The Christmas story is full of awesome stories — Mary’s encounter with the angel, Joseph’s dreams, and the shepherds’ invite to the birth.
Yet, while these stories are amazing, I found it hard to disconnect from my business in order to focus on the season. I tried devotionals, music, church services and reading plans. It was all joyful, but there was still a separation between my business and the holiday season.
Until I met the wise men.
It wasn't until I sat down to analyze the intriguing quest of the wise men that the Christmas story came alive to me as an entrepreneur.
After a long journey, God leads the wise men to Jesus. The adventure, their actions, and the victory in finding the child gives us Jesus-seeking business owners great wisdom for approaching the Christmas season in our own unique way.
Although the Holidays are a peaceful and joyful time, most of us business owners are trying to close the year strong, so it also becomes a stressful, noisy season. For many of us, the 4th quarter will determine the profitability of the entire year! How can the birth of Jesus 2000 years ago compete with the realities of meeting our numbers today?
Is there a way that even the busiest of entrepreneurs can both meet their holiday goals WHILE embracing Jesus and drawing closer to His peace?
The keys to tuning out the noise that wants to take your focus off the reason for the season is to quiet your heart by doing as the wise men did — earnestly, joyfully, and generously adore Jesus.
Today, I want to share the 3-Steps that will revolutionize the way entrepreneurs can approach Christmas.
1) Look for Jesus
A wise friend once told me, "Alex, it's not that you need more money, it's that you need more of Christ." I was seeking fortune, success and a feeling of accomplishment, but God just wants us to seek Jesus.
What was the wise men’s first step? Cultivating a desire for Christ’s presence.
The wise men were certainly experts in astrology, authorities in their industry, and insatiable wisdom-seekers. They would have also probably been very rich and held high esteem in their own society. These leaders sought out Jesus with unexpected eagerness, all because of their hunger for God’s Word. Traveling great distances, through unknown places, they had studied the Jewish Scriptures and were stirred to the point of hunting across miles for the prophesied Messiah.
“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:1-2)
The wise men were on a mission, actively searching the streets and asking anyone and everyone to find the mysterious King. Their passion was so noticeable that it even takes them to the king of the land himself, Herod.
In this way, we entrepreneurs too can pursue Jesus in the midst of the holiday hustle and bustle by going to the Bible. Just because it's busy, don't neglect your DAILY HUDDLE with God. The wise men were wise because they never stopped learning. They had a thirst for more knowledge which led them to the greatest source of wisdom: God as man.
Year-round, Godpreneurs dive into the Scriptures like the wise men, seeing Christ’s glory and finding Him time and time again, witnessing to our respective marketplaces along the way.
2) Joy for Christ
I've noticed something interesting about the day-to-day operations of running my business: the days that I do my morning devotional and huddle with God, I have a great day! I'm especially "on fire" when that day when I uncover a golden nugget from the Bible that I end up sharing on my blog or social media.
However, the days I miss my morning meeting with God, I'm not as joyful and cheery.
If we entrepreneurs want to experience joy during the holidays, it's going to come from, first, seeking God in the morning and then, finding Him!
The wise men looked for days on their own strength, but it is by God’s power that they finally reach Jesus. What is their response when they found God's son? Great joy!
“After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.” (Matthew 2:9-10)
The result entrepreneurs get when we search for God's wisdom daily in the Bible, and the consequent discovery of new knowledge of Christ should be rejoicing! Why? Because in His faithfulness, God has led us to Himself, giving us eternal love and hope. Our passion for the business God has called us to run is renewed daily!
With all the external pleasures the holidays bring us, there is one joy that should surpass them all – an internal delight that Jesus has come, granting salvation to His people.
Whatever difficulties the wise men may have experienced on their journey, they conclude it with celebratory recognition of Christ the Messiah. Likewise, whatever challenges, disappointments, or setbacks we entrepreneurs have faced throughout the year, we can finish strong by embracing the everlasting security we have in our Savior, Jesus!
It is by God’s grace that you have “found” and know Jesus and are able to lead a God-first business. It is by His grace that you can always have joy, because of the gift of baby Jesus on Christmas day.
3) Give for Jesus
Another wise friend of mine shared a profound Chinese proverb with me. It goes: "Me, unhappy. Others, happy." The insight is that when I'm focused on me, I'm unhappy. However, when I focus on others, I'm happy.
I've caught myself trying to "get the most sales" out of the holiday season out of selfish ambition, motivated by fear or greed. But when I take the attention off my own needs in order to meet the needs of my customers, employees, or friends, I feel great.
The last example the 3 wise men leave us entrepreneurs to help us experience the most out of the holiday season is that they jubilantly worship and give, their goal all along.
“And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:11)
The wise men didn’t only come to admire Jesus, but to acknowledge Him as King with offerings. They had given of their time, their energy, their resources, their very selves in this journey of seeking Jesus. Their quest culminates in this moment, when they “fell down” and gave unto Him precious presents.
In this season of giving, we entrepreneurs can sacrificially show Christ is King by tithing to His church, donating to charitable causes, and giving of ourselves.
What will you “give” to Him this year? Will it be a larger-than-normal donation because you had a great year? Will it be volunteering for an outreach or offering your services or products for free to someone in need?
How can you honor Him in worship? Perhaps it’s as simple as obeying His Word more closely and trusting His sovereignty over your business more deeply.
Imagine if all of us Christ-first business owners fell down in our hearts, surrendering to Him anew as we begin a new year, continuing our own Godpreneurial journey to glorify Him.
Leave your comments below on ways that you bring Jesus in your business mindset during the holidays.