12 Days of Christmas Devotionals

Christmas Devotionals
Photo Source: Pixabay / Composition: Sue Chastain
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Day 1 - The Greatest Christmas Gift

The Greatest Christmas Gift
Photo Source: Pixabay / Composition: Sue Chastain

The 12 Days of Christmas is a collection of 12 daily devotionals to inspire and encourage the spirit of Christmas and prepare you for the New Year. Each devotional includes a Christmas quotation, a Bible verse and a thought for the day.

The Greatest Christmas Gift

"This is Christmas: not the tinsel, not the giving and receiving, not even the carols, but the humble heart that receives anew the wondrous gift, the Christ."

- Frank McKibben

"And what a difference between our sin and God's generous gift of forgiveness. For this one man, Adam, brought death to many through his sin. But this other man, Jesus Christ, brought forgiveness to many through God's bountiful gift. And the result of God's gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man's sin. For Adam's sin led to condemnation, but we have the free gift of being accepted by God, even though we are guilty of many sins. The sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over us, but all who receive God's wonderful, gracious gift of righteousness will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ."

Romans 5:15-17 (NLT)

Jesus Christ Is the Greatest Gift

Each year we are reminded that Christmas should not be just about giving and receiving presents. But, if we truly think about Christmas, it is, indeed, all about gift giving! At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the greatest gift ever given, by the greatest gift-giver of all, our wonderful God and Father!

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Day 2 - Laugh With Immanuel

Laugh With Immanuel
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Laugh With Immanuel

"The implications of the name 'Immanuel' are both comforting and unsettling. Comforting, because He has come to share the danger as well as the drudgery of our everyday lives. He desires to weep with us and to wipe away our tears. And what seems most bizarre, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, longs to share in and to be the source of the laughter and the joy we all too rarely know."

- Michael Card

"All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 'The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel' - which means, 'God with us.'"

Matthew 1:22-23 (NIV)

"Surely you have granted him eternal blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence."

Psalm 21:6 (NIV)

Immanuel Is God With Us

Why do we turn to God so quickly in times of sorrow and struggle, in danger and fear, and forget him in the times of joy and rejoicing? If God is the giver of joy and he is "God with us," then he must want to share in those moments of great joy--and even those times of silly laughter and fun.

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Day 3 - Wonderful Impossibilities

Wonderful Impossibilities
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Wonderful Impossibilities

"When God intends to make something wonderful he begins with a difficulty. When he intends to make something very wonderful, he begins with an impossibility."

- Former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Coggan

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."

Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV)

God Can Do the Impossible for You

The birth of Jesus was not just a difficulty, it was an impossibility. Mary was a virgin. Only God could breathe life into her womb. And just as God caused her to conceive the perfect sinless Savior--fully God, fully human--he can accomplish through you, those things that seem impossible in your life.

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Day 4 - Make Room for More

Make Room for More
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Make Room for More

Somehow, not only for Christmas,
But all the long year through,
The joy that you give to others,
Is the joy that comes back to you.
And the more you spend in blessing,
The poor and lonely and sad,
The more of your heart's possessing,
Returns to you glad.

- John Greenleaf Whittier

"If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving--large or small--it will be used to measure what is given back to you."

Luke 6:38 (NLT)

Give More


We have heard people say, "You can't out-give God." Well, you can't out-give yourself either. You don't need to be wealthy to possess a giving heart. Give a smile, lend an ear, extend a hand. However you give, God's promise is tried and tested, and you'll see the blessings multiplied and returned back to you.

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Day 5 - Not Alone at All

Not Alone at All
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Not Alone at All

"I am not alone at all, I thought. I was never alone at all. And that, of course, is the message of Christmas. We are never alone. Not when the night is darkest, the wind coldest, the word seemingly most indifferent. For this is still the time God chooses."

- Taylor Caldwell

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: 'For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.' No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Romans 8:35-39 (NIV)

God Is There, Closer Than Ever

When you feel the most alone, it may be the very moment when you are truly least alone at all. God is there in your darkest night and coldest wind. He may be so close you cannot see him, but he is there. And perhaps he has chosen this moment to pull you closer to him than you have ever been before.

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Day 6 - Come as a Child

Come as a Child
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Come as a Child

"There's nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child."

- Erma Bombeck

"He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: 'I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.'"

Matthew 18:2-4 (NIV)

Each Day Come to God the Father as a Child


Is there anything more exciting than being a child on Christmas morning? And yet this is what God asks of us each day, to change and become like little children. Not just on Christmas, but each day approaching God the Father as a child, with excited anticipation of his goodness, humbly trusting him that every need will be met and every care will be under his control.

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Day 7 - A Christmas Candle

A Christmas Candle
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A Christmas Candle

A Christmas candle is a lovely thing;
It makes no noise at all,
But softly gives itself away;
While quite unselfish, it grows small.

- Eva K. Logue

John the Baptist said of Jesus:
"He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less."

John 3:30 (NLT)

More of Him, Less of Me

We are like candles that hold a flame, burning strong and bright the light of Christ. We softly give ourselves away, worshiping him and serving him, that we might become less and less, and that he might become greater and brighter through us.

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Day 8 - Pleasing in Your Sight

Pleasing in Your Sight
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Pleasing in Your Sight

So remember while December
Brings the only Christmas day,
In the year let there be Christmas
In the things you do and say.

- Anonymous

"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer."

Psalm 19:14 (NIV)

From Words to Thoughts to Actions


The words we speak are reflections of our thoughts and meditations. These God-pleasing thoughts and words become pleasing in his sight because they will motivate us to Christ-like actions--actions that are seen and not just heard.

Are your thoughts and words pleasing to the Lord every day and not just at Christmastime or on Sunday mornings? Do you keep the spirit of Christmas alive in your heart all throughout the year?

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Day 9 - Eternal Glory

Eternal Glory
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Eternal Glory

"There is no improving the future without disturbing the present."

- Catherine Booth

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV)

Unseen But Eternal


If our present day situation disturbs us, perhaps there's something beyond our natural sight in the works--something not yet accomplished. The trouble we face today may be achieving an eternal purpose so much better than we can imagine. Remember that what we see right now is only temporary. What is most important, although we may not be able to see it yet, is eternal.

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Day 10 - Forgiveness Focuses Forward

Forgiveness Focuses Forward
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Forgiveness Focuses Forward

Look not back on yesterday
So full of failure and regret;
Look ahead and seek God's way--
All sin confessed you must forget.

- Dennis DeHaan

"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

Philippians 3:12-14 (NIV)

"As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us."

Psalm 103:12 (NIV)

Focus on Pleasing Christ

As we come to the end of the year, so often we look back with regret on things we did not accomplish or resolutions long forgotten. But sin is one thing we should never need to look back on with feelings of failure.

If we have confessed our sins and asked God's forgiveness, we simply need to keep a forward focus toward the goal of pleasing Christ.

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Day 11 - Hindsight

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"Life has to be lived forwards but it can only be understood backwards."

- Søren Kierkegaard

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge him,
And he will make your paths straight."

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

"Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?"

Job 12:12 (NIV)

Moments of Trusting and Clinging


If we could walk backwards through life, so many times of doubt and questions would be erased from our path. But sadly, we would have missed those desperate moments of trusting in the Lord and clinging to him for guidance.

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Day 12 - God Will Direct

God Will Direct
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God Will Direct

"If this is to be a Happy New Year, a year of usefulness, a year in which we shall live to make this earth better, it is because God will direct our pathway. How important then, to feel our dependence upon Him!"

- Matthew Simpson

"I guide you in the way of wisdom
And lead you along straight paths.
When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
When you run, you will not stumble.
Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
Guard it well, for it is your life.
The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn,
Shining ever brighter till the full light of day."

Proverbs 4:11-13;18 (NIV)

God Directs From the Dark


Sometimes God brings a change or a challenge into our lives to shake loose our dependence upon self and turn us back to dependence upon him. We are closest to finding his will for our lives, our happiness and usefulness, when we are completely in the dark waiting for that first gleam of dawn, depending fully on him to cause the sun to rise.