BE A HERO- FEED A HUNGRY CHILD FOR A YEAR

10 Verses You Can't Get to Christmas without Reading

God’s words are powerful and true. And whether we realize it or not, it’s often in the busiest and most chaotic seasons that His words can get pushed aside. This Christmas, may God help us to fight against that tendency. May He help us to spend time in His presence daily, for that’s the very place we are filled and refreshed to live strong in a world that can sometimes be a struggle.

Jesus truly is the whole message and hope of Christmas. If you’re looking for a place to start reading to help you focus on what’s most important this season, here are a few ideas.

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1. He is Our Hope

1. He is Our Hope

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

This powerful truth spoken through Isaiah the prophet 700 years before Jesus was even born is still so relevant and needed today. He’s more than a baby in a manger; He’s alive and active in our world today. He holds the victory over sin and death. He is our Wonderful Counselor. He is a powerful and Mighty God. He is everlasting, and the giver of true peace. In the midst of the season’s busyness, this is where we most need to focus. Jesus is truly what Christmas is all about. He is our hope in a broken world.

 

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2. Make Room for Jesus.

2. Make Room for Jesus.

“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.  She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them” (Luke 2:6-7).

Perhaps the most familiar of all Christmas passages is found here in Luke 2, as it is read by millions all around our world during this season. But have we ever let the words pierce our hearts with the miracle of it all? Mary and Joseph had set out on the journey to Bethlehem, right at the time the baby was to be born. It might seem that God’s timing was off, or that He hadn’t gone ahead to prepare all the details. 

No room for them. No vacancy. No place. Words that still seem to hang close, even today. Yet God’s timing is always perfect, and His purposes unfolded to make every prophecy true. He was powerfully at work then, and still is today.

In a world that seeks to crowd Jesus out, where busyness abounds, and hearts are stirred to focus on other things, it can be hard sometimes to choose to keep Him first. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the whole hurried dash of the holidays, and to give our attention to what seems more urgent. Our focus gets blurred, and the most important gets pushed aside.

It takes an active and daily choice to put Christ first, especially in a culture that says you’re too busy to focus there, or that life is too full and there’s no more room. May God help us to choose wisely, this Christmas season and the whole year through.

 

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3. Don't be Afraid; the Lord is Near

3. Don't be Afraid; the Lord is Near

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests'” (Luke 2:8-14).

Jesus came to this earth right in the middle of the night; light ushered in, straight across a backdrop of darkness. How telling of what He had come to do. And at the announcement of our Savior’s birth, the first thing the angel said was “Do not be afraid…” Our world today can often seem dark. It’s hard not to worry and be afraid of what surrounds us. But Jesus is still the same, for He never changes. He is the good news, He is our joy-bringer, He is the Light of this world, so we don’t have to fear.

 

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4. Jesus Came for Us All: the Common, the Broken, the Struggling, the Needy

4. Jesus Came for Us All: the Common, the Broken, the Struggling, the Needy

“When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, ‘Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.’ So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger” (Luke 2:15-16).

I love that the shepherds went right away, they came in a hurry. They trusted that what God had said was true. And they went straight to Bethlehem to find the baby Jesus, for they knew and believed this message sent from God. What a beautiful reflection of who Christ had come to save. He came for us all. The common man. The hard-working, night shift employees, that certainly weren’t on the most popular list. These are the faces that beheld the King of Kings right after his birth. This is a powerful reminder to us all. Jesus came for us, the broken, the lonely, the ones struggling to make ends meet. In a world that puts so much focus and attention on the rich and famous, there’s something very profound in this truth. He knows where we are, where we live, where we work, our hard circumstances and all, and He calls us to come to Him.

 

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5. Remember What Jesus Has Done

5. Remember What Jesus Has Done

“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).

Mary, this young mom who was destined to raise the very Son of God in our earthly world with one single purpose: to die. To take our place on the cross. To be our sacrifice so that we might live. To save us, who cannot save ourselves.

She “treasured all these things” – she kept them safe, kept them constantly in her mind, and didn’t forget them. She “pondered” them – she brought these things together in her heart. This word means “to converse, to throw together, to confer with one’s self, bring together, or fight with one.”

Every miracle. Every reminder. Every glimpse into the very face of God’s redemption story. Eyes of grace. Healing touch. Hope embraced. May God help us to treasure and keep safe all the miracles He has done in our own lives. As believers, we carry His light and hope in a dark world. May He help us to be a such a beautiful reflection of His goodness every day, that it would cause others to take notice of Him within us.

 

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6. God is with Us, Our Immanuel

6. God is with Us, Our Immanuel

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God with us’)” (Matthew 1:23).

God never promised our way would always be “easy,” or that His presence with us meant a life of convenience or comfort. But He did promise this, over and over in His word: He would be “with us” in it all, and would never leave us. He alone holds the power to turn around any difficult season or loss we may be facing, and bring great blessing and good through it all. His very name reminds us that He is always near, and we are never alone—what a powerful hope.

 

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7. Worship the Lord and Offer Him a Gift that Only You Can Give

7. Worship the Lord and Offer Him a Gift that Only You Can Give

“When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh” (Matthew 2:10-11).

The wise men had traveled a great distance to find Jesus, and they brought Him gifts that were fit for a king. I love how they humbled themselves before Christ, just a little child at that time, and bowed down and worshipped Him. These men surely held much power, respect, and influence in the world. They had great riches and security in their grasp. Yet all those things were not enough. They realized how much they still needed a Savior. 

May God work in our hearts and draw us close to Him again this season. May we be willing to humble ourselves, lay aside the stuff that doesn’t really matter, and worship the One who does. Bring a gift to Jesus this season; maybe it’s a renewed commitment to spend time with Him daily, maybe it’s a prayer for a fresh start, but whatever God stirs within you, offer a gift from your heart to Him.

 

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8. Jesus is the Greatest Gift

8. Jesus is the Greatest Gift

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17).

God is the author of every good and perfect gift. We can trust that He knows our needs before we even ask, and we can depend on Him to provide. Many may find themselves facing huge challenges and financial losses this season. But God promises that He never changes, and He loves to give good gifts to His children. When we take our eyes off the problems and begin to notice all his blessings that surround us, it can truly change our hearts and focus this season. What I’ve often noticed is that many of his most amazing treasures are not those that money can buy. A relationship with Christ fills us with lasting joy, peace, and hope that money, stuff, and the world can never offer. May He help us to find the right perspective this season amidst the gift-giving and  hustle and bustle, for Jesus is the greatest gift we can ever receive. 

 

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9. Jesus Came to Walk Among Us

9. Jesus Came to Walk Among Us

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

Jesus chose to live among us, He “dwelt” with us, laying aside all the majesty of heaven, so He could walk in this world and point us to the Father. That is a miracle. God came to us, and He reaches for us even today, always full of grace and the truth that sets us free. May we never miss the miraculous because we’re too busy or distracted with other things.

 

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10. Jesus Came to Save

10. Jesus Came to Save

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved” (Romans 10:9-10).

These verses from Romans remind us of the most important message of Christmas: Jesus came to save. He came to rescue us. He came to provide a way straight to the Father. 

The manger is empty and so is the tomb. He’s alive today and calls us to live freely through the sacrifice He made on our behalf. It’s a free gift, but we have to choose. He gave His life for us, so we could live forever. If you find yourself in an uncertain place right now, doubting whether you’ve ever really given your life to Christ, don’t let another day go by without settling that in your heart. He never asks you to be perfect—He just wants you to come to Him. If you find yourself praying for loved ones who are far away from God right now, don’t give up. There’s great power through our prayers and God is able to do what we can’t fully do, even behind the scenes where we can’t see.

It’s true—each day is a gift from Him, as we’re never promised a tomorrow here on earth. But if we’re living and breathing today, we can be assured God has a unique plan and purpose for us to be here right now. And what better way to live out all our days than with the hope, peace, and joy that only Christ Jesus can offer. 

 

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Read more by Debbie on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and www.debbiemcdaniel.com

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