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This is the eleventh Christmas devotion of twenty-five Christmas countdown on-the-go, active,
object lesson devotions with Bible verses to help us keep our focus on the true
reason for the season! Each day
snap a photo of each item for a visual and use as a photo challenge on Social
Media, or with your family, small group, friends or just for yourself. It’s a fun way to enjoy the presence of
Christ each and every day as we look towards celebrating His birthday!
I know...it's Christmas and you expected a photo of a poinsettia for a Christmas devotion. ( I will include a beautiful one at the end that my niece took!) But for now, I wanted you to be surprised because our God is a God of surprises, God of the unexpected. We cannot try to put Him in a box.
You also may be surprised about this Bible verse if you have never read it in context in your Bible and only heard the hymn.
In context of the Scripture the line - "I am the rose of Sharon, the lily of the valleys." is spoken by the young woman, Solomon's bride. Then Solomon replies - "Like a lily among the thorns, So is my darling among the maidens." in verse 2.
The whole book is a love story depicting Christ's love for His Bride, the Church, and His Bride's love for Him.
This young woman stood out among others not only because of her outer beauty, but because of the fragrance and beauty of her life that was changed by his love for her which in return caused her love for him to bloom.
Isn't that what God's love does in us? He loves us with such a great love in sending His One and Only Son that our lives may be changed, that we may be rescued, and in return our love for Him blooms! His beauty becomes reflected in and through our lives as a flower in full bloom.
In Luke 12:27-28, Jesus speaks of lilies also -
"Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. "But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith!"
How often we take God's love for granted. How often we forget how great it is! How often we put Him in a box and forget He can do the unexpected! He can do the impossible!
"And looking at them Jesus said to them, "With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26
God's love changes everything. When Jesus was born, God did the impossible. He stepped out of eternity into time. He took on flesh and became like us. (John 1:14) Then He took our death, our punishment, and died. But on that third day...again the impossible happened...the unexpected...He arose!
So even though it's winter...look for the flowers. Even though you may be struggling through a very difficult season, look for the beauty of His love. He is there. He is near.
James 4:8 says - "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." But it continues - "Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded."
Don't let the second half of this verse keep you from the first. Our human pride wants to rise up when His Word refers to us as sinners and needing cleansing. Our human doubt wants us to focus only on the surrounding circumstances and be drawn away from our First Love - Jesus.
The only way to draw near to God though is to first turn around! The word "repent" is not negative! It means there is hope because we can turn around from going the wrong way, away from God, and we can turn back to Him...all because of the Christ Child born on the first Christmas day!
Find His beauty today. Look for Him. He promises that if we seek Him with all our heart, He will be found! (Jeremiah 29:13)
There lies the beauty of His love like an unexpected flower in full bloom - HOPE!
And here's the expected Christmas flower I promised for this Christmas devotion:
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