The Christmas season is one of the busiest seasons of the year for church leaders. In fact, it can be exhausting.
On the other hand, the truths of Christmas are some of the most encouraging truths a Christian leader can hear. Let these truths give you strength even if you're struggling through this season:
1. God always has a plan. The birth of Jesus was not God's alternative plan when the rest of His plan didn't work out. God foretold of Christ's coming as far back as the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:15). You can trust today that God has a plan for your life.
2. God keeps His Word. God announced Jesus' victory in the garden. The Law foreshadowed His coming. The prophets knew He would appear, including knowing the place of His birth. As God always does, He kept His Word in sending Jesus. Today, you can know that God will keep His Word in your life.
3. God works according to His time schedule. God sent Jesus "in the fullness of time" (Gal. 4:4), at just the right time according to God's plan. His waiting centuries to send Jesus may seem a long time to us, but God's calendar is always right. Be patient today if you're waiting for God to answer your prayers.
4. God works in unexpected ways. Who would have thought that the Messiah would be born as a baby in a manger in a place called Bethlehem? The method of His coming was so unexpected that even the religious leaders of the day stumbled over Him. Don't be surprised today if God does something in your life in a way that surprises you!
5. God sometimes works in quiet ways. Other than a brief moment in the Temple when Jesus was 12, we know little about His life prior to the beginning of His ministry. That's not to say, though, that God wasn't working during those intervening years. Sometimes we leaders must trust that God is up to something even when we don't see what He's doing during the "quiet years."
6. God works through nobodies. The Christmas story is filled with them. Bethlehem rather than Jerusalem. Joseph and Mary—a carpenter and his betrothed one rather than religious or political leaders. Shepherds rather than rabbis that announce His birth. The Christmas story is a reminder that God can use all of us, including you.
7. God is a present tense, intimate God. Bethlehem's baby was God in the flesh. God Himself stepped into the story of a world disrupted by sin so that He might bring restoration and healing. Regardless of how chaotic your world might be today, God is there. Trust Him.
8. God's plan is not yet over. The first Christmas was history changing, but it wasn't the end of the story. We're still pressing toward that day when the baby-King will be the reigning King. That means that no matter what difficulties you may face in life today, the best is yet to come. You can lead, then, with hope.
What would you add to this list?
Be sure to check out Dr. Lawless' daily blog posts at www.chucklawless.com. Chuck Lawless currently serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions and Dean of Graduate Studies at Southeastern Seminary. You can connect with Dr. Lawless on both Twitter and Facebook.
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