Tag Archives: Christmas devotional

The Plan For Redemption

Before God spoke the words, “Let there be light,” there was a plan in place for Him to send His one and only son to redeem us. Think about that. The plan didn’t get created after Adam and Eve sinned. God knew from the beginning what was going to happen. That’s what He was able to give the first prophecy of Jesus in Genesis as He cursed the serpent. Then, all throughout history He continued to speak through the prophets of a time when He would send the Messiah Jesus into the world. With the angel’s announcement to the shepherds, God was putting His plan for redemption into place. God took on flesh and blood to become one of us so He could restore the relationship.

As you celebrate Christmas, don’t forget that what we’re really celebrating is how the Word became flesh and dwelt among us so we could one day be with Him forever. The gifts you give and receive are a symbol of the greatest gift we have ever been given. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 KJV). I hope you have a merry Christmas and spend time with your family today, but I also hope that you remember this is but a foreshadowing of a celebration with our family in Heaven that’s coming. Joy to the world for unto you is born a savior which is Christ the Lord!

Here are some Bible verses about Jesus coming into the world.

1. The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all the cattle, And more than any animal of the field; On your belly you shall go, And dust you shall eat All the days of your life. And I will put enmity (open hostility) Between you and the woman, And between your seed (offspring) and her Seed; He shall [fatally] bruise your head, And you shall [only] bruise His heel.”

Genesis 3:14-15 AMP

2. Then a Shoot (the Messiah) will spring from the stock of Jesse [David’s father], And a Branch from his roots will bear fruit.

Isaiah 11:1 AMP

3. But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel, whose origins are in the distant past, will come from you on my behalf.

Micah 5:2 NLT

4. Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Listen carefully, the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and she will call his name Immanuel (God with us).

Isaiah 7:14 AMP

5. But the angel reassured them, saying, “Don’t be afraid. For I have come to bring you good news, the most joyous news the world has ever heard! And it is for everyone everywhere! For today in Bethlehem a rescuer was born for you. He is the Lord Yahweh, the Messiah. You will recognize him by this miracle sign: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a feeding trough!”

Luke 2:10-12 TPT

Merry Christmas! If you’d like to read more verses on the birth of Jesus, click here.

Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

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The Greatest Gift

Since it’s Christmas time, I have a question for you. What’s the best gift you ever received? Some of you might say a ring, or a car, or a bike, or a child. Each of us will have different answers depending on where we are in life, but I’m pretty sure that none of you said that going through difficult times was the greatest gift you ever got. However, looking back on your life, and seeing how that dark time made you into who you are today, you might want to reconsider. Yes, I’m suggesting your darkest days could be the greatest gift you’ve ever received,

Most of us think of those times, and try to put them behind us, or pretend that they never existed. But I believe God uses those times to move us into position for our future, to develop in us the qualities of character necessary for the future He has for us, and to grow our faith in Him. James 1:2-4 says, “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way” (MSG).

Those final sentences are tough for us to hear. When we are in a trial or test, we want them to end quickly. We pray and beg God to get us out of them. When we do get out of them early, the work is unfinished that He was trying to do. In Max Lucado’s book “The Anvil”, he writes that of God has you in these times, rejoice. It means He still thinks you’re worth reshaping. He hasn’t discarded you as useless and put you with the other tools the He no longer uses.

If you happen to be going through one of these times right now, I’d like you to look at the next verse in James. It says, “If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it.” God will be there to help you through instead of out of it. Pray for His help, but also pray to ask Him to develop in you what He needs to during this time. Right now it may not seem like a gift, but what God does in us during the hardest times is often one of He greatest gifts He gives.

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Wrong Assumptions

Have you ever made the wrong assumption about something? If we’re honest, we all have. There was a guy who wanted me to hire him for sales, but he didn’t dress the part for the interview. Everyone else showed up in a suit, but this guy wasn’t even wearing a tie. When I asked questions, everyone sat up, looked me in the eye and gave confident answers. Not this guy. He slouched in his chair and barely looked up at me when answering. He seemed to lack the confidence to be in sales, but he had all the answers I was looking for. My wife suggested it was easier to train him how to present himself rather than to teach someone else the core values I was looking for. I hired him, and he was one of the best hires I ever made.

It’s easy to look at someone and make judgments about them because they don’t measure up to our expectations. That’s what happened to Jesus. He was born in the right town, but the people expected great fanfare for the Messiah. He became a great teacher, but He didn’t teach what they thought He should teach. They assumed He would fight the Romans and free Israel, but when that clearly wasn’t His plan, they assumed He wasn’t the Messiah and crucified Him. They thought they had God’s plan figured out, but their assumptions were wrong. They’re not alone.

We all make incorrect assumptions about who God is and what His plan is. One of the biggest misconceptions is that God is angry and is waiting for us to do something wrong so He can zap us. John 3:16-17 says, “For this is how much God loved the world—he gave his one and only, unique Son as a gift. So now everyone who believes in him will never perish but experience everlasting life. God did not send his Son into the world to judge and condemn the world, but to be its Savior and rescue it!” (TPT) God didn’t send Jesus to condemn you to Hell. He was sent to reconcile you to God. He loves us so much that He didn’t conform to our expectations, but instead died in our place so that we could live eternally in His place. If you’ve made the wrong assumptions about God, Christmas is a great time, to change your mind.

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Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

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Finding True Peace

One of the coolest Christmas stories I’ve ever read about was the Christmas Truce of World War I. On Christmas Day in 1914 on the Western front if the war, some German soldiers climbed out of their foxholes unarmed and approached the British lines calling out, “Merry Christmas!” After realizing it wasn’t a trick, the British soldiers climbed out of their foxholes and shook hands with their enemy. In many places they began to sing Christmas carols, Exchange cigarettes and food. Some even played a game of soccer. German Lieutenant Zehmisch said, “Christmas, the celebration of Love, managed to bring mortal enemies together as friends for a time.” The next day, the picked up arms again and went back to war.

Since Adam and Eve sinned, there had been hostility between God and man. We had rejected His rule over our lives and decided we had a better way. He established a temporary covenant with Moses through the Law to make peace between us. Hiwever, we kept breaking that peace by going back on our word. In Isaiah 9:6, God announced that a child would be born who would be the Prince of Peace. He would be the one to restore the peace between us. Then, on the night Jesus was born, the angel appeared to the shepherds in the Bethlehem field saying, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill towards men” (KJV). God, in essence, came out of His foxhole, approached us saying, “Merry Christmas!” The difference was, this wasn’t to be a temporary cease fire. God was trying to establish true peace between us.

Ephesians 2 describes how God was trying to establish true peace with us. Verse 17 summarizes it, “For the Messiah has come to preach this sweet message of peace to you, the ones who were distant, and to those who are near” (TPT). No matter how far away from God you are, He wants to establish peace with you. In John 14:27 Jesus, the Messiah, said, “I leave the gift of peace with you—my peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but my perfect peace.“ We only know temporary peace here on this earth, but God desires to create eternal peace with us through His son. When we accept Him as our Savior, we can have that peace that surpasses understanding even while the world around us is in chaos. True peace can be ours, but it’s only found in Jesus, the Prince of Peace.

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