Leading beyond wrapping paper

Leading Beyond Wrapping Paper

Christmas is here!

This season gives us opportunities to be with family and friends as we eat great food, exchange gifts, and most of all, worship Jesus. As the song says, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”

One of the things that is enjoyable for us is exchanging gifts. There’s joy in giving and receiving them. It’s especially nice when the gifts are wrapped well because wrapping paper adds to the gift. It builds the anticipation of what’s inside.

These gifts mean something to us and we never forget what we received and how we felt.

But this connects to Jesus too.

He’s the gift God gave to the world and we can receive Him.

But when He was born, many overlooked Him and missed their moment with the Son of God. This is because they were looking at His features and they didn’t see beyond the wrapping paper.

“My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him.”

Isaiah‬ ‭53‬:‭2‬

Notice that Jesus didn’t stand out by being handsome or taller than others. People overlooked Him because of that. Since they couldn’t see beyond the wrapping paper, they were blind to what He had and who He was.

So, standing in front of them was Jesus, the Son of God, and they missed Him. All because He didn’t stand out in His looks or stature.

But, it’s easy for us right now to judge Jesus too.

We can be religious, stuck in tradition, and even offended by Him. We can go by the wrapping paper of style, past hurt, opinions and so much more. This is a mistake because Jesus is the gift of heaven and the gift we need!

As leaders, we can’t afford to judge Jesus. We need Him and secondly, others are following us. Leading beyond wrapping paper is setting the pace in receiving the gift of Jesus. In doing this we don’t make the mistake of being stuck at the wrapping paper and we move forward. There’s so much more to Jesus than we know, have seen, or understand. Therefore when the leader sets the pace for this, others follow and experience more of Jesus themselves.

He is the gift that keeps on giving. What He is and what He has is the answer for our lives.

In Jesus is peace, healing, salvation, grace, mercy, truth, hope, freedom, purpose, empowerment, eternal life, and our best friend. Through Jesus, we live and move and exist.

“For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’”

Acts‬ ‭17‬:‭28‬

Now it’s our turn. What will we do?

Will we lead beyond the wrapping paper and let Jesus be Jesus in us? Will we help others do the same? He’s willing and ready, so it’s our turn to say yes to Him. It’s our time to set the pace and be a leader by example.

I encourage you this Christmas, to let Jesus give you all of Him. Receive His gift and let Him be God. In fact, what can Jesus do for you?

Is it family unity, marriage health, finances, school, friendships, mental health, physical health, or forgiveness?

Beyond the wrapping paper is God revealed and He’s ready and willing to do something for you.

So, here are two ways to see beyond the wrapping paper.

1st – Choose to believe.

Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He’s doing today what He did in the Gospels. Healing, miracles, provision, deliverance, life change, and more. He’s moving right now, and doing great things.

But we must believe this to receive this. We have to protect our faith from skepticism, cynicism, and unbelief. These things have derailed childlike faith and have robbed people of seeing beyond the wrapping paper.

So please guard your heart and your faith. Let God arise in you with hope and expectation that He’s doing miracles and He has one for you.

Choose to believe! Jesus is working for you.

2nd – Choose to receive.

When a gift is given, it must be received. This makes the exchange complete. When we receive a gift, we’re taking what is in the box and now it’s ours.

When we choose to receive Jesus, we’re taking who He is and what He has as ours.
We personalize Him into our hearts and lives. This is where He becomes specific to us and where we’re at. This is also where Jesus becomes real to who we are and how we live.

Choosing to receive is a big deal and really, we do this daily.

Today I’m going to receive Jesus. Today I’m going to choose Jesus. Today I’m going to see beyond the wrapping paper and receive who He is. Today I’m inviting Him into my world.

This is how we can live and this is how we can thrive.

I pray you have a great Christmas and that the gift of Jesus is fully revealed to you and your family.

The best is yet to come!

PD

Pastor David Norris

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