December 8 – GIVE JOY – Jesus paid the debt

Read Luke 2:7

“…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.”

God was sending His own Son to the earth. There is no doubt that most would expect the God of all creation to send his Son as a baby born in the nicest of places. Yet, that was not the choice that God the Father made. Instead He sent his son to be born in a barn and placed in a feeding trough. How humble. How simple. No bright lights or flashing billboards. No media covering the story. God the Father sent his Son Jesus to be born in the most simple of settings.

What can you simplify this season? What can more you do to simplify your life?

Give Joy Idea:

Declutter and take count of items you no longer use. Then give items like clothes or toys to a local charity.

Posted in GIVE JOY, Luke | Leave a comment

December 7 – GIVE JOY – God’s surprising nature

Read 2 Corinthians 8:7-9

“…though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.”

If anyone deserved to think a lot about themselves, it was Jesus. He was God in human form. God, the creator of the entire universe taking on the form of His very own creation. If anyone deserved a big entrance and rich living, it was Jesus. If you are at all familiar with the Christmas story, you know that was not how things happened. Jesus wasn’t born in a castle or palace but in the most humble of places, a manger in the midst of barn animals.

In 2 Corinthians, Paul tells the readers that Jesus humbled Himself so that we may become rich with eternal life. We benefit from God’s humility. If He would have been prideful like He deserved to be, we would still have a sin problem that wouldn’t have been solved through His sacrifice on the cross for us. Talk about being humble! We all have been given a tremendous gift. How can you use that to help others this holiday season?

Give Joy Idea:

Surprise your waiter/waitress with a tip that is more generous than an average gratuity; leave them an especially encouraging note.

Posted in 2 Corinthians, GIVE JOY | Leave a comment

December 6 – GIVE JOY – Jesus made a friendship with God possible!

Read Romans 5:8-11

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

It’s that time of the year where sneezy co-workers, non-stop runny noses, and coughs are spreading fast! No one likes to be sick, especially when it’s the season to play in the snow! Being sick takes the fun out of everything and takes us away from all the people we wish we could spend time with. Just like sickness isolates us from people, there is something that separates us from God.

Each and every one of us has a sin problem. We’ve all made choices to go against God and it is because of this sin that we are separated from Him. It is a sickness that can’t be healed by medicine or going to see a doctor. The only one that can help us is Jesus. When He died on the cross, He took on ALL of our sin once and for all. When we ask God to forgive us of that sin, we get to have an unbreakable friendship with God forever!

This is the best news ever and it needs to be heard by everyone!

Give Joy Idea:

Find a creative way to invite your co-worker or classmates to our Christmas Eve Services.

Posted in GIVE JOY, Romans | Leave a comment

December 5 – GIVE JOY – Immanuel: God is with us!

Read Matthew 1: 22-23

“All of this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’).”

Immanuel which means God is with us.  This is what the Christmas Story is all about. Immanuel, God coming to earth to be with the people he created. Now let your imagination go all the way back BEFORE the beginning. Guess what? Immanuel, Jesus, was there!  At creation, Immanuel / Jesus was there! He was, is and always will be Incredible!

And even at creation he knew that he would one day walk on the earth he created. He knew that he would be Immanuel, God with us. This is so powerful to think about… the creator God… the God of the universe decided to come here and live on earth as a man, so that one day we could spend eternity with Him!

How will you let this influence you during this holiday season? Will you take the challenge to take a moment each day to stop and reflect on the incredible thing God the Father did for us in sending Jesus? And after you have done that to thank him for coming to save us!

Immanuel-God with us!

Give Joy Idea:

Spread Christmas Joy this season by hosting a Christmas party for your neighborhood.

Posted in GIVE JOY, Matthew | Leave a comment

December 4 – GIVE JOY – Significance of His birth

Read Matthew 2:11-12

“On coming to the house, they [the magi] saw the child [Jesus] 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.“

What kind of gifts did you want when you were a baby or a young child? Probably not the metal, perfume, and lotion that the wise men gave Jesus. Those gifts were certainly worth a lot, but what in the world would a little boy do with them?

The Bible doesn’t tell us exactly what Mary, Joseph, and Jesus did with them. It does seem clear, however, that Mary and Joseph were probably pretty poor. They were about to go on a long trip to Egypt. And they didn’t have much opportunity to get ready to pay for the things they would need like food, clothes, and place to stay. It is very possible that they sold or used the gifts to meet their daily needs as they traveled to keep Jesus safe.  As you follow the example of the magi, you can give joy to someone who needs help.

Give Joy Idea:

Bless a single mother and her child(ren) with a kind of gift or help?

Posted in GIVE JOY, Matthew | Leave a comment

December 3 – GIVE JOY – Jesus is the Light of the world!

Read John 8:12

“I am the Light of the world…”

I don’t know about you but I am absolutely terrified of the dark. Ever since I was a kid, I would turn on the lights of rooms as I go from one to another. If I’m stuck on stairs without a light, I am most likely running up the steps, skipping a few at a time, running from whoever or whatever I imagine is chasing me up the stairs. It makes for an awkward moment when I bust through the door and have to describe the life and death situation I just overcame to the confused looks people are giving me.

When Jesus came to earth, He was the Light in a dark world. In a world that needed hope and deliverance, Jesus was the answer!. Just like the world, our hearts can be a very dark place because of sin. When we invite Jesus into our lives, our dark heart becomes light just as a small light lights up a huge dark room! What change has Jesus brought to your life? In what way are you showing the light of Jesus to those around you? As a family, what are some ways that you can brighten someone’s day and show them the hope that you have in Christ?

Give Joy Idea:  

Brighten someone’s day by pre-paying machines at the laundromat or taking a family in need out to dinner.

Posted in GIVE JOY, John | Leave a comment

December 2 – GIVE JOY – Jesus changed history!

Read Isaiah 7:14

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and you will call him Immanuel.”

Have you ever made a promise – maybe about a surprise party or to keep a Christmas gift a secret? God made us a promise too, that would completely change everything! Years and years before Jesus was born, people knew about Him! They had heard that someone would be coming – but not just anyone! The Messiah that would come into the world to save us!

Jesus changed everything and it is because of Him that we get to know God and share His love with others. The simplest way to share about God’s awesome promise to us is by sharing your own story! How has Jesus changed your life? Who do you know that needs to hear about it?

Give Joy Idea:

Give joy today by sharing your grace story or by simply signing up to serve at our Angel Tree ministry on Dec 8th and sharing with families about the awesome promise we have when we know Jesus!  (To sign up email: skarhan@woostergrace.org)

Posted in GIVE JOY, Isaiah | Leave a comment