Christmas To Do-ers List, Day 8: Go Tell About Him

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Christmas To Do-ers List

Day 8: Go Tell About Him

“When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.” Luke 2:17-18

The night started out just like any other.

At dusk, the shepherds settled themselves and their sheep in for the night, on the alert to possible attacks.  

Once the shepherds had gathered their wits about them and understood the angel’s message, they ran to Bethlehem to find the Savior. And find Him they did.

The shepherds surely shared with Mary and Joseph about the angels’ visit, and unable to contain themselves, they lost no time in sharing this hot-off-the-presses news about the baby King they found in a manger with anyone who would listen.

Jesus has that effect on people. He likes to stir things up. When the sacred intersects the ordinary, spectacular things happen. The lame walk. The blind see. Sinners are forgiven. Addictions are broken. And angels sing—and not just for Jesus’ birth. Luke 15:10 tells us that whenever another soul is won to heaven, heaven celebrates.

What About Us?

Tell about Jesus this Christmas
Tell about Jesus this Christmas

Perhaps your story isn’t as flashy as a million-watt sky filled with angels. But the reality is, you’re a different person than you were before Jesus, and that is a story that deserves to be told. In the way only you can tell it. Never underestimate the power of a changed life to reach others.

Like the shepherds, be alert to those God has primed for your story. As a matter of fact, pray for God to send those who need a word from you. Let’s look at a few ways to share:

  1. Practice your story.Write down a 1-minute version of your story. Your life before Jesus, your conversion and your life after Jesus. And share it when God opens the door for you to do so.
  2. Give tangible help. Bring a meal to a family with a new baby or to a family going through a hard time. Pray that God opens a way for you to share with them, either now or in the future.
  3. Volunteer to teach a class at your church or lead a neighborhood Bible study. Both children and adults need to hear that Jesus loves them enough to have died for them.
  4. Write out your story longhand or on your computer so that future generations of your family will have a copy. You never know when your story will be able to reach through time to influence others.

Mary and I appreciate you joining us over Advent for this series. Be looking for our New Year’s podcast over the next week. Merry Christmas to your and your family!




Christmas To Do-ers List, Day 7: Serve Him

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Christmas To Do-ers List

Day 7: Serve Him

36 “Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; 37 and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 38 And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.”

Luke 2:36-38

There are over 120 miracles recorded in the Bible. Memorable deeds, acts of bravery and great faith which are recorded for all eternity in God’s word: Moses parting of the Red Sea,  Peter walking on water, David slaying Goliath. Saints brought down walls, survived fiery furnaces, raised the dead and healed the sick.

There is one woman we must remember,

Anna the prophetess. Remember her miraculous deed for the Lord? I didn’t either at first. What did Anna do?

She fasted and she prayed.

For over eighty years, she lived in the temple and served God.  Eighty years of fasting, praying and serving?  That’s a miracle.

What did Anna pray about?

Serve Jesus this Christmas

I imagine as Anna was constantly in the temple, she saw many people come with their sins and their sacrifices. Perhaps some with tears and anguish mingled on their faces.  It would not be unlikely to assume Anna watched and  prayed for these people as they worshiped.

I also think Anna spent much of her time praying for her nation and for the coming Savior. Because she was constantly in the presence of God, her heart was tender to His sudden appearing with His mother and father, Mary and Joseph.

The heroes of old listed above were blessed because they saw the hand of God in their circumstances. Anna, after a lifetime of service, was blessed to see the face of  God in her Savior Jesus.

Action Points:

  1. Who needs a little help today? Perhaps an elderly neighbor needs help wrapping presents, baking cookies or shoveling snow. Be the hands of Jesus and serve a neighbor.
  2. Who in your family needs a little help today? Does your spouse need help with a chore or their to-do list? Does another family member need encouragement? Be the hands of Jesus and serve your family.
  3. Pray and ask Jesus to show you someone who needs help today. Be looking for opportunities to share the love of Christ. Be the hands of Jesus and serve a stranger.

Please comment on how you plan to serve other today.

Serve others by serving Him. Merry Christmas.

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Please enjoy the Christmas music below.




Christmas To Do-ers List, Day 6: Protect Him

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Christmas To Do-ers List

Day 6:Protect Him

 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.” Matthew 2:13
Often times, Joseph’s role in the Nativity is overlooked. But God chose Him just as carefully as He did Mary. Had Joseph been any less the humble, prayerful, courageous man he was, Mary and Jesus would have been in serious trouble.
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 If Ever There Was a Righteous Man …

 First of all, we see in Matthew 1:19-25 that  Joseph is a righteous man. When he finds out Mary is pregnant, he could have made a spectacle out of her to protect his own reputation. He does not want to disgrace her, however, so he decides to divorce her quietly.  Before Joseph can do this, God sends an angel who explains through a dream that  Joseph should not be afraid to take Mary as his wife. Even though he surely knew his reputation would be in tatters from the village gossip, Joseph does exactly what the angel says. We see the tangible hedge of protection he casts around Mary and her unborn child.
When King Herod orders a census, Joseph packs up a very pregnant Mary, and they set off for his hometown of Bethlehem. Joseph’s next test comes upon arrival in the city, which is packed to capacity and beyond. Mary is already in the active stages of labor, but every inn Joseph frantically inquires at has no room. In the knick of time, one innkeeper offers an animal stable, and Joseph becomes midwife by ushering Jesus into the world.
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Joseph is the type of man you want around in an emergency.

Finally, in Matthew 2:13 Joseph again protects his little family as God sends another angel in a dream Day 6 Protect jpgto warn him of danger, as Herod is diabolically bent on snuffing out the lives of every baby boy in Bethlehem. He bolts up in the middle of the night, gathers his family, and leaves for Egypt.
Through Joseph’s example, we can see the importance of protecting our relationship with the Lord. Had Joseph not been a righteous man who made his relationship with God the biggest priority in his life, this story could have turned out much differently. But as it was, Joseph prayed and believed and had so nurtured his relationship with God, that when God called upon him, he was ready. He humbled himself and he displayed  true grit and courage that helped save the lives of Mary and Jesus. His is a true story of protection, love, and obedience, one that we should emulate.
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How Can We Protect our Relationship with God?

In order to display the grit and courage of Joseph, we need to protect and guard our connection to Jesus.

  1. Make Jesus your top priority. The only way you’ll get to know Him is in the same way we get to know any other person in our lives: by spending time with Him. Show up each day to read the Bible, pray, and listen for the Holy Spirit’s direction.
  2. Be obedient to the direction the Holy Spirit gives you. He is our helper, teacher, and guide. By tuning in to His voice, we will be living under the protection and direction of the Holy Spirit.
  3. Make sure you’re growing and changing. If you’re still at the same spiritual level you were ten years ago, something is not right. We need to be in the process of transformation.
  4. Try something new. Explore a spiritual discipline, such as silence and solitude. Attend a retreat. Try walking through a labyrinth prayer walk (the link contains a search that will locate the ones closest to you.) Just don’t stagnate.

Enjoy the music of the season and let us know your thoughts on how you will protect your relationship with Jesus.




Christmas To Do-ers List, Day 5: Seek Him

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Christmas To Do-ers List

Day 5: Seek Him

“Behold, I send My messenger,  and he will prepare the way before Me.
And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple,
Even the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight.
Behold, He is coming,”
Says the LORD of hosts. Malachi 3:1
O come, O come, Emmanuel.
Come Emmanuel, to our homes, to our workplaces, and to our churches. Come Emmanuel to our prisons, hospitals, schools, nursing homes, slums, street corners, and to our hearts. God promises when we seek Him,  He will come.

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Seek.

To seek. In the Ancient Hebrew, baqash, means “to seek, require, desire, exact, request.” Do we seek God in everything we do, every place we go, in every decision we make?  Do we require His presence in order to do life or do we trudge along without Him?
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Seek Him.

Baqash also means “to search for as by touching.”  When do we search by touch? When we can’t see. Tripping through the darkness with hands outstretched to protect ourselves and find our way.  Stumbling because we are blinded by the darkness of our own sin and frailty. Grappling in the shadow of our guilt, hands reaching through the blackness until we grasp the One we seek, the One we long for.  Jesus. Our Emmanuel.
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Seek the face of God.Seek Day 5 jpeg

As traditions states, the Wise Men sought His face, wet with sweat and blood at the manger. We seek His face, wet with sweat and blood at the foot of the cross. So begins our journey with God, a lifetime of searching, seeking and finding as Jesus reveals Himself to those who seek Him.
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Seek the face of God this Christmas.

Most significantly, baqash translates “to seek specifically in worship or prayer.”  The keys to finding Jesus this Christmas: prayer and worship.  In the midst of the merry making, the caroling, the tree and the stockings, remember the reason we’re celebrating: Jesus
Seek His word, His will, His wisdom, His presence,  seek Him through prayer and worship.
Seek Him.

Action Points:

  1. In order to seek Jesus, we must think of places where He may be found. List a few places or activities in which you can meet with Jesus. Pick one to do today.
  2. Jesus can always be found when we seek Him in His Word. Play the beautiful Christmas music embedded below, get your Bible and read Luke 2. Write down what God speaks to your heart as your seek Him.
  3. Seek Jesus while enjoying His creation. Unplug. Leave the phone at home and just listen to Him.

How will you seek Jesus today? Please comment below.

Be a doer of the word!

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Christmas To Do-ers List, Day 4: Shine for Him

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Christmas To Do-ers List

Day 4: Shine for Him

“We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:2

I awoke to the inky blackness of an unfamiliar room. I was traveling, sleeping in a room that had darkening shades. A smothering blackness engulfed me as I groped for the little flashlight I put next to my bed. Switching on the button, I breathed a little easier as the features of the room came into focus. Amazing how one tiny light can penetrate the darkness.

Star Light, Star Bright

In the Christmas story, a bright star illuminating the night sky spark a years-long search for some astrologers. Three wisemen from a distant land notice a new, bright star in the sky and they search for answers to this phenomenon. They learn that this star signifies the birth a a new king, and they set aside everything else in their lives to follow the star. Every evening the light of the star guides them, it’s bright presence a constant source of direction and comfort and promise on their long journey through unfamiliar territory and uncertainty.star, wisemen, shining for Jesus, light

At long last they arrive to see the full power of the star shining directly on the little family. Overwhelmed, they place their gifts at the feet of the new King and worship Him.

 As Jesus grew, it was apparent something was different about Him. People were drawn to Him. The scriptures tell us that it wasn’t because he had rock-star looks. Isaiah 53:3 makes this clear: “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him.”
I like to think that it was the light of God shining through Him that drew others. He had a polarizing effect, much the same today: you either loved Him or you hated Him. Those that let themselves get close enough to Him recognized His absolute love of and care for others.

We are Now the Torch Bearers

With the death and Resurrection of Jesus, God now wants us to be His light in a dark world. Are we comfortable shining for Him, or do we hide our light under a bushel basket? Let’s consider some ways we can shine for Christ:

Action Points:

  1. We can ask the Holy Spirit to fill us up each day and then listen to how he directs our words and actions. Being obedient to His direction will help us to better love and minister to others. (John 14:26).
  2. We can learn about spiritual gifts. Read 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12:6-8, and Ephesians 4:11,12 for a list of some of the gifts. God wants us to use these to benefit others and by developing our gifts, we will certainly be letting our light shine.
  3. Don’t underestimate the power of a daily time spent in the word combined with prayer. As we become transformed into His image, as we go about the normal activities of our days, His spirit will shine through us.

Never think that your gifts or life is too small or ordinary to make a difference. Just as the tiny flashlight beside my bed brought the whole room into clear focus,

Please share your thoughts in the comment section and/or on our To Do-ers Facebook page. Enjoy today’s music The Star Still Shines as you reflect on the lesson.