Short Devotional for Women:
If Mary had a prepared speech, she never gave it. The Spirit of God literally takes over the meeting and her older cousin breaks out in a celebration that confirms the news Mary has yet to spill. I’m reminded of the old commercial, “How do you spell relief?”
Mary may have spelled it: “E-L-I-Z-A-B-E-T-H!” for the young traveler is suddenly energized! She responds with a song, now famously known as the Magnificat (Latin for “My soul magnifies the Lord”). It’s found it Luke 2:46–55. Mary opens with these lines, “My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior” (verses 46–47). Interestingly, her words are remarkably similar to those of Hannah, a young mother in the Old Testament. Their circumstances were similar; they both sang of a child, but Hannah’s song was in grateful response to God answering her request for a child, while Mary was chosen to bear the Holy Child. Still, in using Hannah’s words, Mary demonstrates that she has hidden God’s words in her heart. Let’s follow her example!
16) Have you ever tried memorizing Scripture? I can’t recommend it heartily enough. Hiding Scripture in my heart has transformed my life. In these two verses in Luke, Mary expresses her delight to know God as her Lord and Savior. Find and record a Scripture you want to memorize. Write it down, and commit to rehearsing it until it is yours!
Shellie Rushing Tomlinson is a Jesus loving, humor-gathering author, speaker, and radio host known as The Belle of All Things Southern. Shellie believes "The whole world stops for a story." She lives in Louisiana and stacks her stories up at All Things Southern.com
More of Shellie Rushing Tomlinson: http://www.allthingssouthern.com/
Short Devotional for Men:
Christmas: Just in Time!
This devotional was written by Jim Liebelt
But when the right time came, God sent his son, born of a woman, subject to the Law. - Galatians 4:4 (NLT)
Most of us have our traditions when it comes to Christmas gift opening. Some families open their gifts on Christmas Eve. Some families open their gifts on Christmas morning. Some spread out their gift opening over several days to extend the enjoyment. Regardless of when you open your Christmas presents, you likely feel that you have the “right moment”.
It’s fascinating to me that God’s gift to us, the birth of His son Jesus; when God became human, was just at the right moment. Not a moment too early; not a moment to late. “But when the right time came,” the Scripture reveals.
Thankfully, we have the certainty of Scriptures, that Jesus did come; that He lived among us; that He died for our sins; that He conquered death and rose again. We have the benefit of those Christ-followers who have gone before us, passing down to us the assurance of Jesus’ life and ministry among us. We share in the legacy of what God has done in human history and continues to do in during our time. We are a part of His ongoing story in the world.
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear.
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel
(from O come, O come, Emmanuel)
We celebrate Christmas as the time to remember and give thanks for Jesus, who came “just in time!”
1. If Jesus had not come when He did, but was born during our time, do you think you would recognize Him? Why or why not?
2. What part have other people had in helping you to connect (and/or keep you connected) to Jesus?
3. Thank one of these people this week.
Use the above content to engage your family in a discussion about Jesus birth as being “just in time.” Then together, plan a family “just in time” project. Think of people in your world (relatives, friends, neighbors) who have specific needs. Discuss these and decide on one person whose need you believe you can meet. Then, devise a plan for your family to meet that need. For example, there might be an elderly neighbor who can’t do fall clean up on their yard. Your family can set a date and go over to the home and do some leaf raking. When you meet the need, be sure to tell the person that you are helping out as a way to celebrate Jesus, whose birth was “just in time.”
This devotional originally appeared in “HomeWord with Jim Burns” on Crosswalk’s Family Devotional section. For more information about HomeWord with Jim Burns devotionals, please visit us online.
More of HomeWord with Jim Burns: http://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/homeword/