Christmas Devotions: Sacrifice

Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “Listen carefully: This child is destined to be the cause of the falling and rising of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be rejected. Indeed, as a result of him the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed – and a sword will pierce your own soul as well!”

Simeon, Luke 2:34-35

Mary, the mother of Jesus was blessed among women but she also carried a certain sadness since the birth of Jesus. The truth is when God calls us into a significant ministry, that ministry always comes with a significant price.

For Mary the price of being part of God’s plan was the terrible task of seeing her son rejected, beaten and eventually crucified. In the descriptive words of Simeon’s prophecy a sword did indeed pierce Mary’s soul.

The call of Christ should never be taken as easy. We are called to embrace our cross and follow him. It does cost us to follow him but he is worth everything we have.

Our hope for you today is that you count the cost of following Christ and commit to paying the price of discipleship.

Bonus Content:

Today’s hymn is not considered a Christmas hymn but it perfectly captures the bewildering truth that Mary had to grapple with. A truth that every believer eventually must face. He died for each one of us! “And Can It Be” is one of Charles Wesley’s most powerful hymns.

And can it be that I should gain
An int’rest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me?

Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me!

‘Tis mystery all! Th’Immortal dies!
Who can explore His strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine!
‘Tis mercy all! let earth adore,
Let angel minds inquire no more.

He left His Father’s throne above,
So free, so infinite His grace;
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race;
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free;
For, O my God, it found out me.

Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray,
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free;
I rose, went forth and followed Thee.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him is mine!
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.


With much love,AE4CC7DA-43B8-4EB7-BAB4-3FE9CA162129 The Downings

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One thought on “Christmas Devotions: Sacrifice

  1. I had tears after this. His undeserved love is indeed great and He is merciful beyond measure to rebellious sinners like me.

    Amazing love! how can it be
    That Thou, my God, should die for me!

    Thank you for this Christmas reminder.

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