We are preparing our hearts for Christmas in this devotion with Heather Hart.
Bible Verse for Today
“Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”Mark 10:17
Devotion for Today
Preparing Our Hearts for Christmas
My all-time favorite story in the Bible is that of the rich young ruler found in Mark 10. If you aren’t familiar with the story, this rich kid comes up to Jesus and asks Him how he can inherit eternal life. Jesus names off some of the commandments and the kid is feeling pretty confident. To paraphrase, he says to Jesus, “Whew, I’m good then.” Yet Jesus loved him enough to speak into his heart.
Later in the book of Mark, Jesus is asked about the greatest commandment. He said it’s to love the Lord with all of us, and the second is to love our neighbors as ourselves. Those two things sum up all the other commandments, because those commandments are rooted in that love.
Knowing the rich kid didn’t understand that, Jesus said, “You lack one thing, go sell everything you have and give it to the poor.” But the rich kid wasn’t willing to trade it all for Jesus. He had a lot of stuff, stuff he didn’t want to part with, and if he had to choose all his worldly belongings or eternal life, he was going to focus on the here and now. All that eternal stuff could come later.
The rich kid didn’t get it, and too often neither do we. We want to be wise men instead of little drummer boys. We care more about what we can hold in our hands than what we hold in our hearts.
As Christmas approaches, I find myself there this year. I’m more concerned with the gifts under the tree than the reason for the season. Even the wise men only brought one present each for the Savior of the world, but I think my kids need more. Like the rich young ruler, I’m not willing to give up the stuff of the world.
I am torn between longing for more of Jesus and clinging to earthly traditions. Too often I give the rich young ruler a bad rap for not wanting to trade it all for Jesus, but I am just like Him. I think we all are to some degree.
I don’t know what to do with that revelation, other than to lay it at the feet of Jesus and beg for Him to change my heart. I will probably never get it right here on Earth, but I trust that He who began a good work in me will continue until the day He returns. I can fix my eyes on Jesus and know He holds me securely in His hands, imperfections and all.
Christmas is coming. I love looking forward to celebrating the birth of our Savior, but I also look forward to the time with family, and so many other aspects of the season. Everything about Christmas can point to Jesus, but only if we have eyes to see. Can we see past the tinsel and the turkey? Can we look for Jesus amid the hustle and bustle?
Of course we can, but do we? Like Peter walking on the water, it’s so easy to let our eyes drift to the waves. We set out with good intentions, and then the troubles of the world steal our focus.
But the waves didn’t cause Peter to sink, it wasn’t how deep the water was, it was where he fixed his eyes. And so it is with us. It’s not our holiday traditions that steal our joy, it’s not the presents, the food, or decorations, it is where our focus lies.
Everything about Christmas can point to Jesus, but only if we have eyes to see. Click To Tweet
 Mark 12:28-31
 Philippians 1:6
 John 10:28
Featured Devotional Book
Christmas is Coming
Christmas is coming and Heather wants her heart to be ready. Join her in this Advent devotional as she builds anticipation for the day we celebrate the birth of our Savior and refocus your heart on Jesus this Christmas.