DEC 11 / Sunday | “Which Jesus?” Message Series – Read Matthew 2:7-18
Overview: Did Jesus contribute to the slaughter of innocent children in Bethlehem by King Herod because of his birth?
12 / Mon – Included | Read Matthew 2:1-2 / 2 Peter 3:9
The story of the Magi (wise men) who visited baby Jesus is an important part of the Christmas narrative. These men were not Jewish, but they traveled many miles to find this baby born to be king of the Jews. It seems to illustrate that God was making salvation available to all people. Are there those in your life who seem so far away from God they can’t be reached? Keep praying. God, who turned the hearts of the Magi to seek for him, can touch your people too. Be their star.
13 / Tue – Assumptions | Read Matthew 2:1b-8
Why do you think the Magi went to Jerusalem to search for the baby? Maybe because it was the capital city of the Jews? Did they seek an audience with King Herod because they assumed the child would be his? It is easy, even when following God’s leading, to assume something that may not be accurate. Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation? What happened as a result of your assumptions? How was the Lord involved in redirecting you?
14 / Wed – Convinced | Read Matthew 2:9-12
Following the king’s command to search in Bethlehem, they finally discovered the child. Have you met any babies lately? Was your instant reaction to fall down and worship that child? Probably not. It is unlikely baby Jesus had a visible halo around his head, as is so often portrayed in religious art, but something convinced these men that he was the one they had been searching for. What has removed your doubts about Jesus being who he claimed? How has that stood the test of time?
15 / Thu – He knows | Read Matthew 2:11b-15 / Matthew 6:32
God always provides. Whatever schemes evil people devise, they will never thwart God’s ultimate plan. Even though Joseph and Mary had no idea Jesus’ life was in imminent danger, God did and sent a messenger to help them escape. The gifts of the Magi were most likely what financed their temporary stay in Egypt which, by the way, fulfilled another prophecy from the Old Testament. In your life, when has God provided something before you even knew you needed it?
16 / Fri – The dark side of the story | Read Matthew 2:16-18 / Matthew 5:4
This part in the Christmas story is so discordant many people don’t want to hear it. And it’s difficult to understand why God would allow such tragedy to happen at this joyous event. Only He knows the answer to that question but there are some takeaways. The most important one is that sin invades every facet of life on this planet. Sinful choices hurt innocent people. But that is why Jesus came. Will you trust God’s character in the face of incomprehensible tragedy? He will make it right.
17 / Sat – What kind of Christmas? | Read Isaiah 7:14b / Isaiah 9:6-7 / Matthew 5:4
The Christmas season is filled with beautiful decorations, joyful music, wonderful treats and gifts, and celebrations of all kinds. But for some people, this is a season of sadness. Losses throughout the year weigh heavy on their hearts. Peace and goodwill seem far away. Where are you right now? Excited for the holidays or struggling? No matter what this Christmas looks like for you, remember that God Immanuel is with you. Ask his help to comfort those who mourn. Receive it for yourself.