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December 25

[Merry Christmas! Read the final devotional in The Dawning of Indestructible Joy and then our offering below.]

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.

John 6:51

So the meaning of Christmas is this: the Son of God came into the world to bear witness to the truth in a way that it had never been witnessed to before.

– John Piper, The Dawning of Indestructible Joy, page 79*

Jesus came to show us the truth of God’s love, grace, and goodness in a way never before seen.

Remember the reason behind all the giving of gifts, the feasting and fun, the joy and singing, is the commemoration of the Divine entering the world He created. God the Father giving His only Son as a means of salvation and restoration for the world.

Have you considered the uniqueness of His coming as a Babe? His stooping low to become like one of His own creations? not to rule and reign, but to give His life as a ransom for many?

Take a moment to consider Him today.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Philippians 2:5-8 ESV

Let the revelation of Truth behind the season bring transformation to your life.

Lord Jesus, thank You for the gift of grace, truth, and life. May the heart of Christmas stay with me throughout the year. Amen.

[Feature Image Photo on blog by Annie Spratt on Unsplash]

 *© 2014. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.

December 18

[As Christmas draws ever closer, we hope you’re taking time to consider the truth behind God breaking into the world as a baby. Read what John Piper says on December 18, then read our offering.]

God put [Christ] forward… to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Romans 3:25-26

Let your frustrations with this world throw you onto the Word of God. It will become sweet — like walking into paradise.

–John Piper, The Dawning of Indestructible Joy, Page 59*

John Piper shared how Martin Luther found himself frustrated in pursuing self-justification. Only when God revealed Himself through His Word to be both just and the justifier of those who trust Jesus, did Luther find freedom from trying save himself.

We cannot justify ourselves. Nothing in the world can bring peace and joy. We will always end up frustrated apart from faith in Jesus.

Consider where you find yourself frustrated this Christmas season. How are you trying to justify yourself?

As John Piper suggests, throw yourself onto God’s Word. As you open your Bible, ask Him to reveal the root of your frustration and the key to peace and joy through faith in Jesus — the Babe in the manger.

Father God, You know where I am pursuing self-justification. You know where I have been deceived by the world through the teaching of self-help. Open my spirit to receive the truth in Your Word I need to hear today.

[Feature Image Photo seen on blog by Aaron Burden on Unsplash]

*© 2014. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.

December 8

[John Piper uses the same verses today as yesterday. Read December 8 in The Dawning of Indestructible Joy.]

Moses said, “The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.” And all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came after him, also proclaimed these days. You are sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, “And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness.

Acts 3:22-26

Christmas is the reassertion of the foundation of all truth and goodness and beauty, because Christmas means: God is truthful.

God’s truthfulness is the constant in a universe of flux, God’s truthfulness is the unwavering absolute. If we forsake God’s truthfulness, the anchor is up, the rudder is loose, the keep is broken, and the ship of life (political life, social life, educational life, scientific life, family life) is simply at the mercy of the wind of human wishes.

– John Piper, The Dawning of Indestructible Joy, page 32*

Do you know the blessing of God’s truthfulness? Explain.

Do you find your life built on the solid ground of God’s truth? Is it unshakable? Or do you experience constant upheavals and instability?

Consider the extent to which God’s truth affects your life.

Father God, Your Word says You are trustworthy. Christmas is evidence of Your truthfulness through the fulfilling of prophecy and of Your promise. Show me the places where I am living life based on lies. Reveal Your truth and grow me to trust You with ALL my life.

 [Feature Image Photo seen on blog by Aaron Burden on Unsplash]

*© 2014. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.

The Way of Wisdom: Proverbs 19

Let’s begin the week with the reading of Proverbs 19. (Click on the link to read the verses.)

A false witness will not go unpunished.–vs. 5, 19

This simple, direct statement is made twice in today’s reading in a matter of verses. Direction against bearing false witness was the ninth commandment that Moses brought back from his encounter with God on Mount Sinai. It was a problem then, and it is now.

Our culture is so caught up in excusing this behavior that it even has its own term: “little white lie”. And if you say it like that, it sounds cute, like no big deal… harmless. But where is the line? When does the behavior go from telling “little white lies” to being a false witness, dishonest… a liar. As bad as we want a line to be there, an area where it is “okay”, there is no line.

Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.
Colossians 3:9-10

Father, forgive us for the times we have ignored your word when it comes to truth. Convict us when any “little white lie” crosses our lips. Teach us to cling to your truth and speak with integrity. Amen.

Songs of Praise: Psalm 119:121-144

Let’s conclude our week with reading Psalm 119:121-144. (Click on the link to read the verses.)

I asked the group of fifth and sixth graders what they believed about the Bible. Did they think every word in it was right? True? She said it quietly but I heard her. When I asked her to say it again, she bravely stated, “There could be a mistake somewhere.”

As we continued our discussion, I asked them the same question I ask you now.

“How do we know? How do we know the Bible is God’s inspired Word and it contains no errors?”

The Psalmist gives his answer.

Therefore, I consider all your precepts to be right…

Psalm 119:128

Believing every single word of the Bible was inspired by God is a faith issue. Over the years when I have questioned His Word, wrestled with something, He has been faithful to show me His Word is truth.

What about you? Do you consider His precepts to be right? What step is God calling you to take to place your complete trust in His Word?

Father God, you know my heart and where it stands in relation to Your Word. Bless me with the desire and faith to wrestle with You regarding Your Way. Prove Yourself and Your Word true.

[Feature Image Photo seen on website by Aaron Burden on Unsplash]