Daily Bible Readings:
Monday, December 20. Read John 1:1-4. 1) What was the Christ’s position before he came into the world? 2) How does John describe the Christ’s mission?
Tuesday, December 21. Read John 3:11-16. 1) For what reason does John reference the serpent that Moses erected in the wilderness? 2) How does John describe the Christ’s mission in verse 16.
Wednesday, December 22. Read John 10:7-10. 1) How does Jesus describe himself in this text? 2) What does he say his purpose is?
Thursday, December 23. Read Romans 5:15-17. 1) What two things does Paul contrast in this text? 2) Paul is talking about Adam and Christ. How do you think Paul would describe the effect of those two people on the future of mankind?
Friday, December 24. Read Ephesians 4: 25-32. 1) What kind of life does Paul describe in this text? 2) What does Paul say we can do to the Holy Spirit?
Saturday, December 25. Read Colossians 3:1-4. 1) What does Paul say Christ’s resurrection should prompt in us? 2) What relationship should we have to Christ?
Sunday, December 26. Read Colossians 3:12-17. This is Sunday’s sermon text.
Prayer for the Week:
Dear Christ, triumphant king, fearless in defeating death. At this Christmas we know that your birth is of value only because of the resurrection. Throughout your life you fearlessly took on hateful listeners and observers, deep, desperately dark evil, and hopelessness as death closed in. Yet you faced it down and now call us to face down our own demons and passions to join you in your Kingdom. In Jesus’ name I pray this. Amen.
Hymn of the Week:
O for a closer walk with God
by William Cowper, 1772
O for a closer walk with God,
a calm and heavenly frame,
a light to shine upon the road
that leads me to the Lamb!
Where is the blessedness I knew
when first I sought the Lord?
Where is the soul refreshing view
of Jesus and his Word?
What peaceful hours I once enjoyed!
How sweet their memory still!
But they have left an aching void
the world can never fill.
The dearest idol I have known,
whate’er that idol be,
help me to tear it from thy throne
and worship only thee.
So shall my walk be close with God,
calm and serene my frame;
so purer light shall mark the road
that leads me to the Lamb.
Devotional Article for the Week:
Are you letting this Garment set your style?
by Max Lucado
Paul said, “All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (Galatians 3:27).
We wear Jesus! And those who don’t believe in Jesus note what we do. They make decisions about Christ by watching us. When we are kind, they assume Christ is kind. When we’re gracious, they assume Christ is gracious.
But if we are brash, what will people think of our King? Our Master?
No wonder Paul also says:
Be wise in the way you act with people who are not believers, making the most of every opportunity. When you talk, you should always be kind and pleasant so you will be able to answer everyone in the way you should (Colossians 4:5-6).
And even Peter, the once impetuous apostle, reminded us to be mindful of how we share our hope because of our influence on others:
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander (1 Peter 3:15-16).
Common courtesy honors God and his children. “Do your best,” the Scriptures say, “to live in peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18 NCV).
Just do your best!
You can’t control the attitude of others, but you can manage yours!