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Christmas Devotion  #3

This is the third 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! 

Dec. 3rd - Letter "J" - Matthew 1:21

"She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

Look around today and notice all the letter “J"s you see.  They may be in books, on signs, on grocery items, etc.  Whenever you see one, speak the name of Jesus out loud; it may be a whisper or a shout of praise! 

We used a photo of an ornament which hangs on our Christmas tree with the word "Joy" for our Letter "J" photo.  There was so much joy that first Christmas!

Joy echoes through every stage of the Christmas story:

  • John the Baptist jumped for joy even in his mother’s womb –

“When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy.” Luke 1:44

  • The angel announced joy to the shepherds –

“I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.” Luke 2:10

  • The wise men were filled with joy –

“When they saw the star, they were filled with joy!” Matthew 2:10

Have you ever thought about why God had the angel Gabriel instruct Mary to name the child - Jesus?  Of course this is  our English translation of the Hebrew - Yeshua which means “The LORD's Salvation”, or “Cry out to the LORD for help”. It is the short version of Yehoshua, literally "YHWH saves (or turns) us". 

Holy God’s personal name He spoke to Moses at the burning bush.  God told Moses to tell the people that “I AM” sent him.  You may have seen it written as Jehovah, or it is also the same as when you see LORD written in all caps in the Bible.  Jesus’ name was literally His purpose.  He came as God’s salvation.  He came to make a way for us to turn back to God and have a relationship with Him!  The name of Jesus is powerful.

It is as Acts 4:12 says – “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

So as you locate “J”s today and speak the name of Jesus, let it remind you of His great love and salvation!

Recipe for joy - Christmas Devotion

You’ve probably heard the acronym “formula” for J.O.Y.  before:

Jesus - Others- You

…keeping Jesus forefront in our thoughts, then others, and finally yourself.

I want to add Scripture to this for our Christmas devotion so we can really see God’s recipe for JOY!

Note what three things are repeated in the following verses:

Philippians 4:4-7

4 “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6 Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

16 “Rejoice always!
17 Pray constantly.
18 Give thanks in everything,
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Did you see it?!    Rejoice – Pray – Give Thanks! Combine these with the  J-O-Y and we get a wonderful recipe for joy!

Rejoice over Jesus!    Let’s take time and focus our thoughts on Who Christ is and all He has done for us!

Pray for others!    Let’s take our eyes off our own circumstances and place our focus on praying for others and their circumstances.

Give thanks from you!     We need to follow the instructions in this wonderful hymn and make time to “Count your blessings; name them one by one.”  This will place our focus on all that we have and not on what we don’t have or may have lost.

Rejoice + Pray + Give Thanks = JOY

As Paul said to the Thessalonians, “For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”   God desires to bring His joy into our lives through a personal relationship with Jesus!  He is with us – Immanuel!

"7 Ways to Cultivate Joy" by Chuck Swindoll

We hope this Christmas devotion will bring you joy during the holidays as well as every day using God's recipe for joy found in the Bible!

A sweet friend of mine was asking for prayer yesterday because of the crazy busy week ahead of her. The holidays can easily become a blur of busyness and rushing around if we’re not careful. For others, the holidays may bring an extra measure of loneliness and loss.

God desires for us to experience His joy during this special season as well as each and every day in spite of our circumstances. Remembering "Joy" will help our Christmas devotion remain in our hearts all year round!

Christmas Devotion - Teaching Activities

I Spy the letter J

Have kids play I Spy by looking for the letter J or something that starts with the letter J.  Remind them that the letter J can remind us of Jesus and the Joy found in Him.


Have fun with more acrostics.  Use the word "Christmas" and think of something about the season that begins with each letter.  Use other Christmas words to do the same. 

Countdown Christmas devotion #4 - Your Bible

All 25 CHristmas Devotionals

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