Monday, December 21, 2009: Luke 1:1-25
During this blessed week, we must take care not to worship Christmas, but to worship Jesus, God incarnate, who came that we might know and be reconciled to God through Jesus’ atoning sacrifice. When you look in the manger, remember the cross. Read 1 Peter 1:18-20. Pause and pray. Now read Luke 1:1-25. Luke is precise and shares many details about the miraculous coming of the one who will herald the Messiah. What does he reveal about John the Baptist, even before John’s conception? Did you notice that John was to be filled with the Spirit even before his birth, and that he would be a Nazarite (Luke 1:14-15; Numbers 6:1-8)? Spend time in prayer.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009: Luke 1:26-56
If possible, read the lyrics or listen to the song, “Mary, Did You Know?” by Greene and Lowry. Now read Luke 1:26-56. Meditate on Isaiah 40:8; 55:11; Luke 1:37; and 2 Corinthians 1:20. How do these truths affect your faith walk? Ponder Mary’s response to the angel (Luke 1:38) and Elizabeth’s blessing for Mary (1:45). How did God confirm the angel’s message to Mary when she came into Elizabeth’s presence (1:41-45)? Notice that this happened before Mary shared her story. Read Mary’s song of praise again (1:45-55), and worship the Lord.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009: Luke 1:57-80
Read Luke 1:57-80. Reflect back on all of Luke 1, remembering Zechariah, Mary, and Elizabeth, and the moments of faith, doubt, fear, joy, proclamation, and praise. Did you notice the Spirit’s presence and activity (1:15c, 35, 41, 67, 80)? Think how Zechariah’s words of praise and prophecy (1:67-79) must have sounded to hearts hungry for a word from the Lord. With Zechariah’s words, 400 years of prophetic silence ended. Meditate on 1:77; do you equate salvation with the forgiveness of sin? Read 2 Corinthians 5:21 and pray.
Thursday, December 24, 2009: Luke 2:1-20
Ponder the Gift as you read Luke 2:11-12; John 3:16; and 2 Corinthians 9:15. Pause and pray that you will not focus on the wrappings of the Christmas season, but that you will have a heart and eyes only for the Gift, who is Jesus. Realizing that you are standing on holy ground, read Luke 2:1-20. Jesus was not born into wealth and power; he did not come as the mighty, conquering Messiah many expected. Why might God have chosen for his Son to be born in the most humble of dwellings, and his birth first announced to lowly shepherds? Spend time in silent wonder as you reflect on the magnitude of God’s love and the miracle of Jesus’ birth. Pray and praise.
Friday, December 25, 2009: Luke 2:21-52
In your heart or aloud, sing “Joy to the World.” Our Christmas text is Luke 2:21-52. Consider adding Matthew 1:18-2:12 and Luke 1:1-20 to your Scripture reading today. Bask in the wonder and glory of the birth of our Savior. Spend time in prayer and praise. Now look again at Luke 2:21-52. What is the meaning of the name Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew)? See Matthew 1:21 and Luke 2:21. Imagine Simeon’s joy (Luke 2:25-35). Is Jesus your light and your glory (2:32)? Use “What Child is This?” by Allen and Dix, or your favorite Christmas song, as your hymn of praise.
Saturday, December 26, 2009: Colossians 1
Use the thoughts that guided Paul’s prayers for the Colossians (1:9-14) to guide your prayer as you begin your time with the Lord. Now read Colossians 1:1-14. For what does Paul commend the Colossians? Meditate on the deep truths of Colossians 1:15-20 (John 1:1-18 will add more insight). Does the realization that all things were created through Jesus and for Jesus (Colossians 1:16) move you to worship? “First born of all creation” refers to Jesus’ preeminence, not birth order. Reflect on Jesus’ supremacy, his relationship to the church, and the importance of his death and resurrection. Read Colossians 1:19 and 2:9 with John 1:1 and 18. Now read Colossians 1:21-29. Meditate on 1:27 (also John 15:4-5). Dwell in Colossians 1 for as long as you are able. Pray.
Sunday, December 27, 2009: Psalm 65
Do we sometimes think our faith is all about us? Read Psalm 65, if possible, in several translations. On whom has David fixed his eyes? In the NKJV, 65:3 reads, “As for our transgressions, You will provide atonement for them.” Ponder the greatness of God’s salvation plan as you read Genesis 22:8, John 1:29, and Revelation 5:9-10. Reflect again on the Gift of Christmas. Pray you will worship the Lord with your every breath.