Devotionals for December 16-20

Click on the arrows to see a daily devotional for every day of the week. We believe that being in the Word of God daily is extremely important, and we hope that these devotionals can foster that daily habit! 

Monday, December 16

By Paula McKee

“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”
                                                                                                          - 1 Corinthians 12:27

Jason’s object lesson during his sermon Sunday morning  demonstrated how Jesus was the light of the world, the bread of life, and the living water...the gifts that Jesus  brought into the world when he was born. The people of Antioch demonstrate how the body of the body of Christ lives on, spreading light and life and living water to the world. The recreation of the city of Bethlehem took a literal army of people. The walls of the city were expanded to accommodate all who wanted to come. Lights were strung and candles and torches were lit. The city was beautifully decorated. An untold amount of time was spent in kitchens far and wide to prepare enormous amounts of food. Visitors were greeted, registered, entertained, fed, led, and loved. For twenty years I’ve been confined to and consumed by the little candy shop. Maintaining that one little piece was important to me and took all my time. I was never able to walk around the city and into the church to understand the ENORMITY of the task and the IMPORTANCE of each little piece. Every person was consumed with carrying out his or her own very important piece of the whole...the whole that touches and changes lives. That is the BODY of Christ...each part essential in God’s plan. Jesus’s light is being spread...and a baby’s coming into the world changed everything...for good!

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of Jesus and the example he brought to the earth. Thank you for that part of the body that is Antioch Church and the love that its people share with the world. Thank you for empowering me to play my small part part during the Christmas season and every day of the year. Empower me, inspire me, guide me, and give me wisdom to play my part for your glory. In Jesus’s holy name I pray. Amen.

Tuesday, December 17

Taste and See By Chris Blacksmith

“I sought the Lord and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.  Those who look at Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.  This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; He saved him out of all his troubles.  The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them. Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             -Psalm 34-4-8

I’ll never forget the year my brother exhibited his entrepreneurial skills.  At that time he was a young Jr. high student packed with potential of being  a successful businessman.  Mom was great at making banana nut bread and my brother was equally as great at sneaking it out of the house and selling it to his classmates.  One thing is for certain: the bread was really good, and the students couldn’t get enough of it once they had tasted it.  
The Psalmist encourages us to taste and see that the Lord is good. Have you done that lately?  Take some time today and reflect on everything going on in your life.  If you seek Him, you’ll find Him, if you call on Him He’ll answer, If you wait on Him He will renew your strength.  Hold on to the truths found in Psalm 34 and just know that God blesses those who taste and see that He is Good.  

Wednesday, December 18

By Kerry Stitch

“Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”
                                                                                                                                                            -Matthew 2:11b

My Christmas will be different this year.  It’s the first time in 60 years I won’t be spending it with my precious Dad.  I’ll miss him eating too much peanut brittle and the scent of his cologne when he leans in for a big hug!  I’ll miss his distinct signature on gift tags and his laugh (mostly at his own jokes).  
He taught me a lot about gift giving.  I’ve watched him give the gift of encouragement to folks who were struggling with cancer treatments alongside him.  I can testify of his gift of faith, and to the part that played in my journey to salvation.  The gifts of discipline, direction, and patience were often delivered to whomever the Lord placed in his circle of influence through divine timing.  His gift of prayer continues to teach me that nothing is more powerful, directive, or influential in a Christian’s walk…for it alone ignites and sets in motion all the other gifts.
What will you be giving this Christmas?  The best gifts don’t require the internet, malls, or a loan to acquire. You only need a glimpse into the manger.  Jesus set the perfect example...give your influence for the eternal. Follow THE star and be a Wise Man or Woman this Christmas. That makes you resemble your Father!

Thursday, December 19

By Toya Aultman

"But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                              -Luke 2:10

Good news! Great joy! The angels tell us to celebrate! JESUS CHRIST IS BORN!
Often times in December we get bogged down with bills, shopping and all the commercialism that the holidays can bring.
Today don’t give into it. I’m not saying don’t give into Christmas; I’m saying embrace it all! Don’t give into the negativity...Celebrate! The gifts you still have to buy, think of the one whom you’re shopping for and how much you love them. Cookies to bake? Think of the joy they will bring to a child or other loved ones. Perhaps you’re missing a dear, precious one, cling tight to the hope only given to us by the Babe in the manger.
Hope. That is what Jesus gives us along with Light, Breath, Water and Life, He gives us hope. Today, find someone you can share the hope of Christmas with and celebrate the fact that the Babe in the manger is Savior to us all!
Prayer: Gracious Father, thank You for Jesus and the hope I find only in Him. Today, I celebrate Jesus! Amen.

Friday, December 20

By Terri Smith

“And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    -Genesis 1:27

This week, Bro. Jason gave us four object lessons, each one in its own way pointing to characteristics of our Savior. Were it not for the light He gives, the air we breathe and the water of life that He is, we would all be in a heap of trouble.  He also expects us to share all this with others, which is what the second, of the two Gift Certificates represented.
I’m so thankful for the simplicity of the Gospel!  I've often felt like I didn't know scriptures well enough to witness, but the truth is, our testimony usually just flows once you start thinking about it and sharing it. NO ONE can argue with that!!!! Don't get me wrong scriptures are important, and we need to know them, but if you get folks  comfortable by seeing how comfortable you are talking about your faith, then scriptures come easier to present to whomever you are sharing your faith with.

Prayer: Father, help us to relax in you. There is nothing you won't help us do or overcome, including sharing our faith with others. Thank you for loving me even when my actions and or attitude make me intolerable. And everybody said AMEN!