Our Christmas celebration in 2020 may be very different than in past years. Because of the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, we may not be able to have an open house or office parties or dinner parties or school programs or concerts or whatever your traditions have been. But there is one way to celebrate that has always brought me joy and has carried me through past holiday seasons with a smile on my face and a song in my heart! Each year, I ask the King what He would like for His birthday. He doesn’t always answer immediately, but before Dec. 25, I will hear a gentle whisper that indicates what He would like for me to give Him. It is usually very personal and sacrificial in nature … something I would only do or give because He asked.
If you don’t know what you can give to the One who has everything, I would like to make a suggestion. It’s a gift the King has indicated He wants …
Read John 13:1-17
I. SERVICE THAT’S OFFERED LOVINGLY (John 13:1)
- What phrase in John 13:1 indicates Jesus knew that He would be arrested and crucified within a few hours of this dinner scene?
- Knowing what was facing Him shortly, what could have been His mental and emotional state?
- What excuse do you have for not offering service with a loving attitude?
- Describe in your own words the “full extent of his love.” Relate this to John 15:13, as well as to the dinner scene that follows in John 13:1-11.
- To what extent do you love Jesus? Are there any limitations to your love that are acceptable to Him? See Romans 12:1-2 for your answer.
- What boundaries have you placed on your love for others?
- From the following verses, summarize how important it is, in His eyes, for you to love others: Matthew 22:37, 39; Mark 12:33; John 13:34-35; John 15:12, 17; John 17:11, 26; Luke 6:32, 35; Galatians 5:13; 1 John 4:7-12.
- This Christmas, would you give the King service by lovingly serving others?
II. SERVICE THAT’S OFFERED WILLINGLY (John 13:2-3)
- What phrase in John 13:2-3 indicates that Jesus had a right to expect to be served?
- What simple act of service have you refrained from doing because you expect to be served?
- Was this a convenient time for Him to serve? Explain.
- Did everyone at the table appreciate His service? Give a verse or phrase to support your answer.
- What service have you refused to offer because it’s not a convenient time, it’s not your job and no one appreciates it anyway? Compare your refusal to our Lord’s willingness.
- This Christmas, would you give the King service that’s offered willingly, regardless of what time it is in your life or the opinions of others?
III. SERVICE THAT’S OFFERED HUMBLY (John 13:4-11)
- From Luke 22:24-27, what was the subject of conversation among the disciples just prior to the service Jesus performed?
- In John 13:4-11, what was the service that Jesus rendered?
- Was this particular service His responsibility?
- Was Jesus asked to serve? See verse 4.
- Have you refrained from service because no one has asked you to?
- Describe the service He performed: Was it glamorous? Prestigious? Desirable?
- What service are you too proud to render? What service do you think is beneath you?
- What was Peter’s initial reaction to receiving our Lord’s service in John 13:6-8?
- What service are you too proud to receive?
- How would you have spent your time the night before execution?
- This Christmas, would you give the King service that’s offered humbly, regardless of your position or current problems?
IV. SERVICE THAT’S OFFERED OBEDIENTLY (John 13:12-16)
- What two reasons do you see for your service in John 13:12-16?
- Give other reasons for service from 1 Corinthians 6:20; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; Hebrews 13:15-16; Ephesians 6:7; 1 Timothy 6:2;
1 Peter 4:10; Revelation 1:6.
- How does your obedient service reflect His? See Philippians 2:5-8.
- This Christmas, would you give the King service that follows His example?
V. SERVICE THAT’S OFFERED GLADLY (John 13:17)
- What opportunities to serve the Lord do you have within your home? Family? Church? Small group? Bible study? Neighborhood?
- What does Jesus say will be the result of your loving, willing, humble, obedient service to Him, from John 13:17? John 12:26?
2 Corinthians 4:1, 7, 16-18? Could these be His gifts to you?
Christmas 2020 may be the most wonderful one you have celebrated in a long time, simply because your focus has been on the One whose birth we celebrate, and you have offered Him the gift He wants. Merry Christmas! ©2020 Anne Graham Lotz
This article is adapted from a study originally published in December 2003.
Anne Graham Lotz has proclaimed God’s Word worldwide for more than 40 years. Her newest book, “The Light of His Presence,” contains 40 of Anne’s personal prayers and is available through major booksellers and online at AnneGrahamLotz.org.