Merry Christmas from Gateway Publishing! We have put together a free 7-day Christmas devotional that centers around content from the Fresh Start Bible. Each day we will come back and add to this blog post! Better yet, you can subscribe to www.gatewaypublishing.com and have the devotional sent straight to your inbox each morning!
Day 1: December 17th–God is with us
“Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means God is with us.” Matthew 1:23
To know that God is “with you” is the greatest blessing there is. 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). 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!
Day 2: December 18th–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
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 Even when we feel like His light is withdrawn, it will appear again and direct us in the way of our Redeemer.
Day 3: December 19th–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
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.
Day 4: December 20th–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
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!
Day 5: December 21st–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
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.”
Day 6: December 22nd–The Christ
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!” Luke 2:1-11
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 now our Prophet, and 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!
Day 7: December 23rd–Peace on Earth
“Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” Luke 2:14
The angels declared, “Peace on earth” as they announced Jesus’ birth to frightened shepherds in the fields. But how can we have peace on our earth today?
• 𝗥𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗴𝗻𝗶𝘇𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂’𝗿𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝗯𝗮𝘁𝘁𝗹𝗲.
Satan never takes a break, not even at Christmas. He’s constantly reminding us of bad memories and the people we’ve lost. We need to remember that the battle is real. It’s taking place in the spiritual realm, and it must also be fought in the spiritual realm.
• 𝗦𝘁𝗼𝗽 𝗹𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗼 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘀𝗲𝗹𝗳 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝘁𝗮𝗹𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗼 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘀𝗲𝗹𝗳.
You have to quiet your soul (your mind, will, and emotions) and allow your spirit to start talking and rebuking the enemy.
• 𝗚𝗲𝘁 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗚𝗼𝗱.
You can have peace on your earth because you know the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). No matter what battle or struggle you’re facing, spend time in His presence, and you will have peace in your heart.
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