People, rather than being drawn closer to Christ at Christmas, in a very real sense are drawn away from the Lord Jesus. It seems like, in the very midst of the celebration, we lose Jesus.
After the Christmas story in Luke 2, the Bible tells of a young, twelve-year-old Jesus going with His parents to celebrate Passover in Jerusalem. As His parents were returning home at the end of the celebration, they realized Jesus wasn’t with them. They lost Jesus in the midst of Passover, which was all about Jesus. Does the same thing happen to us at Christmas? How do we lose Jesus?
In what sense may we lose Jesus?
It was not in the sense of relationship that Mary and Joseph lost Jesus; it was in the sense of fellowship – Mary was still His mother, Joseph still His earthly father. If you’re saved, you can never lose your relationship with Christ.
Some people have the idea that the devil can take you out of the hand of God. That’s ridiculous! If he could, why hasn’t he? That would be a strange doctrine, wouldn’t it: going to heaven by the goodness of the devil? No, the only reason he hasn’t is because he can’t! You cannot lose your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, but you can lose your fellowship.
If you have doubts concerning your salvation, pray through 1 John 5:13. Circle the word “know.” Ask God for the assurance you need.
Who may lose Jesus?
Many times, those we would least expect, lose fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ. It may surprise us to see that it was Mary and Joseph that lost Him, but if you’ll study the Bible, you’ll find out that God’s choicest of saints got out of fellowship with Him from time to time.
Read the following passages and describe how these saints lost fellowship with God.
Genesis 9:18-27 (Noah)
2 Samuel 11 (David)
Numbers 20:8-12 (Moses)
Judges 16:15-21 (Samson)
Matthew 26:31-35, 69-75 (Peter)
Have there been times when you have lost fellowship that you have not repented of? If so, pray now and ask God for forgiveness and allow Him to restore your fellowship.
Where do we lose Jesus?
Mary and Joseph didn’t lose Jesus in a dance hall, a nightclub, or in some den of iniquity. It was in the midst of a religious ceremony. You see, Passover was all about Jesus, yet it was there they lost Him. Read Revelation 3:20. It is often used as an evangelistic text, but read the context to see who it was really written to.
He’s not knocking at the sinner’s heart. He’s knocking at the door of the church. Billy Graham once said, “Most people in America have just enough religion to keep them from getting the real thing. They have just enough to inoculate them against God!” (S.B.C., 1982)
Being a part of a fellowship is a wonderful thing, and we are instructed to do this (Hebrews 10:25). Don’t misunderstand and think I am discouraging church attendance. We just need to ensure that our public worship is an out-flowing of a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.
How may we lose Jesus?
They didn’t lose Him by getting drunk or by opposing Him or denying Him. They lost Jesus by presumption. They just assumed He was with them. They went a day’s journey, one step at a time, every step taking them farther from Him.
Sometimes you just have to get alone with God and let Him peel you like an onion. Say, “I’ve come to do business. I’m not going to get up off my knees, off my face, until I know that I know that I know, it’s not a supposition, that Jesus Christ is real to me.” May I suggest you take inventory, so every step doesn’t take you farther away from Him.
Is there any unconfessed, unrepented-of sin in my life?
Is there any love in my life greater than my love for the Lord Jesus Christ?
Has there ever been a time that I have loved Jesus more than I do right now?
Does my use of time indicate that my love of Jesus is my top priority?
Do my actions match my words of devotion to Jesus?
Have I lost Jesus due to:
__ busyness (doing too much to take time for God)
__ worldliness (being distracted by the things of this world)
__ disobedience (walking contrary to the direction of God)
__ apathy (just letting things happen)
__ distracted (not seeing the things of God)
__ misguided efforts (trying to please God through your own methods)
__ bitterness (unforgiveness toward someone, or anger against God)
Or might you lose Christ at Christmas simply due to neglect? Don’t take a “holiday” from your spiritual life this Christmas. Our tendency seems to be to forsake our routines (including our devotional times) during weekends, vacations, or holidays. Make a commitment not to neglect your time with Christ this Christmas. Instead, seek to make this time with Him more meaningful and worshipful. Enjoy the relaxed schedule and abide with Him, celebrating His birth.
Use the above inventory to guide you in prayer. Wait on God as you reflect on each question.
How do we find Jesus again?
Mary and Joseph found Him right where they left Him, in the temple, where they first lost Him. If Jesus Christ is not real to you, if you do not have that conscious awareness of His presence, just go back to where you first left Him.
You know where you left Him. You know where you got away from God. Just go right back there. Wherever it was, go back to that spot. Confess what has caused you to lose Him. Repent and make it right. Until you do, you cannot have that fellowship with our Lord Jesus Christ. Don’t lose Christ this Christmas!
Now, you can’t lose something that you have never had in the first place. If you’ve never accepted Christ as your personal Savior, why not do it now? He has the gift of eternal life for you.