December is flying past us. By now we’re all surrounded with twinkle lights and gift lists, Christmas carols and flurry, holiday goodies and party plans.

But sometimes in the busiest seasons our Heavenly Poppa reaches down and whispers something special, like “receive.”

“Receive” can seem like a selfish word — like a little child, overly excited about opening her own presents, never giving a thought to anyone else. For us responsible, committed adults, the word, “give”, is often the true hero of Christmas. Give presents. Give cheer. Give goodies. Give love. Give comfort and joy.

I mean, isn’t that what Jesus did when He came to earth — gave of Himself? Isn’t that the very thing we now celebrate ‘mid the flurry and frost?And of course, Jesus did come to give comfort, joy, peace, hope, love, and forgiveness to a desperate world.

But let’s not forget His gift was meant for us first to receive.  His gift first. Oh, we may thank God for His Son’s birth. We may sing the carols and mean them. We may read the Christmas story and even say “Jesus is the reason for the season.”

But how often do we take the time in the middle of the flurry to open our hearts and remember our own need for His love and grace?

Return to the Beginning

This Christmas let’s return to the beginnings of great grace. To a tiny manger in a cramped stable. To a moment when God gave His most precious love gift in the form of a tiny baby.

Let’s contemplate what God’s love means for our hearts. Let’s take time to pause and receive the beautiful gift He offers us each day — His love and grace.

And though our hearts may long to give, though we always do Christmas a certain way, and though the season might be primed for serving, let’s remember . . .

We never give well until we receive first.
We can never share the depth of God’s grace until we’ve first experienced it.
We will never overflow in true love for others until we’ve accepted God’s love first.

Christmas is the perfect time to allow the immensity of God’s love and grace to nestle into our hearts in a fresh way.

12 Days of Christmas Grace (2017)

This year’s 12 Days of Christmas Grace is all about the word, RECEIVE.

It’s a chance to pause in the middle of the beautiful crazy that is the holidays and ask, “Where can I see, hear, and respond to God’s great love right this minute?”

Starting Wednesday, December 13 I’ll be posting on Instagram and Facebook for 12 Days of Christmas Grace, and I hope you’ll join in!

Each day we’ll look at something ordinary in our lives in search of the Great Love behind it. The goal is to notice where God’s love has reached down — not just for Christmas — but in an ongoing way. And to take that love and hold it in our hearts, receiving it like it’s fresh, and letting God prove to our hearts just how much He loves us.

I’ve made an easy-to-follow calendar with a prompt for each day so we can explore God’s love and grace together.

Download the 12 Days of Christmas Grace calendar

Won’t you join me for a few minutes each day till Christmas? Post your own God story or quick thought in answer to each day’s prompt. And use #12daysgrace so we can delight in where God’s love shines brightly!

My prayer is for each of us to be open to receiving what Poppa so freely gives and that He may solidify His love in new ways in our hearts this Christmas!

The merriest of Christmases to you!