Daily December Devotional — Day 11

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Today’s Verses:

Isaiah 9:1-7

In the past [the LORD] humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan –

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.

You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest,
as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder.

For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,
you have shattered the yoke that burdens them,
the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor.

Every warrior’s boot used in battle
and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.

And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end.

He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.

The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

In Matthew 4:13-16, Matthew references the second verse of this passage in Isaiah. Matthew describes that after hearing that John the Baptist, his cousin, was put into prison, Jesus went to Capernaum, which was “by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali – to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah…” Matthew goes on to quote Isaiah 9:2 with minor variations, demonstrating that Jesus was the one to whom Isaiah 9:1-7 was referring. Joseph and Mary, faithful adherents to the law, would have known these verses in Isaiah well.

Today’s Questions:

What is the impact on the people when the light dawns according to verses 3-4?

Their nation is ______________________.

Their joy is __________________________.

Their yoke that burdened them is ________________________.

The warrior’s equipment is destined for _____________________.

What words come to mind as you read the names by which Jesus will be called?

  • Wonderful Counselor
  • Mighty God
  • Everlasting Father
  • Prince of Peace

How might referring to Jesus by these names as you pray this week impact your relationship with him and your ability to endure the circumstances in which you find yourself?

Today’s Prayer:

Everlasting Father, thank you that the promise spoken by Isaiah was true. Thank you that you invited all the nations into relationship with you, through Jesus. Thank you for joy and for shattering our slavery to sin. Thank you for the peace that you bring and will bring. Father, I am holding onto other promises you have made in your Word — that Jesus will come again and will wipe every tear and eradicate all mourning and death. Remind me of these things, Father. Help me keep my eyes fixed on what you have promised.

Daily December Devotional — Day 6

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Today’s Verses:

Luke 1:26-28

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

Nazareth is about 80 miles north of Jerusalem. Galilee, like Judea, was under the rule of Herod the Great. Only two angels are identified by name in Scripture – Gabriel and Michael. In Latin Vulgate, “greetings” is translated “Ave.”

Today’s Questions:

Why do you think God wanted Mary to know she was highly favored and that he was with her?

What do you think Gabriel meant when he said, “The Lord is with you”?

What do you imagine Gabriel would say to you if he appeared at God’s instruction?

Is there any situation you are facing, or face regularly, that would be eased if you simply reminded yourself, “The Lord is with me”?

Today’s Prayer:

Father in heaven, what a thing it must be to be highly favored by you and to be told by an angel that you personally sent from heaven, “the Lord is with you”! Lord, would you speak words of love to me? Would you share with me again and again how you made me on purpose, a masterpiece of your hands, and that you are with me right now. Let these words penetrate my guarded heart and preoccupied mind. Help me to know, to really know, you love me.