Don’t Miss Him!
Marybeth Whalen

“We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.” John 6:69 (NIV)

I remember reading an account of the Christmas story that focused on all the people who came in contact with that young couple searching for a place to stay—the busy townspeople dealing with the crowds, the innkeeper too busy counting his money and taking care of guests to be bothered for long, the other travelers worried about where they would sleep. The author pointed out that so many of us still make the same mistake of rushing past the drama that unfolded in a forgotten corner of Bethlehem that night. Consumed with our own problems and issues, we glance away from the significance of Jesus’ arrival to focus on a myriad of tasks. And in all our rushing and stress, we miss an opportunity to connect with our Savior in a whole new way.

There are only a few people mentioned in the Christmas story, yet we know that the city was filled to bursting with travelers and citizens. There was no lack of folks there who could have welcomed the Christ child. They just didn’t stop long enough to look for Him. Though He was right under their noses, they scurried right past Him. I often wonder if those who were there that night later told the story down through the ages, “I was in Bethlehem that night, you know. I stayed just a few houses away from that stable. I could have seen Him if I would have known.” Those folks could have stood in adoration alongside Mary and Joseph, and the shepherds, marveling at what God was doing before their very eyes. And they missed the opportunity of a lifetime.

And yet, how many of us say the very same thing about Jesus, even now? If only we had more time. If only we had more money and didn’t have to work so hard. If only we weren’t so busy. “Then Jesus,” we say, “Then I would be able to really know You. Instead, I race past You, unaware. And I lose out on the opportunity to see You in the process, to touch You. To know what it means to utter” Immanuel, God with us. God with me.”

Don’t miss Jesus this year in all your busyness. Don’t be like the busy citizens of Bethlehem who could have had a part in God’s story if only they would have stopped long enough to look for Him. Make Jesus your focus this year and allow Him to show you how to slow down, to be less busy, less stressed. Ask Him what you can let go of. Ask Him to give you the courage to say no when you need to. Ask Him to help you have an encounter with Him like never before. What better time to do it than now, at Christmas, when our thoughts are focused on His coming. There has never been a better time to allow Him to come into your life, your heart. Look for Him around every corner, in every face, in every moment.

Dear Lord, Right now I am stopping to tell You that I do not want to miss You. I am committing to look for You everywhere instead of rushing right past You. I want to know You intimately. Thank You for coming to earth back then, and thank You for coming into my heart and life now. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources
A Recipe for Christmas Joy, E-book by Marybeth Whalen

Celebrating a Christ-Centered Christmas by Sharon Jaynes

Marybeth’s Blog

Do You Know Him?

Application Steps
Today, determine to find an instance that you clearly see Jesus. Write it down and remember to thank Him for being the God who is near.

Is there something you need to lay down this Christmas so that you can better focus on Christ? What will that look like in your life?

Do you need to spend time praying over this issue - asking Jesus to give you discernment, strength and wisdom?

Power Verses
Philippians 3:8, “What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ.” (NIV)

John 10:14, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.” (NIV)

II Peter 3:18, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.” (NIV)

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Once again, you have quoted a verse I have studied just this morning before I signed on Phil 3:8. God is so amazing how he reaches us! Today I was emotionally processing the loss I feel that we will not be able send gifts to our out of state siblings and their children or my parents. Then as I studied this verse and saw an image on tv of a mob of people in the mall I felt God speak to my heart and say "that's not what I want for you this Christmas" I felt he knew best for me that I could not handle the stress of it and needed to just express my love for my family members in another way. This devotion today was right on once again. Praise be to God and how he works through the authors on this website! Merry Christmas!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this devotion. Each year my family (me) adds more and more to what we want to do and give. The pace had gotten to be too much a couple of years ago and we began to pray and ask God to focus us on the important tasks for the season. This morning was an awesome reminder that I need to pray over our busyness and ask the Lord for His focus as I was getting ready to write out my list of what we have to do for the weekend. Happy Birthday Jesus!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was excellent. Every year I need to do this. Make sure my focus is on Christ. Every day I need to do it. It is so easy to be caught up in buying, going, doing. Thank you for your help in making sure we are on target. Let us each have a mighty and merry Christmas because we are looking for You, Lord, and finding you this Christmas.

Blogger Jacinda said...

What a powerful read! A good reminder for me to always be aware that there is so much going on around me...I just need to keep my eyes out so I don't miss those opportunities. Thank you for this wonderful word.

Blogger Unknown said...

I thouroughly enjoyed this devotional. It is such a blessing to me that I will share it with other. We need to put our priorities right and focus on people and not on things. there are so many lonely poelpe in the world, so many just going through the motions.
I pray that God will touch some souls through me.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

He is nearer than we think... & yet so easy to miss. Thanks for reminding us to keep our eyes peeled for Him each & every day. I feel foolish to say that I can miss catching a glimpse of THE KING if I'm not careful. So, thank you for putting this before us all - definitely one to share with everyone. And He is The One to share, too!

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