“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” — Philippians 4:8–9
Today is a special day as we gather with family and friends to worship.
My favorite thing about Christmas Eve is the end of the service at our church each year when we light candles and sing “Silent Night.” Before you attend the Christmas Eve service, take a minute to be silent and prepare your heart to be with Jesus and hear him speak a Christmas message to you. Paul tells us how:
- Think about what is true. There is a lot of talk about Santa, even in church. But the true story of Christmas is about Jesus coming to earth as a baby King sent to save us.
- Think about what is honorable. Think about the shepherds and the magi on bended knee, honoring the babe in the manger. Then join them in their awe and wonder as they worship Jesus.
- Think about what is just. Don’t keep what God wants you to give away. Give God your very best Christmas worship and the honor and glory that he deserves this Christmas and every day.
- Think about the pure meaning of Christmas. Focus on the simple purity of the baby in Mary’s arms and know that Jesus lived his entire life pure, or clean from the sin in our world.
- Think about what is lovely. Look at the faces of those who truly worship God. In those faces, you can see the joy and pleasure of God.
- Think about what is commendable, or praiseworthy. Think of the ways you can spend your time today and tomorrow that the Lord will find praiseworthy. God doesn’t look at just our words and actions; he focuses on our heart.
- Think about what is excellent. There are a lot of “good” things you can do today in worship. Choose to do those things that are excellent, not just good.
- Think about all that is worthy of praise in our lives, things like our blessings and the ways the Lord has shown himself to us. Thank the Lord and praise him for these things, especially on this Christmas Eve.
Worship the God of peace, the Christ of Christmas, and let his presence fill your hearts and minds. Let your worship be excellent. Remember that “where two or three are gathered,” Jesus is there as well (Matthew 18:20). Ask him to be with you as you worship. Take your focus off the stuff of Christmas and look into a cave in Bethlehem. Kneel before Jesus with the shepherds, and worship the newborn King.
Lord, may our thoughts please you as we worship you today. Thank you, Jesus, for Christmas.