Falling In Love With God At Christmas|
An Advent Series
It is the Christmas season. Are you excited? Has anticipation started keeping you awake yet? Do you get an adrenaline rush when you realize it is finally here? Are you planning your gifts and the joy you will be giving others? Are you wondering what gifts you will unwrap on Christmas? Do you have your Christmas worship celebrations planned? Are you deeply in love with God and longing to celebrate the birth of his son?
For many, the answers to the above questions are yes. For others, dread is settling in. Perhaps you anticipate this Christmas being lonely as you miss someone you love. Do you dread the time spent with contentious relatives and friends? Are you worried about how you will finance Christmas? Are you dreading the bills that will come on January 1st? Are you overwhelmed with the busyness of the season and dreading the work of the celebrations? Does your stomach turn into knots when you realize Christmas is here?
Perhaps you are just numb about Christmas. It is here and you know your role. You buy gifts, go to church, and prepare celebrations. You have done the same thing year after year and you do not think much about it.
Most have experienced all of the emotions listed above. Regardless of our circumstances, Christmas can be our favorite time of year if we pursue Godís purpose for us in each Christmas celebration. We can go through the Christmas season in awe of the love of our savior. Some Christmasís, Godís purpose for us may be to give large gifts that delight his children. Other years, he may simply need us to be still and know he is God. The purpose of this Devotional Series is to help each reader to fall more deeply in love with God by finding and fulfilling his purpose this Christmas.
Each day of this Advent Devotional Series is a Christmas Gift for you. The best news is that you do not have to wait until December 25th to unwrap this gift. You may begin on December 1st and unwrap one gift each day. At Christmas, we give gifts to the Holy Christ Child by giving gifts to each other. What we do for even the least of Christís brothers, we do for Christ. As we go through each day, we will plan our gift giving so we are giving appropriate gifts to the Christ Child.
Matthew 25:40 (KJV)
Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
What a privilege it is to give gifts to the Christ Child. A gift ushers the giver into the presence of the great (Proverbs 18:16). As we give gifts this Christmas, we will find the way opened for us.
Proverbs 18:16 (NIV)
A gift opens the way for the giver and ushers him into the presence of the great.
We know God loves us. This Christmas, we will have many opportunities to experience and demonstrate our love for God. We will begin to understand what God meant by his greatest commandment to love him with our entire mind, heart, soul, and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. (Luke 10:27)
Luke 10:27 (NIV)
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself.
Make these devotions the first thing you do each morning. You will need your Bible, a pen, and a journal. Expect to spend between 30-45 minutes per day. Lay your requests before God and wait in expectation as he demonstrates his power over your heart and your schedule. (Psalms 5:3)
Psalms 5:3 (NIV)
In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.
Work one section each day, following the instructions. Date your journal and answer the questions in your journal. Appendixes A, B, and C are in the Daily Journal on December 1st. You can print them out and fill them in or review them and set up something similar in the back of your journal.
Each of the devotions has the following sections:
1) Meditation (3-5 Minutes):
a) A time to be still and know he is God
b) A time to listen to God
2) Prayer (5-10 Minutes)
a) Appendix 1 - Requests of the Christ Child:
i) Date, list, and pray for your active prayer requests.
ii) Check off answered prayers. (An answer can be a yes, no, or not right now.)
iii) Where appropriate, list the answers.
b) Appendix 2 - Gifts from the Christ Child:
i) List your blessings.
ii) Praise God for your blessings.
iii) Praise God for who he is.
c) Appendix 3 - Gifts to the Christ Child:
i) Pray about each gift you plan to give.
ii) Create your Christmas Gift list.
iii) Budget an amount.
iv) When purchased, update the list.
v) List the actual amount spent.
vi) Note the difference.
3) Bible Study (15-20 Minutes):
a) Ask for interpretation from the Holy Spirit.
b) Look up and read each scripture referenced.
c) Fill in the blanks.
4) Application (5-10)
a) Making it personal: Written questions
b) Praying without ceasing: Instructions throughout the day
c) Ending the day: Prayers before going to sleep
You may think you are too busy to do this. Satan tries to attack us during the holidays. As Christians, we know the purpose of Christmas. Sometimes the difficulties and busyness of the holidays can keep us from pursuing our purpose in the Christmas season. Demons like exhaustion, discouragement, and loneliness are powerful tools of Satan during the holidays. These devotions are designed to help you spiritually and organizationally so you can rebuke Satan and fall more deeply in love with God. God will take care of your schedule the same way he fed 5,000 people with just a few fish.
If you are ready to begin, or click on the next heading and unwrap the first gift.