Christmas Devotional

Day 22: Prayer

God longs for us to be in dialogue with him, and we do that through prayer. Jesus gave much instruction and example on prayer during his ministry time on earth, teaching us the importance of praying to God alone from our hearts, not a desire to impress others. He wasn’t against group prayer at all, he just wanted to see us in proper communication with God the Father so that we may truly express what is in our hearts completely free and comfortable. Regular prayer leads to a greater understanding of God’s will and is an essential part of Christian living. These words, paraphrased from Luke 11:2-13 give us further encouragement on this important topic:

Beloved Child, 

My son taught many people how to pray with what is now called “The Lord’s Prayer.” His lesson in this was to teach his disciples that my Kingdom is near, but not yet fully present. This prayer is a simple way to focus your heart on communication with me, but it is not the only way to pray. Rather, Jesus was teaching how to pray, not what to pray. I long to communicate with you through prayer of all kinds, but Jesus’ example laid a terrific foundation. He began with worship, recognizing me as Father, a term not familiar to the Jewish people who felt it was too informal to use. However, Jesus was showing them I am their father and because of him, they are invited into a deeper, more intimate, relationship with Me. He then asked for My kingdom to come soon, daily needs to be provided for, forgiveness for self and others, and protection from temptation. I want you to notice that this prayer is a petition: first, that My will and purpose would happen and second, that all needs, physical and spiritual, would be provided for. By coming to Me in this way, you are showing that I am in control and allowing me the space to answer. Jesus then taught his disciples that I am a true Father, and like any Father, I want to bless My children. He gave a parable of someone being persistent in their efforts, and seeing the result eventually. So come to Me, and come often!  I will never tire of communicating with My Beloved Children! Though I know the desires of you heart, I long to hear them in communication. Though I know your needs, and am willing to provide, I long to hear it from you yourself. Allow yourself time to be still and await My response. Prayer is a dialogue if you will allow it to be. Thanks to the Holy Spirit in you, you may come to Me boldly and often. Oh, how I love our time together.

Love Always, 

God the Father

Luke 11:2-13, paraphrased

Application Questions:

  • What prayer have you been praying consistently? How can you be encouraged today to keep praying in that area?
  • How can you pray more for God’s will and less for your own?
  • How can you spend time listening effectively in prayer today?

Alternate verses for your reflection:

  • Jeremiah 29:11-14
  • James 5:13-18
  • Matthew 6:5-15
  • Psalm 17:1-9
  • Romans 12:2-15

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Christmas Devotional

Day 21: Thankfulness

It is so easy to fall into mind traps that can ruin our entire day. When we shift our focus to the blessings that we have, and look for the silver lining in all situations we can always find positive, even in a negative situation. God gives us so much to be thankful for that we simply take for granted. Simple things like the sunrise, a great parking spot on a busy day, or the feeling of peace in the middle of a busy season, and so much more!  We can easily miss these little gifts if we are thinking negatively. Christmas is such a wonderful time of reflection, and thankfulness for our gift of Salvation should come naturally from that. These words paraphrased from James 1:12-18 remind us we have so much to be thankful for:

Beloved Child, 

I am watching over those enduring trials and tribulations. Consider a beautiful diamond that is carved out of the earth, not at all suitable to show off until it endures so much hardship and appears as a beautiful gem worthy of admiration. It is like that with you too. You are refined by your trials, growing better and wiser because of them. I will not ever abandon you in those moments, and I promise a crown of life to those who love Me through them. Remember when you are feeling that temptation to follow a path that isn’t one I would want you to be on, stay focused on Me instead. I will never lead you to temptation, but My power is strong enough to get you through it, and back on a straight and narrow path. It is your own desires that lead you to temptations, but you are equipped with My Spirit, fully capable of overcoming trials, temptations and struggles with My peace. Remember that it is I who provides you with every good and perfect gift and much like any parent, I love when I hear your thankfulness because it is what keeps you focused on Me and not on the desires and temptations which weaken you. I am the light of this world, and like a candle that will produce a bright light in a dark room without casting a shadow, so too will I shine brightly in this world without any darkness able to interfere with My light. My promises are always secure, and I have never broken a promise! Remember that with thanks as you endure your trials and temptations. It is that thankfulness that will help you stay focused on My love for you, and will help you remember who you are: My prized possession. 

Love Always, 
God the Father

James 1:12-18 paraphrased

Application questions: 

  • What part of the Christmas season are you most thankful for? Spend some time in prayer telling God.
  • When you look back on a past trial, can you see how God never broke His promises? How can this past event help prepare you for future hardship?
  • In what ways can you show thankfulness for the refining moments in your life?

Alternate verses for your reflection: 

  • Psalm 106:1-5
  • 2 Corinthians 9:10-15
  • Colossians 3:15-17
  • Ephesians 5:15-20
  • Proverbs 3

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Christmas Devotional

Day 20: Faith

If we ever need an example of true faith, we can look at John the Baptist. He spent his whole life and ministry encouraging people to repent of their sins, and turn to Jesus. John the Baptist showed with a spiritual conviction that faith in Jesus alone could save all sinners. May we remember at Christmas to point people to the true reason for the season, and stay focused on the true deeper meaning in our own lives, so that the beauty of Christmas overshadows the busy aspects of it in our hearts. These words paraphrased from Matthew 3:9-11 should help:

Beloved Child,

Before My Son Jesus Christ graced the earth, I sent a messenger who was full of tenacity and perseverance.  This messenger, John the Baptist, would unashamedly announce the coming and arrival of My Son Jesus Christ boldly and confidently. He was bold about warning the religious leaders that their birth place amongst the Israelites wouldn’t remain sufficient enough to save their souls any longer. He fearlessly declared that I would remove any and all trees who do not produce good fruit. These legalistic and very hypocritical folks were claiming to believe in Me, yet were living unproductive lives despite My desire to see them active in their obedience. John the Baptist warned all people that they needed to repent of their sins and turn to Me, God.  He told them of the coming of the Messiah, the Saviour, Prince of Peace – Jesus Christ, recognizing that despite his own reverence for My Kingdom, he still wasn’t even worthy of carrying My Son’s sandals. By that standard, none are, but this gift was given to you lovingly regardless. Therefore I long to see you full of gratitude and appreciation for your salvation. John the Baptist excitedly told others that the Holy Spirit would be present upon those baptised in My Son’s name, things that were unheard of in this time period. Be rich in thanksgiving – aside from your salvation, you also have received my Spirit to accompany you all the days of your life. Allow my spirit to change you inwardly, as your baptism changed you outwardly. Allow my Spirit to boldly help you explode in faith. Allow My Spirit to change you from the inside out. Allow My Spirit to equip you to be bold just like John the Baptist. 

Love Always, 

God the Father

Matthew 3:9-11, paraphrased

Application Questions:

  • How can you be bold with your faith just like John the Baptist was?
  • What does true repentance look like in your life? Is there an area that you need to submit to God today?
  • How can you prevent yourself from stifling the Holy Spirit within you?

Alternate verses for your reflection:

  • 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
  • Romans 1:16-17
  • Matthew 21:21-22
  • James 1:2-6
  • 1 Timothy 6:12

 

Christmas Devotional

Day 19: Family

As Christians, the Bible tells us that we are adopted into God’s family, and co-heirs with Christ himself. We are more than just a body of believers. We are united in familial ties. This is very comforting for those who come from broken earthly families, have worries about family gatherings at Christmas, or even just have small families. Whatever dynamic your family on earth has, we can all take joy in knowing we belong to God’s much larger family. He is the perfect loving Father! These words paraphrased from Ephesians 1:3-8 remind us how amazing that is!

Beloved Child, 

You who are united in love with My Son Jesus Christ, have been blessed with every spiritual blessing Heaven has to offer. Through My Son, you have been given redemption, forgiveness, spiritual gifts, power, and most importantly, adoption into My Family. Even before I formed the universe, I had a plan for you, built out of My deep love for you. My plan included My Son and your deliverance. I see only his perfection when I face you instead of seeing your faults, habits, or imperfections. You are made holy by the blood of My Son. This allows you to be completely mine, and guarantees you the promise of a permanent, everlasting inheritance. It brings Me the ultimate pleasure when one of My beloved children accepts salvation and is welcomed into My family. This inheritance, promised to you is not earnable by deeds, religion, intellects, morals or anything you could possibly do. Instead, it was earned for you by the death of My Son – he redeemed you, just as a person could free a slave through redemption, he did so when he freed you from the captive claws of sin. It is through grace and My endless mercy and love that you are saved. Through Jesus Christ, you are adopted as My own, legally declared as My child with all of the rights and privileges that go along with that. It brings me so much joy to welcome you to My family. 

Love Always, 
God the Father

Ephesians 1:3-8, paraphrased

Application Questions:

  • What feelings do you have about sharing an inheritance with Jesus himself?
  • What added blessings are there to being called a Son or Daughter or the Most High God?
  • What part of being in God’s family are you most thankful for?

Alternate verses for your reflection:

  • Ephesians 2:19-22
  • Romans 8:14-17
  • Galatians 3:26-29
  • 1 Peter 1:2-5
  • Matthew 12:46-50

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Christmas Devotional

Day 18: Fairness

The world is not a fair place. Sometimes it seems like those doing dreadful things get ahead, even if just temporarily. When we see awful things happen to wonderful people, we wonder, how is this fair? Unfortunately, the world is full of darkness and fairness can’t flourish with evil’s existence. We serve a Just God, so much so that He sent His own Son to be a sacrifice for us, even though we were underserving.  He stepped over the boundary of fair to give us freedom.  The prophet Isaiah spoke of One who would come and be completely fair and righteous to us all. These paraphrased words from Isaiah 11:1-5 foretell a Saviour who was more than fair.

Beloved Child, 

My servant Isaiah foretold the coming of My Son Jesus Christ. He illustrated him as coming from the stump of David’s family. Out of this stump, a new shoot could grow – the Messiah.  He would be even grander than the original tree bearing even more fruit than imaginable. My Spirit would inhabit him, providing him with My wisdom and understanding.  My Spirit would equip him with the ability to have knowledge, advocacy skills, might and even a healthy reverence for Me. This Son of Mine was foretold to come with a joy for obedience.  Unlike any human before or after him, he would not judge based on looks or listen to gossip when making a decision. No, instead he was born to break the strong holds of oppression for those in poverty, protecting those being treated unfairly. The entire earth would be shaken by this True King who would come rule with justice, provision and protection, unlike anything seen before or since. Isaiah foretold with certainty that My Son would come enthralled in righteousness and soaked in truth. Though this world is not fair, you have a Saviour who is more than fair, who accepted your sin on his perfect shoulders after leaving the comforts of Heaven to dwell in the world.  Look to My Son for encouragement on being fair to all of those around you. This unfair world needs you to demonstrate righteousness in it. Go, and be more than fair. 

Love Always, 
God the Father.

Isaiah 11:1-5 paraphrased

Application Questions:

  • What stumbling blocks keep you dwelling in the ‘its not fair’ mindset?
  • How can looking at Jesus’ life and ministry show you that your moments of unfairness pale in comparison to his?
  • When you think of Jesus example of being righteous and fair, do you feel inspired to be more like him? In what ways?

Alternate verses for your reflection:

  • Proverbs 31:9-10
  • Romans 10:10-12
  • Psalm 99
  • Romans 6:22-23
  • Ephesians 2:1-10

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Christmas Devotional

Day 17: Believe

Its always amazing how many people do not accept the Gospel message, and yet still make it a tradition to celebrate Christmas. Though many symbols have changed, and the true meaning can often get lost amongst the ideas of Christmas, it is crucial that Christians remember with gratitude the true meaning of Christmas: Christ’s birth. God knew when He sent His Son that he would be rejected by many, but allow us to not let that overwhelm us as we believe in the way, the truth and the life: Jesus Christ. These words from John 12:42-50 are paraphrased to remind us that many won’t believe but what a blessing it is for those who do!

Beloved Child,

Even while My Son walked this earth, preforming countless miracles he was doubted, especially by the Jewish leaders whom he had come to save. Even more believed in him, but were afraid to speak up because they were more concerned about human praise than My praise. 
My child, I am so thankful you seek My Praise and have done so through My Son. He told the crowds that trusting in him, meant also trusting in Me, God, who sent him. When you gaze upon Jesus, you are seeing My face too. Just as I see Jesus when I look at you, truly redeemed through his sacrifice. I sent my Son as a bright light to shine in the dark world.  When you fix your eyes, mind and heart on Jesus, you are no longer in the dark even though the dark is around you. You are light too. Shine brightly, and rest assured that when you make mistakes your light doesn’t go out, it merely flickers. The power of Jesus’ blood is so much stronger than the darkness of sin. Those who do not allow the light of Jesus to penetrate their hearts, remain in darkness both alive on earth and in eternity.  When I gaze upon them, I see the darkness of their hearts, not the bright light of My Son because they have rejected him. Jesus warned about this, speaking on my authority.  I sent him, commanding him to show the world love, but also to be honest and truthful. He knew when he gave his message that the commands he shared would lead to your eternal life, so he spoke boldly without fear.  This matter is serious, as serious as a literal life and death situation. Please My child, speak boldly to those around you in the hopes that you may save their life too. You are all My children and I long for nothing more but to be close to you, and see you in true paradise someday. 

Love Always, 
God the Father

John 12: 42-50, paraphrased

Application Questions:

  • What do you think stops people from believing in Jesus most? How can you be prepared to respond to their disbelief?
  • What prevents you from being bold with your faith?
  • How does the reminder that this is about life and death encourage you to speak courageously about your belief in Jesus Christ?

Alternate verses for your reflection:

  • 1 Timothy 4:7-16
  • Acts 16:30-34
  • John 3:16-21
  • Psalm 28:6-9
  • 1 Peter 1

 

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Christmas Devotional

Day 16: Approval of Others

There are times as Christians when we stand outside of the societal view of normal, and that’s okay – because we are called to be set apart, to be a Holy nation. Its easy to slip back into caring what other’s think, especially when we have been raised in a world that is fully of judgement. We want to please others, to be accepted and to feel like we fit in as the norm. Imagine if Joseph had have done that upon hearing the news that his fiancée Mary was pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Read these words from Matthew 1:18-25 that are paraphrased to encourage you to seek God’s approval, the only approval that truly matters.

Beloved Child,

You have heard the story of My Son’s birth, of a virgin, Mary, while she was engaged to be married to a young man named Joseph. Joseph was a great man, who cared deeply about what I called him to do, even when those around him would have disagreed. In his time, people didn’t marry pregnant women who were carrying someone else’s child. Normally in that day, a woman in that situation would have been ostracized and shamed. Joseph was full of respect and very righteous, and intended to just quietly end things with Mary, without humiliating her.  Even in this act, he showed compassion and mercy. But, this wasn’t My plan, and this wasn’t an average pregnancy. So, I sent an angel to tell Joseph in a dream that he ought to take Mary as his wife as planned, and that the child was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and he would be a boy, to be named Jesus, who will save the people from their sins. The very name Jesus was predestined for him because of its meaning, “Yahweh saves.” Yahweh is sacred name for Me that my people speaking in Hebrew called me. My son’s name is literally ‘God Saves.’ Sit and consider that for a moment. Even his name revealed his ultimate purpose: to save mankind from eternal death and bring them into right standing with me. When Joseph woke up from this dream, he knew what he had to do. Despite what others would tell him to do, he married Mary and raised Jesus. Even though people didn’t approve of his decision, Joseph listened to My prompting and focused his desire for approval on what I would think, rather than what the world thought. Because of this, Jesus grew up in a safe home accepted by society. Joseph had a huge responsibility placed on his shoulders, but what is outstanding about him is he truly aimed to obey me, regardless of what others thought. Remember, this world is temporary and fleeting, but I am forever. It is how you stand in My sight that matters most, and thanks to My Son I see you as I saw Joseph: righteous. 

Love Always, 
God the Father

Matthew 1:18-25, paraphrase

Application Questions:

  • What is God calling you to do that other’s may not approve of?
  • How can you seek God’s approval first before peoples?
  • What does the name Jesus now mean to you?

Alternate verses for your reflection:

  • 1 Thessalonians 2:4
  • John 5:41-44
  • Galatians 1:10
  • Matthew 6:33
  • Acts 5:29-32

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