10-Day Christmas Devotional | Fresh Start Bible
December 15th: The Shepherds and Angels
That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger” (Luke 2:8–12 NLT).
The word Christ, also translated Messiah, comes from the Greek word Christos and means ‘anointed.’ In the Old Testament, only three groups of people were anointed: prophets, priests, and kings. In the New Testament, Jesus is the Anointed One. That means He’s our Prophet, Priest, and King.
In the Old Testament, God usually spoke through prophets. Jesus is our Prophet, and now we can hear God. The Holy Spirit lives within every believer and can speak to us at any time.
In the Old Testament, only the high priests could enter the presence of God. When Jesus came, He became our eternal High Priest, and now we can personally enter the presence of God.
Because Jesus is our King, He rules and reigns over everything in our lives—every situation, family issue, job problem, financial difficulty, emotional struggle, etc. Everything. We can live victoriously in every area of our lives!
December 16th: God’s Salvation for All People
He is a voice shouting in the wilderness,
“Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming!
Clear the road for him!
The valleys will be filled,
and the mountains and hills made level.
The curves will be straightened,
and the rough places made smooth.
And then all people will see
the salvation sent from God” (Luke 3:4–6 NLT).
The name Jesus means ‘salvation.’ Luke develops this important truth throughout his Gospel. Mary will give birth to a Son who will bring salvation to God’s people. Luke shows us that people experience salvation from Jesus in many ways:
A woman is forgiven of her sins (7:47–50).
A man is delivered from demons (8:26–36).
Another woman is healed of sickness in her body (8:43–48).
A rich man is restored to the people of his community (19:1–10).
In all these stories, Luke uses a word meaning ‘to save’ to describe what Jesus has done.
December 17th: Give Cheerfully
You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves a person who gives cheerfully. And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others (2 Corinthians 9:7–8 NLT).
Christmas is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting. It is happiness because we see joy in people. It is forgetting self and finding time for others. It is discarding the meaningless and stressing the true values of the season. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” God isn’t looking for tithes, offerings, and gifts that are given because we feel forced or obligated. He wants you to give from a place of love. You are the only person on earth who knows what God has called you to give.
So how do you learn to give cheerfully? There’s only one way: God must do a work in your heart. You must allow God to replace your selfish heart with generosity. When you do, “God will generously provide all you need. Then you will have everything you need, and plenty left over to share with others.”
December 18th: His Thanksgiving
Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you” (Luke 17:17–19 NLT).
We can live continually in God’s presence by developing a life of thanksgiving. We are grateful to God as He blesses us with His miraculous provision, and we express our gratitude and love in worship
1. Worship is giving thanks.
Worship is thanking someone after you’ve received something. It’s showing your gratitude and love. True, genuine love is always expressed. You have a good Father, and you can express your love to Him because you have received something good from Him
2. Miracles precede gratitude.
If you had a disease and Jesus healed you, would it be appropriate to express your thanks? Of course, it would be! Well, if you’re a believer, God has healed you from the worst disease—sin! Salvation is a miracle, and it is okay to express your gratitude to God through worship.
3. Obedience precedes miracles.
Miracles are not earned, but the Bible shows us an unmistakable patter of obedience leading to miracles. Is it possible that we don’t feel as though we have anything to be grateful for because we’re not walking in daily obedience to God? If we obey, we’ll experience miracles, and when we experience miracles, we’ll be grateful and express our love to God through worship.
December 19th: Anointed to Rest
It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
to sing praises to the Most High.
It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning,
your faithfulness in the evening,
accompanied by a ten-stringed instrument, a harp,
and the melody of a lyre (Psalm 92:1–3 NLT).
Many believers live right on the verge of total exhaustion. If we know the fourth commandment is rest (see Exodus 20:8–11), then why do many of us treat it as optional?
Rest is refreshing and refueling. Observing the Sabbath allows you to stop and breathe—to restart your mind, body, emotions, and spirit. It’s a command, a blessing, and a benefit!
Psalm 92 identifies itself as “a song to be sung on the Sabbath Day.” Verse 10 says, “You have anointed me with the finest oil” (NLT). In other words, the psalmist is saying, “Because I took a day to rest and honor the Lord, I’ve received new anointing.” Is it possible that the degree of our anointing is affected by whether we honor God’s principle of rest? If we set aside one day for the Lord every week, we will be more anointed, refueled, and refreshed.
December 20th: The Joyous Kings
When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:10–11 NLT).
The wise men were men of science, the wealthy intelligentsia of the day. Yet they rejoiced unashamedly when the star finally stopped. When they entered the house and saw Jesus, the wise men “bowed down and worshiped him.” They were completely undone in the presence of this Child! Overwhelmed, they “opened their treasure chests” and presented extravagant gifts.
Why did the wise men behave this way? Because they knew they were in the presence of the King of all kings. God will guide those who are willing to find the Savior. Even when we feel like His light is withdrawn, it will appear again and direct us in the way of our Redeemer.
December 21st: The Father is Good
Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow (James 1:17 NLT).
Some people have the misconception that God the Father is mean. They think of Him as a cruel parent who can’t wait to punish us for any mistakes we make. Let me tell you something: you may have had an earthly father like that, but our heavenly Father is different. He is good. Understanding God’s goodness makes a huge difference in our relationship with Him.
- The Father is completely good.
God’s goodness cannot be measured; it has no limits. God doesn’t just have goodness, though; He is goodness! God cannot get “better,” because He is already completely, perfectly, and infinitely good! There has never been and never will be a time when God isn’t good.
- We were created because the Father is good.
James 1:17 says every good and perfect gift comes from God. But why were we created? Did we somehow deserve it? No, the only reason we were created is because God is good. And the only reason why we aren’t immediately destroyed the first (or hundredth) time we sin is because God is good.
- We must choose the Father’s goodness.
In Romans 11:22, Paul says God is “severe toward those who disobeyed, but kind to you if you continue to trust in His kindness” (NLT). God gives us a choice: will we trust Him or not?
Satan doesn’t want us to believe God is good, so he points to every problem in the world and accuses God. Don’t let him confuse you, though. God is good, and He has a good plan for your life.
December 22nd: The Son
For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16 NLT).
God created us to exist in perfect relationship with Him, but when Adam and Eve disobeyed in the Garden of Eden, sin entered the world. Sin separated us from God, and we can never do enough “good” things to undo sin. However, God loves us so much that He gave His Son, Jesus, to save us and restore our relationship with Him.
When Jesus died on the cross, He stood in our place and took the punishment for our sins. Because Jesus never sinned, He was the perfect sacrifice and removed the barrier between God and us.
After three days, God raised Jesus from the dead! More than 500 people saw Him during the next 40 days, and then He ascended to heaven. If you ask Jesus to forgive you for your sins and receive Him as your Lord and Savior, you can join Him one day for all eternity!
December 23rd: It’s All About the Heart
Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back (Luke 6:38 NLT).
Many people read Luke 6:38 and think Jesus is talking only about money. While this verse does apply to our finances, it also applies to forgiveness, mercy, understanding, and patience.
We must remember that God does not bless the mere act of giving; rather, He blesses giving from a right heart attitude. Personal gain should not be our motivation. When you were born in the natural, you were born selfish. But when you were born again into God’s family, you were born generous. Genuine gratitude is powerful, and a heart of gratitude is vital for creating a lifestyle of generosity. Joy-filled giving is what God desires from us. God wants us to be generous in our giving because He is generous in His.
December 24th: Amazing Savior
And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21 NLT).
The name Jesus is the same name as Joshua in the Old Testament. Joshua means ‘God is salvation,’ and Jesus means ‘Savior.’ After Moses died, God used Joshua to lead His people into the Promised Land. Similarly, God used His Son, Jesus, to bring us out from under the law and place us under grace. Jesus Christ is the only One who can save us. There’s nothing we can do to earn our salvation. We just have to receive it by God’s mercy and grace. And once we receive salvation by submitting to Jesus, God mercifully removes our sins as far “as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12 NLT). Just as Joshua led his people out of the wilderness and into the Promised Land, Jesus leads us out of sin and into restoration. He truly is an amazing Savior!
Merry Christmas from the Gateway Publishing team!
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