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    Growing into Giving

    “I got you a present!” my two-year-old grandson shouted excitedly as he pressed a box into my hands. “He picked it out all by himself,” my wife smiled.

    I opened the box to find a Christmas ornament of his favorite cartoon character. “Can I see it?” he asked anxiously, as soon as I unwrapped it. He played with “my” present for the rest of the evening and as I watched him, I smiled.

    I smiled because I remembered gifts I had given loved ones in the past, like the album I gave my older brother one Christmas when I was in high…

    A Christmas Visitor

    On Christmas Eve, 1944, a man known as “Old Brinker” lay dying in a prison hospital, waiting for the makeshift Christmas service led by fellow prisoners. “When does the music start?” he asked William McDougall, who was imprisoned with him in Muntok Prison in Sumatra. “Soon,” replied McDougall. “Good,” replied the dying man. “Then I’ll be able to compare them with the angels.” 

    Although decades earlier Brinker had moved away from his faith in God, in his dying days he confessed his sins and found peace with Him. Instead of greeting others with a sour look, he would smile, which “was…

    A String of Yeses

    One Christmas, my grandmother gave me a beautiful pearl necklace. The lustrous globes glowed about my neck until one day the string broke. Balls bounced in all directions off our home’s hardwood flooring. Crawling over the planks, I recovered each tiny orb. On their own, they were small. But oh, when strung together, those pearls made such an impression!

    Sometimes my yeses to God seem so insignificant—like those individual pearls. I compare myself to Mary, the mother of Jesus who was so fantastically obedient. She said yes when she embraced God’s call for her to carry the Messiah. “‘I am the…

    The Giver’s Delight

    Remember Tickle Me Elmo? Cabbage Patch Kids? The Furby? What do they have in common? Each rank among the twenty most popular Christmas gifts of all time. Also included on the list are familiar favorites such as Monopoly, the Nintendo Game Boy, and Wii.

    We all delight in bestowing gifts at Christmas, but that is nothing compared to God’s delight in bestowing the first Christmas Gift. This gift came in the form of a baby, born in a Bethlehem manger (Luke 2:7).

    Despite His humble birth, the Child’s arrival was proclaimed by an angel who declared, “I bring you good news that…

    Gifts from Above

    According to an old story, a man born in 270 AD named Nicholas heard about a father who was so poor that he couldn’t feed his three daughters, much less provide for their future marriages. Wanting to assist the father, but hoping to keep his help a secret, Nicholas threw a bag of gold through an open window, which landed in a sock or shoe drying on the hearth. That man was known as St. Nicholas, who later became the inspiration for Santa Claus.

    When I heard that story of a gift coming down from above, I thought of God the…

    What Will You Do With Jesus?

    As with every Christmas season, we’ve heard a lot about Jesus and the story of His birth in Bethlehem over the last few weeks. Well, today on Discover the Word, the team will challenge us to respond to the question, What are you going to do with Jesus? Don’t miss the conclusion of our series called, […]

    Celebrating Christmas With A View Toward Easter

    At Christmas, we celebrate the history-altering occurrence when God came to earth as human. But we can’t celebrate Christmas without also remembering the events of Easter. Today on Discover the Word, the team considers how important it is to celebrate Christmas with a view toward Easter, today on Discover the Word!

    The Profound And Selfless Act Of Jesus Becoming Human

    God is all-powerful and all-knowing—the Creator and Sustainer of the universe! Yet, today on Discover the Word, the team looks at Jesus’s profound act of selflessness and humility when He came to earth in the form of a peasant baby. The wonder of “The Christmas Backstory”! Join the group today for Discover the Word!

    Just Another Day?

    In “Christmas Every Day,” William Dean Howells tells of a little girl who gets her wish. For one long, horrible year it is indeed Christmas every day. By day three, the yuletide joy has already begun to wear thin. Before long everyone hates candy. Turkeys become scarce and sell for outrageous prices. Presents are no longer received with gratitude as they pile up everywhere. People angrily snap at each other.

    Thankfully, Howell’s story is just a satirical tale. But what an incredible blessing that the subject of the Christmas celebration never wearies us despite the fact that we see Him throughout the Bible.

    After…

    What Did Jesus Give Up To Become Human?

    We’re well aware of Jesus’s sacrifice when He died on the cross. But we often overlook the immense sacrifice He made just to come down to earth in the first place. Today on Discover the Word, we will consider what Jesus gave up when He chose to be born as a human baby. More of […]

    His Birth and Our New Birth

    His Birth in History. “. . . that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God (Luke 1:35). Jesus Christ was born into this world, not from it. He did not emerge out of history; He came into history from the outside. Jesus Christ is not the best human being the human race can boast of— He is a Being for whom the human race can take no credit at all. He is not man becoming God, but God Incarnate— God coming into human flesh from outside it. His life is the highest and the holiest entering through the most humble of doors. Our Lord’s birth was an advent— the appearance of God in human form.

    Winter Snow

    In winter, I often wake to the beautiful surprise of a world blanketed in the peace and quiet of an early morning snow. Not loudly like a spring thunderstorm that announces its presence in the night, snow comes softly.

    In “Winter Snow Song,” Audrey Assad sings that Jesus could have come to earth in power like a hurricane, but instead He came quietly and slowly like the winter snow falling softly in the night outside my window.

    Jesus’s arrival took many by quiet surprise. Instead of being born in a palace, He was born in an unlikely place, a humble dwelling outside…

    “The Christmas Backstory”

    It’s usually easier to understand a person and why they do what they do when you understand where they came from and how they got to where they are today. And that’s true for the story of Jesus and Christmas. Today on Discover the Word, we begin exploring “The Christmas Backstory.” Don’t miss the start […]

    Joy to the World

    Read: Psalm 98:4   Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music.

    “Joy to the World” remains one of the favourite Christmas carols sung in church services during the Christmas season. It was written by Englishman Isaac Watts in the eighteenth century; many consider him the greatest hymn writer of all time.

    Watts wrote…

    Ponder It

    During Oswald Chambers’ years at the Bible Training College in London (1911–15), he often startled the students with things he said during his lectures. One young woman explained that because discussion was reserved for the following mealtime together, Chambers would frequently be bombarded with questions and objections. She recalled that Oswald would often simply smile and say, “Just leave it for now; it will come to you later.” He encouraged them to ponder the issues and allow God to reveal His truth to them.

    To ponder something is to concentrate and think deeply about it. After the events leading to the…

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