December 25 – GIVE JOY – Merry Christmas!

Read Luke 1:26-2:21 and John 3:16

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

From all of us at Grace Church, Merry Christmas! We enjoyed walking through this devotional series with you all! Today is the day that we wrap this series up by the reading of the Christmas story. All that we have read up to this point brings us to the actual birth of Jesus. We have read about how Jesus came to earth to save us from the sin in our lives and how He is the greatest gift we could ever receive! Don’t lose sight of the reason for the season which is the birth of Jesus! However, like we learned, the birth of Jesus is only the beginning. He came to earth, lived a perfect life and died for us so that we could live in Heaven forever with Him!

As you spend today with family and friends, take the time to thank Jesus for all that He did for us. Thank Him for leaving His home in Heaven and dying on the cross for us. The famous John 3:16 tells us that God sent His only Son Jesus to die for us so that whoever believes Him will not really die because we have everlasting life. That is why we celebrate today 🙂

Enjoy your Christmas!

Give Joy Idea:

Read the story of Jesus’ birth from Luke and remember the greatest joy of all – hope in our Savior, Jesus! As you spend time with friends and extended family over the holidays, ask to share the joy of the Christmas story with them too!

December 24 – GIVE JOY – Rescue

Read Luke 19:1-10

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10

You probably know the story of Christmas. A trip to Bethlehem. No room. A birth. A manger. Angels. Shepherds. A star. Magi. Expensive gifts. Most of us could recite the details of around Christmas.

But, do you understand the reason for Christmas? Why did Jesus come? Christmas is all about His great love for those far from God. He came on a search and rescue mission. He came to “seek and to save the lost.” He took a big risk in coming to earth and going to the cross. He did that in order to make it possible for people who sin to have a relationship with God. Zacchaeus was the man rescued in today’s reading. Every person needs that rescuing as well. Thankfully, Jesus offers that to everyone!

Give Joy Idea:

Make a plan to share the meaning of Christmas at your family celebrations. Make sure they understand why Jesus was born!

December 23 – GIVE JOY – Have Peace

Read Luke 2:14 & Colossians 3:15

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

There’s something peaceful about Christmas. That can be hard to remember in the bustle of the holidays. Days of shopping, baking, and traffic can become more stressful than peaceful. Yet in the midst of all we are doing, we sense that things should be quieter and slower.

We try to hold onto glimpses of stillness: a moment in front of the tree while decorating, the solitude of the drive home from the late Christmas Eve service, or that moment once all the Christmas gifts have been opened and the kids sit happily playing with their toys.

Peace, however, is hard to find—not just at Christmas, but all through the year. Tired from the troubles in our nation, communities, and relationships we welcome the words of the angels in Luke 2:14 as they announce Jesus’ birth.

As we surrender control of our lives and allow the love of Christ to rule in our hearts, peace is born in us. (Colossians 3:15) We then become ambassadors of peace in our relationships, our schools, our work, and our world.

Give Joy Idea:

Give Joy by sharing things with your family that you are thankful for this Season.

December 22 – GIVE JOY – Our Savior

Read Luke 2:11

“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah the Lord.”

The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!

Christmas day is almost here and we know that anticipation is building! There are so many exciting things about the Christmas season and the absolute, most exciting thing is Jesus! Even though Mary and Joseph were just regular people and there wasn’t anything too great about a manger, the person born on that night changed everything forever! This little, baby boy was the Son of God!

Jesus’ life showed God’s love for us. He made the choice to leave His place in heaven to come live in the same world we live in and show us the way we should live for God and love others. When we know Jesus, we have an important role to play in sharing about His life – the real reason we celebrate Christmas! When we remember the true meaning of Christmas, it brings us a joy like no other!

Give Joy Idea:

Make it a goal today to see how many compliments each of you can give to brighten someone else’s day!

December 21 – GIVE JOY – Slow down

Read Luke 1:26-38

“The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come to you. The power of the Most High God will cover you. So the holy one that is born will be called the Son of God. Your relative Elizabeth will have a child even though she is old. People thought she could not have children. But she has been pregnant for six months now. That’s because what God says will always come true.”  “I serve the Lord,” Mary answered. “May it happen to me just as you said it would.” Then the angel left her.”

When the angel Gabriel stood before Mary and told her she would have a son named Jesus, she could barely believe her ears. It seemed so impossible to her.

The next thing Gabriel said was, “Nothing is impossible with God.” And so Mary did exactly what she wasn’t sure she could do. She believed. She then told the angel, “May everything you have said about me come true.”

By simply believing what she heard, Mary did the impossible. She believed God to fulfill His promise through her. Nine months later, she gave birth to Jesus, even though it seemed impossible at first. What seemed impossible became possible simply because she believed. When we believe what God says about us, we too will discover that nothing is impossible with God.

With the busyness that the Christmas season brings it may seem like adding Give Joy to the “to-do” list is impossible. Ask God for an easy opportunity, and take some time to listen for what He says. He may give you something to say, to pray, or to do.

Give Joy Idea:

While you’re shopping, take a moment to return stray shopping carts to the store, or help someone unload groceries.

December 20 – GIVE JOY – Finding Jesus

Read Luke 2:41-52

“Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”

Mary and Joseph were stressed. They thought they had lost their son, Jesus. As they retraced their steps, they found Him in the Temple, an important religious building of the day. You see, Jesus had a great connection with His heavenly Father even as a boy. He loved to be around others who wanted to know God more.

Do you love God? Do you like to be around others at Grace Church who are trying to grow in their faith?

Give Joy Idea:

Time is ticking down to invite someone to Christmas Eve. As a family, pray together and create a way to invite someone to the services.

December 19 – GIVE JOY – Jesus paid the debt

Read Romans 6: 23

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Has anyone ever owed you money and they have not paid you back?  Have you ever wished they would just give it back to you or maybe you have even gotten angry with them? Now think about this: God created us and yet we have sinned and turned against Him. We have done the exact opposite thing than what he wanted from us. We run from Him, some have denied him, and what did God do?  He sent His own Son on that first Christmas, so He could pay the debt of our sin for us. He did not demand anything from us except to believe in Jesus. All he asks in return is for us to believe in Jesus as our Savior and then make Him in charge of our lives. Have you done that? Will you? There is no better time than this Christmas to choose to believe and follow Jesus!

Give Joy Idea:

As a family, pay for someone’s dinner or Christmas gifts.

December 18 – GIVE JOY – Care for others

Read John 6: 5-12

“Here is a boy with five small loaves of barley bread. He also has two small fish. But how far will that go in such a large crowd?” Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down. About 5,000 men were there. Then Jesus took the loaves and gave thanks. He handed out the bread to those who were seated. He gave them as much as they wanted. And he did the same with the fish.”


Like the wise men we read about, people have always brought Jesus what they have. One young boy heard Jesus wanted to feed 5,000 people and decided to give Jesus what he had. He didn’t have much, only five loaves of bread and two fish.

This young boy must have felt like “The Little Drummer Boy,” who could only give the sound of his drum. But what happened when this young boy gave his lunch is incredible. Jesus took the loaves and fish and gave thanks to God for them. Next, He broke it and had His disciples pass it out to all the people, and that small lunch fed everyone.

Not only that, the Bible says next that the people wanted Jesus to be their king! They discovered the king they’d always wanted because this young boy gave what he had.

When you Give Joy to others you’re giving Jesus something very valuable, an opportunity to show others that He loves them.

Give Joy Idea:

Visit a nursing home, sing a song for residents, or play an instrument, like “The Little Drummer Boy.” Who knows, maybe it could cause other people to want Him to be their King too.

December 17 – GIVE JOY – Made new

Read 2 Corinthians 5:17

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

There’s just something about having Jesus as the leader of your life that just changes you! Around this holiday season, I think about how Jesus truly changes lives! If it wasn’t for Him coming down to earth for us, we would still be in our sins. If it wasn’t for His perfect life and dying in our place, we would be spending eternity apart from Him in Hell. Jesus changes lives!

In 2 Corinthians, Paul describes this life change by saying that if anyone is “in Christ” or has made the decision to have Him be the leader of their life, they are a completely new creation. With Jesus, your life should be very much different than what it was before. Take the time to think about just how Jesus has changed your life. Also, think about people who need to become new creations in Christ. What are you going to do to reach them?

Give Joy Idea:

Talk as a family about Jesus and the impact He’s had on your lives. Pray for one another and encourage one another to share the good news of great joy to others all year long.

December 16 – GIVE JOY – Give back

Read John 15: 11-14

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

We are getting closer and closer to Christmas and it is such an exciting time of year. In the middle of the Christmas Season though it is important to remember why Jesus came. We can have so much fun seeing the lights and decorations. We can enjoy the fun parts of the Christmas Story. And it is so good to remember the reason why Jesus came to earth in the first place.

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” 

That is exactly why Jesus came and what he did for us. He gave us the amazing gift of salvation through his death and resurrection. Now it is time for us to remember to give back because we have been given so much through Jesus. Remember this Christmas the why of Jesus’ coming to earth. And because of this sacrifice find ways that we can sacrifice for others!

Give Joy Idea:

Give joy by giving back: Pick up trash that isn’t yours, help someone clean their house, shovel snow, find some way to help others!