, the purpose for my day takes shape: to share Jesus.