DEC 24  / Sunday – Read Luke 2:1-20 / John 3:16

Overview: Old-fashioned hard candies are fitting because the real Christmas story is not all sugar plums, chocolate Santas, and candy canes. It’s a series of some of the worst things – that God turns into the very best thing.

25 / Mon – Not all candy is remembered with anticipation  |  Read Luke 2:1-20 / John 3:16

During Advent, we’ve been sampling wonderful Christmas candies but the old-fashioned hard candy mix that Grandma put out was not usually one of them. Ribbon candy and others with flavors like anise, all stuck together, maybe left over from last year. How appropriate because the original Christmas story was not full of sweetness and candy canes. It was a series of bad things that God turned into the very best thing in history. What gives you the most hope this time of year?

26 / Tue – The worst timing  |  Read Luke 2:1-5

Mary and Joseph had suffered disgrace in the eyes of their families and community. Then they’re forced by a government edict to travel 90 miles to Joseph’s ancestral home. Mary’s baby was due almost any day. What’s your story? When has something happened to you at the worst possible time? How did God help you get through it? What would you say today to someone who is facing difficult times with no idea of how it will work out?

27 / Wed – The worst location  |  Read Luke 2:4, 6-7 NLT

Look closely at the last part of v7…there was no lodging available for them. Have you been in this situation before? God always provides a place, even if it’s not where you’d choose. He allowed His own son to be born where many people would never consider spending the night. Some Christians believe they should be exempt from hard circumstances because they follow Jesus. If you are ever in a place that seems beneath you, will you let this story remind you how God can transform a common, lowly place into a space filled with His presence?

28 / Thu – The worst guests  |  Read Luke 2:15-16 / John 10:14

Isn’t it interesting that the very first people to visit baby Jesus were shepherds. In that era, shepherding was one of the lowest occupations. These people lived outside in the fields with the sheep, camping at night to protect them from predators. They weren’t clean or well-kept and probably smelled like their animals. Yet they were personally invited by Almighty God to meet His son. What an honor! Are there people in your life you don’t care to associate with? Will you ask God to help you see how precious they are to Him and then act as He would?

29 / Fri – Good news brings great joy  |  Read Luke 2:8-14

What’s the best news you’ve ever received? Read slowly through the angel’s announcement. Notice the first four words the angel said to them; the same words spoken to Zechariah in Luke 1:13, Mary in Luke 1:30 and Joseph in Matt 1:20. Now read the announcement again. What other words or phrases stand out to you? Ask the Holy Spirit to show you something that might apply to your life right now. His message is for all people at all times.

30 / Sat – Looking back  |  Read Isaiah 58:11 / Romans 8:28, 38-39

Here we are at the end of another calendar year. What has 2023 been like for you and your family? For some people, it’s been a wonderful year filled with weddings and promotions and fun vacations. For others, it’s been a year of medical challenges or unemployment or losing a loved one. Can you look back and see that God was at work in all that has happened? As you face a new year, let your hope rest in God’s character and His promise to be with you in every situation. Will you allow hope in Him to fill your heart and overflow to those around 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.

If you have a question or comment about the GPS Guide, please send it to: [email protected]

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.