Christmas Devotional

Day 15: Abundance

The North American culture promotes consumerism like crazy – especially at Christmas. When you compare statistics, we are among the wealthiest people in the world, yet we never seem to have enough. Imagine if we thought more about our needs then our wants. What would it look like if we took time to make sure everyone had all that they needed before we pursued our wants? The distribution of poverty and richness would be a lot better balanced.  This Christmas consider buying gifts that are beneficial to other’s needs, through Compassion, local shelters or food drives. Its a great gift to help the world at large while still giving something to the ones you love.  Jesus encouraged a rich man to sell his possessions in Mark 10:17-31, and he went away sad because he wanted his wants more than he wanted to help others with their needs. Hear these paraphrased words from Mark 10:27-31 to encourage you to take steps to share your abundance.

Beloved Child, 

My Son delivered the message that with humans, things are impossible, but with Me, everything is possible, including the promise of eternity. 
Peter and the disciples Jesus taught, gave up everything that they had to follow My Son. They walked away from their homes, families and lives to pursue a relationship with Jesus. 
Jesus assures them that he knows the sacrifice that they have made. When he says, “I assure you,” he was making a solemn oath. His oath was that these things would be remembered. The promise of that is eternally bound. First and foremost: you have an eternity. A promise of Heaven – in My presence – a forever full of glory. But I am so grateful that I promise a hundredfold over to anyone who gives up family, accommodations and land, friends, needs, wants, or anything, to advance My Kingdom on earth. Not only that, I promise the same for those who persevere through persecution. My rewards are limitless. So, give! Give from the bounty of which you have received, bless the needy, share with the lonely, take care of the world and its people and rest assure that I will take care of you. Don’t chase the wealth of the world, because that status does not remain in My world. Instead, freely give and you will become known as wonderful in Heaven. 

Love Always, 
God the Father

Mark 10:27-31 paraphrased.

Application Questions:

  • What area do you need to give more freely in – time, finances, love? What will the first step be?
  • What can you sacrifice in terms of a want to instead offer someone else their need?
  • How can you persevere through persecution?

Alternate verses for your reflection:

  • Proverbs 3:9-10
  • Luke 6:38
  • Matthew 13:12
  • Psalm 65:9-13
  • John 10:10

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Christmas Devotional

Day 14: Glory

People always say that expectant mother’s have a certain glow about them.  Mother’s often laugh knowing they feel sick, overwhelmed and exhausted. It can be the same thing in the Christmas season in churches.  There is such a glow, but behind the scenes, there is so much going on to prepare messages, Christmas services and extra events for this special season. Much like growing a child, all the effort is worth it! Christmas is a wonderful time to enter a church and see the glory of God, glowing through the body of believers who are enthused by the season. Read these paraphrased words about the glowing glory of the Lord from 2 Corinthians 3:13-18:

Beloved Child,

When My servant Moses came down Mount Sinai after I gave him the ten commandments, his face was glowing from being in My presence. To keep from scaring the people, he covered his face with a veil. This veil illustrates a veil that covers the mind of people who don’t yet know about My Son Jesus. Even as the Old Testament was read, they couldn’t make the connections because the veil covered their mind. The good news is that this veil is removable by believing in My Son, Jesus Christ. There are still hard-hearted people who don’t want to see the truth because this veil covers their mind and they can’t comprehend the glory of Jesus Christ, but pray that someday they might!

Thankfully, when someone does accept My Son as their Saviour, the veil is removed. Their minds are now free to understand, open to new knowledge. The Holy Spirit now inhabits them, and that is liberating. The Spirit is the power behind every Christian’s rebirth, helping them to live a life modeled after My Son Jesus. The removal of the veil means now you can see the glory I offer, and better yet you can reflect that bright glory into this world. Trust that the Spirit within you will lead you to grow closer to Me allowing you to reflect that glory brighter and brighter.

Love Always,
God the Father

2 Corinthians 3:13-18

Application Questions:

  •  How have you seen the glory of the Lord in your life?
  • What do you do to show the glory of God to others?
  • Who can you pray for today, that they might have the veil removed and accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour?

Alternate verses for your reflection:

  •   2 Corinthians 3:7-11
  •   Romans 3:23-26
  •   John 17:1-5
  •   Isaiah 43:1-7
  •   Psalm 57:5

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Christmas Devotional

Day 13: Discouragement

Despite the joy of the Birth of the Messiah, Christmas can often be a hard and discouraging time for many. Reflections of years gone by too quickly, missing Christmases of the past. Remembering loved ones who now spend Christmas in Heaven, while earth has a void. Family tension that causes for holidays to be spent separate. Longing for a family of your own to celebrate the season with. There are a lot of triggers at this time for people who are struggling. May these words, paraphrased from 2 Corinthians 4:7-10 encourage you today.

Beloved Child,

Though you may feel extreme discouragement, rest assured that I am stronger than any negativity you may feel. In this world, you will have troubles, but My power will comfort you through all things that you may face. Your salvation in My Son Jesus Christ has given you strength where you were frail, and will allow you to receive My comfort whenever you seek it. You, on your own, are fragile, breakable and delicate. But My great power lives within you!
Though you are pushed on by every sin, temptation and trouble this world offers, you are not crushed!  Though you are confused, misunderstood, and bewildered, you are not dejected! Though you may be attacked, sought after and chased, you are never going to be abandoned by Me! Though you may be assaulted, beaten and broken, you are not destroyed! Though troubles come, My power is evident through them!
Just as Jesus suffered, so are you in different ways. Just as Jesus conquered death, so too have you because of his blood! Live like Jesus did, and your discouragement will fade, and you will relish in the delights of eternity one day. Stay close to Me, and you will receive My peace that passes all understanding. Allow Me to comfort you, today and everyday.

Love Always,
God the Father

2 Corinthians 4: 7-10, paraphrased

Application Questions:

  • What discourages you at Christmas? How can you give this to God?
  • How have you seen God overcome your discouragement in the past?
  • What about Jesus overcoming suffering and death encourages you most?

Alternate verses for your reflection:

  • Psalm 147:1-11
  • 1 Peter 5:6-11
  • Philippians 4:19
  • Isaiah 41:10
  • Romans 8:26-30

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Christmas Devotional

Day 12: Peace

As children of God, we are called to be peacemakers.  As much and as often as possible we are to be at peace with those around us, working towards forgiveness, reconciliation and restoration. Understandably, there are some relationships that are simply too toxic to restore. God never intends for us to be abused, but in that same sense, we are not to abuse either.  Correct your faults, apologize when you make mistakes and live in peace and harmony in this world. These paraphrased words from 1 Peter 3:8-12 can encourage you today to seek peace, especially with the season of celebration upon us!

Beloved Child, 

Peter wrote of five characterizations that I long for the Body of Christ, the church, to hold dearly. First, you are to live in unity with each other, remembering that as My children you are working towards the same goal: returning home to Me someday.  Secondly, I urge you to show compassion and empathy towards one another, recognizing that everyone’s path is unique, and hardships arise for each person on earth. Third, as My Son reminded you constantly – love one another. Learn what agape love is – not just in definition, but in action. Think of each person as your brother or sister, and treat them with the same level of respect.  Fourth, I urge you to show tenderness to one another. A sensitive and caring attitude will surely help you to show love to each other at all times. Lastly, I ask that you end the cycle of torment by refusing to pay back evil with evil.  Cycles need to end somewhere, and My Child, you are capable and strong enough to end evil because you have true joy in your heart! Even when you are tempted to attack with insults or anger, stop! Bless those who bring calamity into your life, both to free yourself from their grip and to receive my blessing! For it is recorded by My Psalmist David in 34:12-16,

Does anyone want to live a life that is long and prosperous?
Then keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies!
Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right;
his ears are open to their cries for help.
But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil;
he will erase their memory from the earth.”

My Child, being a peacemaker is not easy. It requires commitment, bringing troubles to light and pursuing conflict resolution, but I have equipped you for this and I will watch over you always. Let me give you strength. 

Love Always, 
God the Father

1 Peter 3:8-12, paraphrased.

Application Questions:

  • Who do you need to make peace with today? How can you create a plan to do so?
  • What area of the 5 do you need to work on?
  • What can you gain by living peacefully?

Alternate verses for your reflection:

  • Matthew 5:38-48
  • Luke 6:27-36
  • Romans 12:14-21
  • Colossians 3:12-17
  • Hebrews 12:14-15

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Christmas Devotional

Day 11: Caring

When Jesus Christ walked this earth, he showed us such a compassionate and caring example. He ate with the most despised citizens of his time including greedy tax collectors, the lame, the sick, the destitute and prostitutes. He didn’t look down at people because they sinned. He knew we are all sinners in need of a saviour. This world needs Christians to emulate Christ in this manner. We should be actively loving the unloved, pursuing the hearts of the lowly and caring for the entire world. May these words paraphrased from Galatians 6:7-10 encourage you.

Beloved Child,

I am a God of justice. I care deeply about setting the standard for right and wrong. My heart longs to see the injustices of the world corrected. Believe Me when I say to you that the actions you partake in will later reveal cause and effect. The people in this world who only live to please themselves and satisfy their wants are going to see the effects of those choices as they experience the damage of the seeds they have sown. Dear Child, please live so that your life pleases the Spirit, and as a result you will harvest endless rewards from the Spirit. I am not asking you to seek legalism and believe that you are saved by your religious routines, instead I am asking you to live in a way that focuses on sacrificial living. You can not win my affection by doing honourable deeds, because My Son’s innocent blood gave you your salvation and I already hold deep love for you.  But I do call you to live well, to do good, and to love. Your life is a marathon, and there are ample opportunities to serve others, showing kindness and compassion while loving deeply. Never grow exasperated from these things. Oh, how much the world needs your caring spirit to shine forth. At My perfect time, you will experience a multitude of blessings if you persevere and run your marathon well. Please Dear Child, every single time you have the opportunity to show a caring, loving and empathetic spirit – do so – to absolutely everyone in this world! You never know who needs your kindness today or what benefit there is to gain by showing it. Trust Me, in My timing you will see the benefit of your efforts.

Love Always,
God the Father

Galatians 6:7-10, paraphrased

Application Questions:

  • How can you overcome the desire to do the wrong things and make an active choice to serve instead?
  • How can you ensure you are caring for others out of love and not legalism?
  • Who does God bring to mind today as someone who you need to show a caring attitude towards?

Alternate verses for your reflection:

  • Philippians 2:1-11
  • Galatians 6:2-3
  • Romans 12:6-21
  • James 1:27
  • Proverbs 19:17

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Christmas Devotional

Day 10: Idolatry

Christmas has become a season of symbols. There’s the popular secular ideas: Elf on the Shelf, Santa Claus, Christmas Trees, and consumerism-gone-wild.  The Christian meanings are sometimes lost under the hustle and bustle of the season.  Be careful this holiday season to keep your eyes on the real and true reason we celebrate: Christ.  It is in him that you will find your true joy, and unending love. Not in presents, symbols, money or anything else that can become a Christmas idol.  Allow these words from Luke 16:10-15 to alter your thoughts about keeping your mind centred on Christ alone.

Beloved Child, 

I love to see you thrive in all things, even in the small and mundane simple things. For it is when I see you live with integrity in small things, that I know I am able to trust you more in the larger scale things too. A simplistic way for Me to see your heart, and where you put your focus is evident in what choices you make when you are alone.  When the world isn’t watching, and you still make the choice to put My Kingdom first by being a good steward of the gifts that I have equipped you with, I know you can be trusted with even more. When I see your faithfulness, I know you are equipped to accept Heaven’s riches. 
You can not serve Me and the world together.  Where you run, that is where your master is. Do you gladly spend time with Me each day, in prayer, meditating on My Word or contemplating My deep love for you?  Or, do you chase after the gods of the world: money, sex, addictions, lusts, pride or the approval of people? If you serve My ways and the world’s ways together, you will grow to resent one of us.  My child, how I long for you to resent the ways of the world, and trust that My ways are far superior. My fortune is everlasting and can not be destroyed. How I long for you to have peace of mind knowing that I am the One who knows what’s best for you, My Child. I designed you. I love you.  And I have a big plan for you, where the world does not. 
The Pharisees in My Son’s time, and even today, valued human approval and the ways of the world. They didn’t want to hear My Son’s message about being righteous behind closed doors. I can assure you, I know your heart.  What the world sees as honourable I find detestable. Thank you, Beloved Child, for choosing me. 

Love Always,
God the Father

Luke 16:10-15

Application Questions:

  •   In what area of your life is there competition with God? 
  • How can you get lost in Christ this season, instead of the madness of a worldly Christmas?
  • How can you intentionally choose God today?

Alternate verses for your reflection: 

  •  Isaiah 44:9-20
  • Colossians 3:1-14
  • Matthew 4:8-11
  • Ephesians 5:1-9
  • Philippians 3:17-21

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Christmas Devotional

Day 9: Gratitude

Christmas is an excellent time to show appreciation.  We often tip more, leave packages for our mail carriers, school bus drivers, teachers, church leaders and people we don’t often think to thank. We, as Christians, ought to be thankful in all circumstances because we have much to be thankful for. Our gratitude should be an example set for the rest of the world because it demonstrates our joy in our salvation and who we are as Christ-followers. May these words from 1 Thessalonians 5:12-18 encourage you to show much gratitude for those around you today and every day.

Beloved Child,

There are many among you who have a high calling: leaders in My work. This calling is not a simple one, and the leaders in your life who encourage you in your faith journey do not always have a tolerant path.  The enemy attacks them as they try and advance My Kingdom on earth, but rest assured I am stronger than he.  They still need your constant prayers, encouragement and respect.  Honour them.  They heard My voice and they obeyed their calling. Your respect for them shows them great appreciation. Live at peace with each other.
It is crucial for you to encourage one another, especially when you find frustrations and are tempted to be intolerant. See that instead of judgements, you pass along encouragement for people who struggle with laziness, timidity, or weakness. Take care of each other, and out of gratitude for one another encourage rather than condemn. 
This will help ensure that no one pays back evil with more evil. In fact, your gratitude for one another should demonstrate goodness for each other and all people. Everyone has their faults, and to encourage or lift someone when you see their faults will equip them for success and enable you to combat evil with good.
This helps you to remain full of joy!  Always be in communication with Me, show Me your gratitude and receive Mine. In every situation, on every day, be thankful and appreciative.  This is My will for you and will bring you much joy and comfort when evil strikes, knowing My presence will allow the good to outshine the evil. 

Love Always, 
God the Father

1 Thessalonians 5:12-18

Application Questions:

  • What is one thing you can thank God for that is something you have never shown appreciation for before?
  • How can you pray for your spiritual leaders and mentors today?
  • How will you show gratitude the next time something rotten happens in your life? Be prepared with a memory verse perhaps or some sort of tactic so that when these moments occur, you will be ready.

Alternate verses for your reflection:

  • Colossians 2:6-7
  • Psalm 118:24
  • 2 Corinthians 4:14-15
  • Philippians 4:4-9
  • 1 Timothy 4:4-5

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