DEC 3  / Sunday – Read Matthew 1:18-25 / John 10:11-16

Overview: They’re the #1 selling (non-chocolate) Christmas candy, were invented by a church choir director, and have a slew of meanings. But what do they have to do with Jesus?

04 / Mon – Quintessential Christmas candy  |  Read Luke 1:1-4 / Matt 1:18a

Candy canes -1.8 billion produced annually- are the #1 top-selling non-chocolate Christmas candy. This familiar treat in its red & white striped form was first made in the United States in the late 1800s, but only legends remain about its earlier origins in Europe. Aren’t you grateful the reason we celebrate is not based on a legend but an actual historical event? What significant information do you get from these two introductions to the story? How is your life different because of it?

05 / Tue – The cost of saying yes  |  Read Luke 1:26-38

In January, you can hardly give candy canes away; they are passe, out of date. Does this happen to you occasionally as you listen to Jesus’ birth story every December? Try reading it with fresh eyes. Note the words in this conversation. Mary was troubled because, unlike today, an engagement was as binding as marriage. No physical intimacy was allowed before the wedding and if unfaithfulness was discovered while engaged, a divorce was required. Mary’s answer cost her. Do you trust God enough to do hard things when He asks them of you? You won’t be alone.

06 / Wed – Choices  |  Read Matthew 1:18b-19

Although not yet married, Joseph was considered Mary’s husband and responsible for her. How would you feel if this happened to you? Angry, hurt, betrayed, humiliated in the eyes of your family and community? Joseph was probably feeling all this and more. What words describe Joseph’s character in v. 19 that made his choice so difficult? Have you experienced betrayal, reacted without considering your words and regretted your actions? Next time, be like Joseph. Slow down, think carefully, and be open to what God says to you.

07 / Thu – Who, me?  |  Read Isaiah 7:14 / Matthew 1:20-23

God speaks to us in many different ways. In this case, it was through a dream. God knew Joseph’s turmoil and desire to do the right thing. What specific directions did the angel give to this godly man? Maybe Joseph began to realize he was chosen to be an important part of God’s plan to save the world long before he was even born. The Son of God, the baby, was being entrusted into his care. Have you ever considered that the difficulties you’ve experienced are part of God’s plan to use you to impact generations to come? Think about it.

08 / Fri – Sometimes no words are necessary   |  Read Matthew 1:24-25

It is one thing to hear what God says but it is another to follow through and act on it. If Joseph had chosen to divorce Mary, it would have said the baby was not his and his reputation would have been saved. By marrying her quietly, so she would have his protection, he allowed himself to be falsely viewed as an unrighteous man who had sinned. Only God knew what the right choice cost him. Even though no words of Joseph are recorded, his life and his actions speak for him. Will yours?

09 / Sat – So worth it!  |  Read Jn 10:11-16 / Phil 2:6-11 / Ps 119:103

Regardless of a candy cane’s origins, will you let it point you to Jesus? Its shepherd’s hook, its J for Jesus’ powerful name, its three slender red stripes -the Triune God- whose plan saved you, its wider red stripe contrasting with the pure white candy, as a reminder of how his sinless human life was marked by his innocent blood shed at Calvary. But most importantly, its sweetness can let you taste God’s great joy at your salvation. For him, that sweetness in the end was worth it all.

The GPS (Grow, Pray, Study) Guide provides Scripture and insights to enhance your journey, whether you’re just starting to explore the Christian faith or are a long-time Christian.

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The GPS (Grow, Pray, Study) Guide provides Scripture and insights to enhance your journey, whether you’re just starting to explore the Christian faith or are a long-time Christian.