December 26, Thursday

Today’s AMI QT Devotional is a reprint of Kate Moon’s blog originally posted on December 25, 2014.  Kate continues to serve the Lord in E. Asia. 

 

Devotional Thought for Today

“A Day After Christmas—the Continuation of ‘Jesus’ Story’”

Luke 1:31-33

“You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” 

Every year for at least the past 12 years, I’ve tried to make it a personal Christmas tradition to read through and meditate on the Christmas story in the Bible (Matthew 1-2, Luke 1-2).  It breaks down easily into four parts: Mary’s Story, Joseph’s Story, the Shepherds’ Story and the Wise Men’s Story. I’ve been challenged by the struggle of the parents as I imagine what it must have been like to deal with the virgin (seeming to the world illegitimate) birth.  I’ve considered the significance of the first birth announcement going out to humble shepherds in a field. I’ve also thought about how the Christmas story is not all lightness and brightness and joy, that when the wise men came to seek the newborn king, many children lost their lives at the hand of a threatened King Herod, that the world Jesus came into had this kind of darkness.  

Yet this year I am especially reminded that when I think of Christmas, what I mainly need it to be is “Jesus’ Story” and that all others are subordinate.  In today’s passage, what we see is that there was a prophecy given about Jesus before he was born regarding who he would become. He had a call to greatness on his life.  He would become a great king, one whose kingdom would never end. God himself would be the one to make this happen; God would give Jesus the throne. Though we often think of Jesus as Savior, do we as often recognize that one of the main reasons he came into this world was to become our King?  

This Christmas season, has Jesus been reigning in our hearts?  Or have other things, such as the busyness of social schedules, our holiday to-do lists, or even ministry, been ruling our lives?  If any other thing has taken his rightful place in our hearts, this Christmas Day, let’s take a moment to repent and welcome Jesus back onto the throne.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, forgive me if in the busyness of it all, I’ve let other things take over my life.  When you’re not ruling and reigning in my life, I lack joy and peace. Won’t you step upon your throne in my heart once again?  Be my Lord and King. In your name I pray.

Bible Reading for Today: Luke 8 (returning to our regular reading schedule)


Lunch Break Study

Read Romans 6:20-23: When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Questions to Consider

  1. Sometimes we reject Jesus as King in our lives because we want to be “free.”  What does it mean to be “free from the control of righteousness” (vv. 20-21)? 
  2. What is the other kind of freedom described in this passage and its result (v. 22)? 
  3. Is there any other choice besides these two kinds of “freedom” under these two very different masters?  Of the two, which would you prefer?

Notes

  1. It does not mean that we are really “free” or get to be in control of our own lives; rather, we are just being ruled by something else, sin rather than God, and this kind of so-called “freedom” simply leads to shame and death.
  2. Freedom from sin which leads to holiness and life eternal.
  3. There is no third choice.  Accepting Jesus’ kingship is the best way to experience the true freedom that our spirits long for.

Evening Reflection

This day, did I experience the freedom that comes from a submission to Jesus’ rule and reign in my heart?

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