Tag: Downing

Christmas Devotions: Encouragement

In those days Mary got up and went hurriedly into the hill country, to a town of Judah, and entered Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She exclaimed with a loud voice, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child in your womb! And who am I that the mother of my Lord should come and visit me? For the instant the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that what was spoken to her by the Lord would be fulfilled.”
~Mary and Elizabeth, Luke 1:39-45

Mary had just been told that her life was about to change but she also heard that Elizabeth, her elderly aunt’s life was about to change. Elizabeth was elderly but she was Continue reading “Christmas Devotions: Encouragement”

Christmas Devotions: Bethlehem

 

As for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, seemingly insignificant among the clans of Judah – from you a king will emerge who will rule over Israel on my behalf, one whose origins are in the distant past.
~The Prophet Micah, Micah 5:2

The little town of Bethlehem has a significant place in history. The small town surrounded by grain fields is where God chose to Continue reading “Christmas Devotions: Bethlehem”

Christmas Devotions: Immanuel

 

For this reason the sovereign master himself will give you a confirming sign. Look, this virgin is about to conceive and will give birth to a son. You, young woman, will name him Immanuel.
~The Prophet Isaiah, Isaiah 7:14

Throughout history people have longed to see the promise of God fulfilled. God had promised that through the “seed of woman” He would rescue His creation.

Sometimes it is hard to imagine how something out of the ordinary will happen. Continue reading “Christmas Devotions: Immanuel”

Christmas Devotions: The Family of David

 

“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star!”
~Jesus, Revelation 22:16

God had made a promise to King David, it was a continuation of the promise He had made to Adam and Abram. One day in a time of His choosing God would bless the world through the family of David. Continue reading “Christmas Devotions: The Family of David”

Christmas Devotions: A Promise Beyond Borders

 

Naomi said, “Look, your sister-in-law is returning to her people and to her god. Follow your sister-in-law back home!” But Ruth replied, “Stop urging me to abandon you! For wherever you go, I will go. Wherever you live, I will live. Your people will become my people, and your God will become my God.
~Naomi and Ruth, Ruth 1:15-16

God’s Christmas promise came through Abram’s family but the promise was not only for his family. God’s intent was to bless all people with Continue reading “Christmas Devotions: A Promise Beyond Borders”

Christmas Devotion: Rahab’s Crimson Cord

 

Then Rahab let the spies down by a rope through the window. (Her house was built as part of the city wall; she lived in the wall.) She told them, “Head to the hill country, so the ones chasing you don’t find you. Hide from them there for three days, long enough for those chasing you to return. Then you can be on your way.” The men said to her, “We are not bound by this oath you made us swear unless the following conditions are met: When we invade the land, tie this red rope in the window through which you let us down, and gather together in your house your father, mother, brothers, and all who live in your father’s house. Anyone who leaves your house will be responsible for his own death – we are innocent in that case! But if anyone with you in the house is harmed, we will be responsible. If you should report what we’ve been up to, we are not bound by this oath you made us swear.” She said, “I agree to these conditions.” She sent them on their way and then tied the red rope in the window.
~Rahab and two spies, Joshua 2:15-21

Rahab did not live a life that was pleasing to God. She ran a business that exploited other people, but she did fear God. The story of this unlikely hero provides an excellent picture of our situation and God’s Christmas gift to Continue reading “Christmas Devotion: Rahab’s Crimson Cord”

Christmas Devotions: The Blessing

 

Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go out from your country, your relatives, and your father’s household to the land that I will show you. Then I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you, and I will make your name great, so that you will exemplify divine blessing. I will bless those who bless you, but the one who treats you lightly I must curse, and all the families of the earth will bless one another by your name.”
~God, Genesis 12:1-3

The family of God was lost and broken, but a promise of redemption had been made. To begin to fulfill that promise God Continue reading “Christmas Devotions: The Blessing”

Christmas Devotions: The Promise

 

The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all the wild beasts and all the living creatures of the field! On your belly you will crawl and dust you will eat all the days of your life. And I will put hostility between you and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring; her offspring will crush your head, and you will attack her offspring’s heel.”
~God, Genesis 3:14-15

The very first Christmas promise in the Bible is found in the sober description of the consequence of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. The promise is that Continue reading “Christmas Devotions: The Promise”

Christmas Devotions: The Fall

 

“Did you eat from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” The man said, “The woman whom you gave me, she gave me some fruit from the tree and I ate it.” So the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman replied, “The serpent tricked me, and I ate.”
~God, Adam and Eve, Genesis 3:11-13

The original family was once united. Adam and Eve were unashamed and uninhibited in their love for one another and in their love for God. For a time all was good in the garden of Eden, the original family enjoyed the creation of God and his very presence on a daily basis. They were living the Continue reading “Christmas Devotions: The Fall”

Christmas Devotions: Before Time

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was fully God. The Word was with God in the beginning. All things were created by him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. And the light shines on in the darkness, but the darkness has not mastered it.”
~The Apostle John, John 1:1-5

The family of God was lost and broken but God had a Continue reading “Christmas Devotions: Before Time”