More than 2,000 years ago, a babe whose coming was foretold in Scripture was born in Bethlehem, and the world has never been the same.
For Christians, his humble birth in that lowly stable — the fulfillment of God’s promise to the world — is why we celebrate. And your family’s holiday gathering presents the perfect opportunity for you to share the story of the Christ child’s birth and the eternal gift that his coming promises to each one of them — the gift of salvation from a loving God.
Leading your family members to Christ is one of the most important functions you will perform in life, and the one with the greatest return on investment, I might add!
Spiritual leadership is incumbent upon the husband. Being obedient to Scripture in this regard not only brings down personal blessings from above, but it helps ensure that the faith is passed down in your family. Christmas is a time to build your family culture: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,” says Joshua in Joshua 24:15.
To help you in this important responsibility, I am providing you with a Bible study called “Leading the Family Devotions at Christmas.” This study suggests ways you can craft a plan for a spiritually growing, memory-building investment in your family’s future. I encourage you to perform this important ministry function during this joyous time of the year.
Begin to prepare for your devotions when you invite your family to your home. In addition to telling them what time to arrive and other details, mention the family devotion. By providing this information, your family will not be surprised when you transition into this part of the day. It will also take pressure off you when the time arrives to segue into the devotion.
First and foremost, it is important for you to manifest a servant’s heart. Your introductory remarks should express heartfelt gratitude that you could all be together during this wonderful time of year.
Praise your wife. Nothing is more important in the formation and stability of your children and grandchildren than for them to see how much you love your wife. Use the “ACTS” outline. Adoration: Mention several characteristics you like about her; Confession: Admit to a few things she puts up with in you; Thanksgiving: Show gratefulness; and Supplication: Express that you pray for her.
Speak personally and edifyingly into the lives of your family members. This will require forethought to be most effective. Spend some time this week thinking about each one who will be in your home.
Open your personal Bible to Luke 2. Assign your best readers to read through the verses and pass your Bible to them. This isn’t so much a time to exegete the passage verse by verse as it is an opportunity to cozy up and listen to one another read God’s Word.
Once the reading is completed, be ready to share some of your insights into the passage.
For instance, you could emphasize that Jesus is said to be Lord (Luke 2:11). Ask, “What does ‘Lord’ mean?” Kurios, the Greek word for “lord,” is used 747 times in the New Testament. In contrast, “savior” only appears 22 times in the NT. Ask, “What is so significant about that?” The answer is that the book of Luke and the apostolic preaching of the first-century church emphasized the need for us to come to know Jesus as our Lord and master — not just in terms of knowledge only, or as an eternal insurance policy who doesn’t tangibly affect our lives today (cf. Romans 10:9-10).
Sing a hymn together. I recommend “The First Noel.” If you are not a good singer, defer to someone who is. The word “noel” is from the same Latin root from which we derive the English adjective “natal.” If you have young children or grandchildren, you might want to add that this is a song about Jesus’ birthday!
Share your personal testimony. An effective testimony includes the following: what your life was like before receiving Christ, how you received Christ, and how your life has changed since you received Christ. Your main objective is to model for your family how they too can receive Christ if they haven’t already. So edit your comments with this in mind.
Share the gospel. Nothing you can accomplish as a husband and father is more important than leading your children and other family members to Christ — now is a good time!
These Scriptures will aid you in sharing the gospel in a succinct and thoughtful way:
- For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
- For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).
- But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
- But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name (John 1:12).
Look up the following passages prior to the devotion and mark them in your Bible.
Ask your family members to invite the Lord Jesus into their hearts, just like you did. Take advantage of the special warmth people feel at Christmas, the power of having read the Word of God, and your personal testimony. These are pillars to support your quest for their salvation. Don’t preach; rather, emphasize personal warmth and gentleness while being courageous in your inner person.
May God richly bless you as you lay hold of your spiritual leadership responsibilities in your household.
To read the entire study, click here.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.