This year, Christmas may look a little different for you and your family. Whether this season is overwhelmingly busy or sluggishly quiet, it may be hard to find joy and encouragement right now. So, we created a week of devotionals to help you and your family reclaim your holiday spirit! To keep up with these devotionals, we encourage you to save the page link or print out this blog to hang somewhere in your house!
Don’t let this Christmas pass you by without focusing on God’s love and deliverance. Yes, presents are great and all, but they pale in comparison to the real reason for celebration. This is a time to remember the ultimate gift of all: Jesus. He was born to defeat sin so we could be saved and united with God forever.
Even when life seems grim, we have so much to be thankful for! Each devotional has a designated day and theme to focus on. Whether you choose this structure or your own, we hope that these messages help your family to rejoice in the love of Christ this week.
Monday, 12/21: Hope
Let’s start off the week with a joyful spirit and positive mindset. Even if the holidays aren’t turning out the way you wanted, there is still hope on the horizon.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” —Romans 15:13
Romans 15:8-13 is a wonderful reminder that we have so much to be hopeful for. So when you read these verses, rejoice and be glad! His promises are reliable, and we can safely put our hope in Him, knowing that they will be fulfilled.
“Paul’s quotation comes from the Septuagint, which emphasizes that the root of Jesse will rule the nations and provide them with hope. For Paul, Jesus is the root of Jesse—the Messiah from David’s line—who rules over both Jewish and non-Jewish people (Jews and Gentiles).” —Faithlife.com
God has sent Jesus so that people of all nations and backgrounds can be saved through Him. He gives us the “the root of Jesse”—the ultimate hope for the future. We have a triune God on our side and no longer need to be fearful of tomorrow, next week, or even 50 years from now. We are securely covered by Jesus because He is victorious; and in this victory, He cares for us and upholds us, always.
- What are you hopeful for?
- What are you worried/fearful about? How can you trust God in this situation?
- In Romans 15:8-13, what sticks out to you the most?
Tuesday, 12/22: Peace
“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” —Colossians 3:2-3
In this passage, we are encouraged to set our minds to Heaven, and to not be swept away by what’s happening directly around us. While many great, important things happen everyday, we should ultimately keep our focus on God. Only then can we expect to find true peace.
After reading through Colossians 3:1-17, we have a clear picture of what a life of peace looks like. Peace in Christ is to embrace compassion, patience, forgiveness, and so much more. Let’s allow this peace to rule in our hearts...even when your family is driving you mad, or your car breaks down in the middle of a snowstorm, or you finally open your presents only to find socks(again). The peace we find in Christ roots us in the strongest foundation imaginable so we can gracefully take life’s most whomping punches. So, be rooted in this peace today, and continue to grow confidently with Christ.
- Do you feel at peace? Why or why not?
- What are practical ways we can work toward peace?
- How can we reflect the peace that we find in God to others?
Wednesday, 12/23: Love
“I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord. I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.” —Ezekiel 34:15-16
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son. Does that ever sound like a strange sentence? How could a perfect God love a world so corrupt, so steeped in sin and brokenness? We’re so imperfect, and yet He loves us enough to tend to each and every sheep, making them lie down, searching and rescuing the lost, healing their wounds. God is love—it’s impossible for Him not to love.
So why do we so often feel estranged from Him, distant, forgotten? That’s our brokenness seeping in, reminding us ever so subtly of the lie that we’re not enough, that we’re not worthy of such unfathomable, unchanging love. The truth is, Jesus’ humble birth, life, death, and resurrection are incredible proof that God does care for us as a shepherd cares for his sheep. There’s not a moment that passes that you’re not on His mind, and not a day that goes by that wasn’t impacted by His loving hand.
If you’re feeling lonely or far away from God today, take the Christmas season as proof of His love for you. You are cherished, and that will never change.
- How does God express His love to His children?
- Do you feel loved by God? Why or why not?
- What are some things that make it difficult for you to feel loved?
- How does this passage reflect God’s love for us?
Thursday, 12/24: Joy
Who were you before you knew God as your Father? How have you changed? Even if you don’t know how to answer these questions, we can take comfort in how God has, or will, change us.
“Those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. You have multiplied the nation; You have increased its joy; they rejoice before You as with joy at the harvest.” —Isaiah 9:2-7
Through God’s provision of hope, we can be joyful in all areas in our lives. We can trust Him with all of our uncertainties and fears, and embrace the joy that comes with our identity in Christ. When our identity is fully ingrained in Him, we always have a reason to be joyful despite any outside circumstances. Sickness, loss, heartache—not even death can affect the joy that lives in our very core.
- How has God shown up in your life? Your family’s life?
- Take a few minutes to reflect on all the reasons you have to be joyful today.
Friday, 12/25: Jesus, aka the reason for the season
The birth of Jesus was not only miraculous, but it was the long-awaited fulfillment of prophecies that circulated for centuries. Many were expecting a strong, powerful warrior to slay their enemies and win all of their battles. Thankfully, we received something much better: our compassionate, loving God in the flesh.
“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,
according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation
that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.” —Luke 2:29-32
As Simeon says in the passage above, Christ is a light that brings glory to our sin-broken world. Yes, Jesus in many ways is a warrior who fights for us, but He is mainly a shepherd who is constantly gathering, restoring and caring for us. Because of Christ, Jews and gentiles alike can experience His everlasting love for all eternity. We can sit in our homes, knowing that he has us covered despite our constant shortcomings and sinful nature. Remember this as you’re celebrating today, and remember the hope, joy, love, and peace that you and your family have in Jesus.
- What stood out to you most from Matthew 1:18-25 and Luke 2:8-33?
- Why do you think Jesus came the way He did? What does this mean for us?
- How can we best share and express the love of Jesus to others?
We hope these short devotionals can spark hope and joy in you and your families this week. May God bless you and remind you of his love this holiday season, whatever it looks like for you.
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- What Teens Struggling with Mental Health Wish We Knew at Christmas