Christmas Day Devotion - Needle in a Haystack

SCRIPTURES

Family Tree
Isaiah 11:1-5 & 10 | 
Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot— yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root. And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. He will delight in obeying the Lord. He will not judge by appearance nor make a decision based on hearsay. He will give justice to the poor and make fair decisions for the exploited. The earth will shake at the force of his word, and one breath from his mouth will destroy the wicked. He will wear righteousness like a belt and truth like an undergarment. In that day the heir to David’s throne will be a banner of salvation to all the world. The nations will rally to him, and the land where he lives will be a glorious place.

Bethlehem
Matthew 2:1-6 | Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, 
during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem. He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?” “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote:  ‘And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah, are not least among the ruling cities of Judah, for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.’”

Virgin Birth
Matthew 1:22 | All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet: “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! 
She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’”

Shepherds
Psalm 72:9 | Desert nomads will bow before him; his enemies will fall before him in the dust.


Wisemen
Psalm 72:10-11 | 
The western kings of Tarshish and other distant lands will bring him tribute. The eastern kings of Sheba and Seba will bring him gifts. All kings will bow before him, and all nations will serve him.

Egypt
Matthew 2:13-15 |  
After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother, and they stayed there until Herod’s death. This fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: “I called my Son out of Egypt.”

Nazareth
John 1:45-49 | Philip went to look for Nathanael and told him, “We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.” “Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael.
“Can anything good come from Nazareth?” “Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied. As they approached, Jesus said, “Now here is a genuine son of Israel—a man of complete integrity.” “How do you know about me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus replied, “I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.” Then Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God—the King of Israel!”

Messanger
Mark 1:1-4 |
This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. It began just as the prophet Isaiah had written: “Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, and he will prepare your way. He is a voice shouting in the wilderness,  ‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming! Clear the road for him!’” This messenger was John the Baptist. He was in the wilderness and preached that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven.

DISCUSSION

  1. Why is the arrival of the Messiah, or Promised Deliverer, so important?
  2. Some of the Israelites (like the wise men, Andrew, Simon, Philip, and Nathaniel) witnessed the fulfillment of Old Testament foretellings by Jesus and chose to believe in Him. Others (like Herod and the Pharisees) witnessed the same, but did not believe. Why do think some believed and some did not?
  • Do you believe Jesus is the rescuer you need because of your sin? Why or why not
  • True belief shows in our actions as we make Jesus “Lord.” Is this true for you?
3. God’s people were desperately waiting for the Promised Savior’s arrival. Thinking about this and that Christmas is the day we celebrate as Jesus’ birth, what should your Christmas celebration really be all about today?
4. Everyone who realized Jesus was the promised Messiah eagerly proclaimed the good news of his arrival to everyone. How will you proclaim Jesus to others today as you celebrate His birth?

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