DEC 10  / Sunday – Read Is 9:2-6 / Is 40:1-5, 9-11 / Is 7:13-14 / Rom 11:17-18

Overview: A bag of coins (foil-wrapped chocolate) is a standard stocking stuffer. And, just like Christmas, they’re borrowed from our Jewish heritage.

11 / Mon – Borrowed  |  Read John 10:22-26

One treat some parents give their children at Christmas is a small mesh bag of gold-covered coins made of chocolate. This tradition is actually borrowed from Hanukkah, a Jewish festival which began after the recovery of Jerusalem and restoration of the Temple in 164 BC. In Jesus’ day, Hanukkah was called the Festival of Dedication. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that Jesus was born and lived as a Jew. How does this reminder affect your understanding of his life on earth?

12 / Tue – Roots  |  Read Matthew 1:1-16 / Jer 29:11

Searching out your family tree can be a fun pastime, especially when you discover you are related to someone famous. Do you know anything about your ancestors? Jesus was born into a humble Jewish family but look at his family tree. This genealogy reveals how God fulfilled the promises He had made to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and David. Your birth, no matter what your lineage, is no mistake. Are you fulfilling the purpose for which God created you?

13 / Wed – Words  |  Read Psalm 119:11 / Matthew 4:1-11

The Old Testament was the Jewish bible Jesus grew up with. In Jewish tradition, parents taught scriptures to their children until age 6. Then the boys were sent to synagogue school where they learned to read, memorize, understand and obey God’s word. When Jesus was tempted by the devil, his answers were direct quotes from scriptures he had learned (Deut 6:13, 16 and 8:3). In ministry, his sermons and teachings were peppered with Old Testament quotes. What are some of the Old Testament commands and promises you have memorized? You are following Jesus’ example.

14 / Thu – A bigger plan  |  Read Acts 11:1-4, 18 (see Acts 10 for the backstory)

For generations, the Jews waited for the Messiah to come and save them. Most did not realize Jesus was the One who fulfilled all the prophecies until after his death and resurrection. Those who finally did couldn’t contain themselves and broadcast the news to all their Jewish neighbors and friends. Then God revealed His plan was much bigger. Have you considered where you might be today if the first Jewish followers of Jesus had not accepted Peter’s report?

15 / Fri – Roots & branches  |  Read Romans 11:13-24 / John 3:16-17

Peter was given responsibility for the Jewish believers. Paul was called to reach and teach the non-Jews which included the Greeks and Romans. It was complicated because these people had not grown up with the Old Testament scriptures and had no context. Some Gentile believers thought God had rejected the Jews because of their unbelief and instead chose to save the rest of the world. What insights do you get as you read Paul’s words to them?

16 / Sat – Adopted  |  Read Galatians 4:4-7

No matter who your parents are, you have been adopted – adopted by God Himself – into His family, as His dearly loved child. All this was planned long before you were born. It started at creation and came to fruition through Jesus. That is why his birth is so important and why we celebrate. This season you can have hope, no matter your circumstances, when you focus on what is unseen. God, who is good to His core, is still working out His plan. So honor the Jewish people when you can. They were the people through whom God chose to bring Jesus to you.


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.