Thanks for following this twelve-part series, "Twelve Gifts of Christmas." I pray that God stretched your heart as he did mine as we practiced sharing his love and grace with others in simple ways. In case you missed one or two days of the series, all twelve devotionals are provided below. Perhaps you'll even consider making one of the daily pledges a New Year's resolution for 2017.
Sharing the Journey
on December 21, 2016
on December 20, 2016
Give the reason for your hope.
On this final day, be clear in your mind and in your heart who Jesus is and why you celebrate his birth this season. Answer for yourself how believing in Jesus gives you hope and a future, and then be ready to tell others. Confess to someone today how Christ's coming into the world has made a difference in your life.
on December 19, 2016
Give thanks to God.
Thank God today for his many blessings and especially for his gift of Jesus. Thank him for positioning you to minister to others during this Christmas season and for supplying you with his good gifts of love and compassion. Pray for all the people whose lives have been touched by the Spirit of Christ through your goodwill efforts.
on December 16, 2016
Give others your attention.
During this busy season, time and attention are costly. Spend yours today on listening to others and drawing them into conversation. You might comment on someone's unusual hat or grocery cart item. Perhaps a chatty waitress wants to tell you about her mother's surgery, or a friend just needs to talk. Your patient attention communicates respect and helps others to feel valued and appreciated.
on December 15, 2016
Give from your treasure.
Take time today to name the many ways in which God has blessed you materially—with money, shelter, food, clothing, transportation. Then choose a way to give a portion of your treasure to a cause or an organization that helps people. Let gratitude and a desire to be generous motivate your gift giving, rather than guilt or a sense of obligation.
on December 14, 2016
Give a word of blessing.
Words are powerful. Refresh yourself in God's Word today and let the grace you receive set the tone for your conversations. Resist the urge to criticize and complain. Instead, look for opportunities to bless others with refreshing words of gratitude and hope.
on December 13, 2016
Give yourself a rest.
It's difficult, I know, but taking time to rest and rejuvenate is essential if we want to be of service to others. Exhaustion makes us crabby and selfish. Like every good parent, our Father prescribes naps so we can regain our strength and rebalance our priorities. Give yourself the gift of taking a break from your labors and resting in your Father's arms today.
on December 12, 2016
Give practical help.
Today you are on a mission to help others in practical ways. Budget your valuable time so that you have extra to help make life easier for someone else. Perhaps a mom with a stroller needs help opening doors or carrying parcels. Maybe you could help a neighbor rake leaves or shovel snow, or sit with the kids while mom goes shopping. Be aware of the elderly and the disabled around you who could use your assistance.
on December 9, 2016
Give a secret gift of charity.
Look for ways to serve others without expecting a reward. Notice what needs to be done and do it yourself. You might pick up trash left by a stranger or return a shopping cart that is blocking a parking space. Let your gift be a secret between you and your Father.
on December 8, 2016
Give away smiles and encouragement.
Today God will use you to lift the spirits of people around you. Remember the joyous message of this holy season and let that joy radiate from you in smiles and generous words. Look for opportunities to make eye contact and communicate warmth and acceptance to every person you encounter.