Tuesday, December 7, 2021

A Gift For Eternity

Timothy did well in his first semester at college. A sense of excitement was building in the family as the day approached when he would be home for Christmas. His mother wanted to make it a special event, one he would remember for years to come.

“Let’s give Timothy a wristwatch for Christmas,” she said. “He’s done so well and I want him to know how much we appreciate all of his hard work.”

“But,” protested his father, “what happened to that crush proof, waterproof, shockproof, scratchproof watch we gave him when he left for college?”

“He can’t find it,” said his mother.

In giving us the gift of His Son, God gave us Someone Who will be with us forever. A Gift that will be with us until the end of our lives and throughout eternity. An indestructible, unchanging, all-powerful, and ever-present Presence.

Jesus promised: “be sure of this – I am with you always and everywhere, even to the end of the age.”

Some would ask, “What does it mean that He will be with us? Did he not leave His disciples when He ascended into heaven?” No, He didn't.

When He left them physically, He sent the Holy Spirit to be His presence with them personally. We know He was called “Immanuel – God with us” when He was born. We know He is with us now through the Holy Spirit.

Prayer: It’s easy, Father, to lose sight of You and Your messages at this time of the year. But help us to pause, pray frequently and sense Your presence within us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. 

Sign up to get this daily devotional via email and get a free gift!

Monday, December 6, 2021

Never Mind, Santa...

Chris was sitting in Santa’s lap and going over a long list of presents that he wanted for Christmas. “I want a bicycle,” he said, “and I also want a wagon, a chemistry set, a telescope, an electric train, a football, a Kindle FIRE, and a pair of rollerblades.”

“That’s a long list,” said Santa. “I’ll have to check carefully to see if you were a good boy.” 

After thinking for a moment Chris said, “Don’t bother, Santa, I’ll just settle for the rollerblades.” Not many of us would be able to “pass” a really thorough investigation to discover if we were worthy of receiving a long list of gifts. We’d probably be like Chris and settle very quickly for very little. Nor would many of us want to have someone investigate our lives and then decide if we deserved a gift or not. We would be quite anxious – if not completely frightened. 

But God is so very different. He knows everything there is to know about us and still offers us the most precious gift He has: His Son.

“Now, no one is likely to die for a good person,” said Paul, “though someone might be willing to die for someone who is especially good. But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” Christ: the source of eternal life.

There you have it. It is not about whether or not we are good or deserving of eternal life through Him. It is because of God’s great love that we can have the gift of eternal life!

Prayer: May we realize during this season, our Father, the great Gift we have because of Your love. May Your Son be our main interest and attraction this year. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: Romans 5:5-11 Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 

Sign up to get this daily devotional via email and get a free gift!

Sunday, December 5, 2021

How To Gain Understanding

James the Fifth of Scotland ruled his subjects quite differently than other rulers did. Historians say that he would often lay aside his royal robes, put on the clothes of an ordinary man, work as they worked and live as they lived. His disguise allowed him to move freely among his people without being recognized. 

He did this, we are told, to gain an understanding of their needs and problems, sorrows and difficulties. Then, when he returned to his throne, he would have a clearer insight of his subjects and was better able to rule over them with compassion and care.

That is what Jesus, the King of kings, did. He laid aside His glory. Paul writing of this said, “Though he was God, He did not demand and cling to His right as God. He made himself nothing, He took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form!” 

It is common for most of us to be selfish and express our pride by “demanding our rights!” We want what we think is “rightfully” ours for any number of reasons. We believe that we have earned something or deserve something and therefore demand something!

But not Jesus. He laid aside every right that was rightfully His in order to serve others. As His followers, we are to live as He lived. We must develop an attitude of love and humility, and willingly and sacrificially, serve others as our Lord did!

Prayer: We thank You, Lord, for becoming like one of us and for going through everything that we go through. Knowing this enables us to know You do care. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: Psalm 2:5-8 I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession. 

Sign up to get this daily devotional via email and get a free gift!

Saturday, December 4, 2021

"Love With Skin On It"

A young man, who grew up in a housing project, having little hope and few goods, heard an evangelist preaching “love” on a street corner. After listening for a few moments, he shouted to the preacher, “I’m sick and tired of you people talking about love. I want to see love. I want to feel love. I want to see love with some skin on it!”

That’s Christmas: “God’s love with skin on it.” 

Paul wrote, “For in Christ the fullness of God lives in a human body!” 

In Jesus, we see Someone bringing love to life – but a very special type of love. It is God’s love. We see this love coming to life when Jesus fed the hungry, gave sight to the blind, cleansed the lepers, healed the sick, offering water to a thirsty soul, calming the waves to relieve the fears of experienced fishermen, washing dirty feet, spending time with little children, teaching people the truth that brought meaning and purpose to their lives and finally hanging lifeless from a cross – abandoned and alone. 

Jesus is God loving through a human heart, healing with a human hand, walking on errands of mercy with human feet, showing love, grace and mercy to those who would do Him harm. 

Jesus is God loving the least, the last and the lost. In Jesus, God showed His love with “skin on it.”

Prayer: Help us, Father, to put Your “love in our skin” and take Your love to those in need. May we be as faithful in caring for others as You are in caring for us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: Colossians 2:9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.

Sign up to get this daily devotional via email and get a free gift!

Friday, December 3, 2021

What Gift?

Joyce fell behind in her Christmas shopping and suddenly realized that she had neglected to purchase cards for her friends. Hurriedly, she ran to the “surprise” section of a large greeting card store and purchased 100 cards with a beautiful scene of a family gathered in front of a glowing fireplace enjoying its warmth.

Returning home she hastily signed each of the cards without reading the message. Several days later she was sitting with her husband reviewing the guest list for a family dinner. She decided to show him the card she had sent to their friends.

After looking at the picture, she opened the card and read the verse to Jason, her husband: “This card is sent to you to say, A lovely gift is on the way!” Quite a surprise!

God gave us a “star” to alert us that His “lovely gift” would be discovered in a manger – His son. All of the books of the Bible describe the Gift that He promised to send, tell us the reason for His gift, and what we can enjoy now and in the life to come because of His gift. 

But, as with every gift, there are two parts: one is the giver and the other is the receiver. An angel rejoiced and proclaimed: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior which is Christ the Lord.” That is God the Giver, giving. And, John said, “As many as received Him...to them He gave life.” But that is our choice: the receiver - to accept God’s gift, His Son.

Prayer: We thank You, Father, for the Gift of life You provided for each of us in Your Son. May we accept Your Gift in faith believing, that He came to save us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name. 

Sign up to get this daily devotional via email and get a free gift!