Christmas Devotions for Families

BackstageBethlehemChristmas may be the most wonderful time of the year, but when you have kids at home, it can also be the craziest.  It’s hard to find time in the busy holiday season to make sure that Jesus is the center of your celebration.

Backstage Bethlehem will make that a little bit easier.  In this series of family devotions, we will pull back the curtain on Christmas and take a look at who Jesus really is, the Creator and King of the universe on a daring mission to save the world.

Don’t settle for an ordinary advent.  Take your family behind-the-scenes for an unforgettable journey.  Sign up for my family devotional newsletter to receive a new Backstage Bethlehem devotion every Monday beginning November 26.

If you already signed up for my Thanksgiving devotions, you do not need to sign up again.

 

Family Devotion: Turkey Busters 3

TB3This is Part Three of a seven-part series. Here is Part One and Part Two if you need to catch up. Sign up to receive Turkey Busters sent straight to your inbox.

Verse to Remember: Don’t do anything only to get ahead. Don’t do it because you are proud. Instead, be humble. Value others more than yourselves. – Phil 2:3 (NIrV)

Big Idea: Make a big deal out of God and others.

Have you ever known someone who likes to brag? Some people love to tell you all about how many points they scored or the exciting vacation they took or the big present they got for their birthday. Sure, it’s normal to want to share things we’re excited about, but it’s easy to take it too far. Before we know it, we may be spending way too much time talking about ourselves instead of celebrating others.

There was a guy in the Bible who loved to brag. But not about himself. He did all his bragging about Jesus. His name was John the Baptist.

For hundreds of years, God told the Israelites he was going to send a hero to rescue them. This hero was called the Messiah. God sent John to tell people this hero was coming soon.

People asked John if he was the Messiah. He said, “No way! I’m not even good enough to untie his shoes!” Over and over again, John kept bragging about the Messiah and telling people how awesome he was going to be.

Then, one day, Jesus showed up, and John told everyone Jesus was the one they had been waiting for all along.

Later, the crowds who had been following John started following Jesus instead. One of John’s followers thought he might be jealous. But guess what? John was happy about it. He said, “He must become more important. I must become less important” (John 3:30 NIrV).

John was truly humble. He didn’t look down on himself. He just didn’t spend much time thinking about himself at all. He was too busy telling others about Jesus.

Think About It:

How about you? How do you feel when someone else gets all the attention? When your friends tell you about something good that happened to them, are you happy for them or do you ever try to “one up” them to make yourself look good instead?

When we try to make a big deal out of ourselves, we can end up acting like world-class turkeys, but when we make a big deal out of God and others, we are free to enjoy life, our friends and the blessings God gives us.

Prayer: God, you are great. Help me to brag about you and other people and not make a big deal about myself. Amen.

Talk About It:
1. Who is someone you can brag about this week other than yourself?
2. What is something you could do to make them feel special?
3. What has God has done for you that you can brag about to others?  Who can you tell?

Read More About It: Read more about what John said about Jesus in John 1:19-27.

Don’t miss a devotion. Sign up to receive Turkey Busters sent straight to your inbox.

Holiday Road Episode 4: Amazing God

cornmaze

Happy October everyone!  In today’s episode I share some spiritual lessons about wisdom and trust from a trip my family took a corn maze a few years ago.

Listen to Episode 4, Amazing God on iTunes.

In this episode I talk about how sometimes we just see the circumstances in front of us while God always sees the bigger picture.  Here are some awesome corn maze pictures that remind me that’s God’s perspective is so much better than my own.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do,and he will show you which path to take. – Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)

Also, I mentioned a cool, roadside pumpkin stand we visited last week.  Here are a few pics.  The family who owns started it as a 4-H project with their kids ten years ago but have kept it going ever since.  We love this place.

Pumpkin1Pumpkin3

For more fall-themed devotions, check out my book, Tales from the Leaf Pile, available on Amazon in paperback or ebook.

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