Our culture’s messaging is that Christmas is all about getting and giving more and better “stuff.” This drumbeat often finds our teenagers (and sometimes us, too, if we’re honest) feeling as though the latest cell phone and cool clothes are just part of our birthright.
Yet if the life of Jesus is any example, it’s clear that a comfortable, easy life with plenty of “stuff” isn’t necessarily part of the deal. After all, Jesus could have been born into any family. It wouldn’t have been hard for God the Father to find a family for Jesus that was overflowing with wealth, fame and the latest creature comforts. One that would be able to provide the teenage Jesus with the latest brand name sandals and the sweetest chariot. Seems like a no brainer that God the Father would have figured that out and provided a better earthly life for His only Son, doesn’t it?
God the Father could’ve found a family for Jesus that could’ve provided Him with the latest brand name sandals and the sweetest chariot as He grew up. Why didn’t He? Click To Tweet
But God chose a simple, humble life for His Son. A life that would keep Jesus dependent on His Heavenly Father for His daily needs and focused on the main purpose God had sent Him to earth to accomplish.
A Snapshot of an Abundant Life
Yet in spite of these humble living conditions, this lowly carpenter had the audacity to announce to the world that He’d come to bring us abundant life when He said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10, NIV 1984).
When they think of “abundant,” do your students tend to think of having plenty of stuff—no limits on their cell service plans, a nice car and presents overflowing out from under the Christmas tree—that sort of thing…?
Yet when Jesus talks about “abundant,” we get a decidedly different picture—it’s all about a life of grace and restored relationship with God. A life rooted in an unwavering faith and overflowing with a God-given joy and courage in the midst of whatever comes our way.
The Best Gift Your Teens Can Give Their Friends
This joy that comes from a relationship with God through Christ is the greatest gift your teenagers can give to others this Christmas Season. Help them understand this truth in the depth of their soul. Encourage them to be bold about sharing the real meaning of Christmas.
The apostle Paul gives us a glimpse of why and how all of us should be bold about sharing what Christmas is really all about. Keep in mind that he’s writing these words from his prison cell while facing the possibility of imminent death:
When we trust in him, we’re free to say whatever needs to be said, bold to go wherever we need to go…Be proud!
My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.
God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us (Ephesians 3:12-21, MSG).
The best gift of all is Christ’s extravagant love flowing through our lives, working within us deeply, rocking our world and overflowing to those around us!
Try This! ❯
Challenge your students to find at least one opportunity this Christmas Season to talk to a friend who doesn’t know Jesus about the ultimate gift He came to offer.
So challenge your students to look for opportunities to talk with their friends about Jesus and share the “extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love” this Christmas Season. As a Gospel Advancing Ministry, dedicate some time in youth group to role play how these kind of conversations might unfold. Here are a few questions they could use to get things rolling:
- Are you looking forward to Christmas with your family this year? Why or why not?
- What kinds of tradition does your family have for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day?
- Do any of your traditions tie back to Christmas being Jesus’ birthday? Why do you think that is?
- Have ever wondered why God sent Jesus to be born into such a poor family on that Christmas night long ago? Do you think that was good planning on God’s part? Why or why not?
- Is Christmas a joyful time for you? Why or why not? Listen carefully, then share how a relationship with Jesus has brought joy to your life and explain the message of the gospel.
Challenge each of your students to find at least one opportunity this Christmas Season to push the glitz and glitter aside and talk to a friend who doesn’t know Jesus about the ultimate gift He came to offer—the free gift of salvation which leads to an abundant life.
Because that’s what Christmas is all about.
Want more practical advice on mobilizing your teens to share the gospel? All of our Mobilize stories offer great ideas for training your students and building a Gospel Advancing Ministry. Sign up here to receive this free, hands-on resource in your inbox!