Today’s devotion for today is based on Luke 2:30-32, “My eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”
We human beings have a terrible habit of focusing on what makes us different from others. Instead of rejoicing in all the things that unite us as fellow human beings, we separate ourselves into rival groups based on various characteristics that we consider essential. We separate ourselves based on nationality. We separate ourselves based on the color of our skin. We separate ourselves based on whether we support this political candidate or that one. With all this separation, is it any wonder that we are experiencing so much turmoil in our world right now?
Thankfully, when God looks at us, he does not focus on what separates us from one another. Simeon recognized this as he held Jesus in his arms. As he praised God for sending Jesus, he realized that Jesus came both for the Gentiles (non-Jewish people) and for the people of Israel (Jewish people). That covers every human being. That covers you. Regardless of who you are, where you are from, or whatever unique characteristics you may have, Jesus came to be your Savior. And for that, we join Simeon in praising God.
Lord Jesus, thank you for coming to this earth to offer salvation to all people. Help me always to remember that when I separate myself from those not like me. In your holy name, I pray. Amen.
Today’s devotion for today is based on Luke 2:28-30, “Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation.”
Simeon was ready to die once he saw the Savior that God had promised to send. God fulfilled that promise and allowed Simeon not just to see his Savior, Jesus, but even to hold him in his arms. His eyes had seen the salvation that God had promised him.
What made Simeon ready to die is the same thing that makes us prepared for our death. For we too, through faith, have seen the Savior and believe in him. Through faith, we see him as the one who died to pay for all our sins. Through faith, we see him as the one who rose again to declare us not guilty before God. Through faith, we see Jesus as our Savior and know that we are at peace with God in him. That makes us ready to die whenever that time may come.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Lord Jesus, thank you that because you have saved me from my sins, I am ready to meet you whenever you call me. Amen.
Today’s devotion for today is based on Luke 2:27, “The parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required.”
The Bible tells us that if we are to spend eternity with God in heaven, we must be perfect just as he is perfect. To do that, we must keep all of God’s commandments all the time without even one failure. Because we are born sinful, none of us can come even close to accomplishing such a feat.
That’s why it is so comforting to see Mary and Joseph take Jesus to the temple to do for him what the law required. Even as Jesus lay in his parents’ arms, he was keeping God’s law perfectly for us. He left no law unfulfilled but kept every last one of them for us. Because he kept all of God’s laws perfectly in our place, we now, through faith in him, have the perfection we need to live with God forever in heaven.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Lord Jesus, I thank you for perfectly keeping all of God’s laws in my place. Amen.
Today’s devotion for today is based on Luke 2:25,26: “Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.”
Simeon was an older man who lived in Jerusalem at the time that Jesus was born. He wanted to see the Savior whom God had promised to send. Eventually, the day came when the Holy Spirit God told Simeon to go to the temple where he would see the Messiah. As Simeon held the baby Jesus in his arms, he saw the fulfillment of all his hopes. He saw the One for whom he and all God’s people had been waiting. He saw his Savior, who would rescue him from his sins.
Just a few days ago, we celebrated the birth of Jesus. Unlike Simeon, we can not see him physically with our eyes or hold him in our arms. Yet, we still are confident that he truly was born for us. The Lord fulfilled his promise to Simeon and allowed him to see the Savior before he died. Because of that, we know that God also has fulfilled his promise to us. Jesus, our Savior, who came to rescue us from all our sins, indeed has been born for us, just as God promised.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, thank you for fulfilling your promise and sending your Son to be my Savior. Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Christmas is forever
Today’s devotion for today is based on 2 Samuel 7:12,13: “When your days are over, and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.”
In our Bible verse for today, God had just told David that his family would continue to rule Israel, but it would rule Israel in a way that was far greater than any kingdom. From his family, the Savior of the world would come. This Savior would establish a kingdom that was not about land, possessions, and earthly power. It would even be a kingdom that would not be affected by time. That great descendant of David would be Jesus, who, with his life and death, would redeem the world. He would establish peace with God through the forgiveness of sins. All believers would be a part of his great kingdom of life, a kingdom that would not end.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, thank you for sending your Son. And thank you for the joyful celebration of his birth. Help me live in the joy of your love and forgiveness today and every day. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Praise Him all creatures
Today’s devotion for today is based on Psalm 148:14, ‘He has raised up for his people a horn, the praise of his saints, of Israel, the people close to his heart.”
Today, if you have time, read Psalm 148, for it celebrates praise and calls us along with the whole universe to fill heaven and earth with our praise.
The psalmist could hardly have imagined this Savior as the child in a manger whom we have welcomed and worshipped this Christmas. But by the Spirit, he called heaven and earth to praise God who creates, sustains, and saves. ‘Let them praise!’ he calls again today. Let nothing get in the way of it, hinder or prevent it. Praise gives itself gladly in response to what has been given. So with the whole universe, we join our hearts and voices this Christmas to sing out our praise, ‘Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift!’
Please pray with me the prayer for today: All praise and thanks gracious God, Creator, and Savior, for the gift of joy, Jesus Christ. Join our praise to that of the whole universe as we give you glory for the immeasurable love that has come to earth for us in him. Amen.
Today is the day
Today’s devotion for today is based on John 1:9, “The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.”
Today, we are privileged to see that great light Jesus dawning and shining among us, that ‘true light that gives light to everyone … coming into the world’. As we contemplate and worship the Christmas child and see him as a newborn in a lowly stable, perhaps we may be asking, can it be that he is the light longed for down the ages? The gospel assures us, ‘In him was life, and that life was the light of all humanity. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it’ (John 1:4,5).
As Christmas lights gleam from trees, windows, housetops, and churches, we are reminded that the Word who became flesh and made his dwelling with us, the one and only Son who came from the Father, is here. He triumphed over all the darkness of sin and death so that through him, all should believe and receive the right to become children of God. Today we thank and praise God for Jesus our Savior, Light of the World, full of grace and truth.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Light of the World, Lord Jesus, on this holy day, dispel the world’s darkness and fill our hearts with your true light that cannot be overcome. May we share that light with others again this Christmas as we welcome your coming to live among us. Amen.
Today’s devotion for today is based on Luke 2:10,11: “I bring you good news that will cause great joy to all the people. Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you.”
On this holy night long ago, a child was born to Mary. But whose child was it? Out in the fields, shepherds heard the angelic messenger announce amid glorious heavenly light and song: ‘Today, in David’s town, a Savior has been born to you!’ A Savior! For them! But not just for the shepherds for when they had seen him, lying in the manger as the angel had told them, “they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed.
Down through the ages, the story of a Savior’s birth in a lowly manger has been passed from one generation to another. A great crowd of witnesses has been gathering, those who by God’s grace have believed that Mary’s child was born for everyone, and the angel’s message was for all who would hear it, good news drenching the whole earth with joy, Christmas after Christmas. ‘This child is for you too, for you a Savior, for you, the Child of promise, for you, the favor of God!’
Please pray with me the prayer for today: O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray. Fill our hearts with joy and hope as we hear the good news again that you were born for us, born to be our Savior. Amen.
Today's devotion for today is based on Luke 1:34-38. "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth, your relative, is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive, is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.” "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May your word to me be fulfilled." Then the angel left her."
Can you imagine what it was like for Mary at that moment? A young, soon-to-be-married woman discovers that she will have a baby even though she has never had intercourse. Her life is about to get turned upside down.
In reply to her questions, the angel pointed her to God's grace, God's power, and God's promises. And that is what her faith clung to. Mary didn't ask for time to pray or to speak with her fiancé before responding to God's messenger. She just said, "I am the Lord's servant. May your word to me be fulfilled." May we too repeat her words in our daily life.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator and sustainer of all things, you have loved us with an everlasting love and drawn us to yourself with unfailing kindness. As we approach the holy time of our Saviour's birth, fill us with joy and hope to welcome him as our Redeemer promised long ago to Israel and the whole world. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Joy of Christmas
Today's devotion for today is based on Luke 1:31-33, "You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob's descendants forever; his kingdom will never end."
How do you properly celebrate the birth of the most significant, most highly anticipated person to ever walk on this earth? What if I told you that this great man willingly allowed himself to be humiliated before men so that you and I could be glorified before God? He suffered the shame of the cross so that we might be honored with God's grace and the gift of forgiveness. And after rising from the dead, Jesus now watches over you, showering you with his love and blessings, and working out all things so that you might share in his never-ending glory. What's so great about Christmas? It's the birth of our great Christ and King!
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, help me to truly hear your message of peace and joy during this turbulent time in my life. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.