Dec 25, 2019
Day 25 – Never Ending Christmas

Unwrapping the Greatest Gift Advent Devotional by Ann Voskamp

Click here to purchase "Unwrapping the Greatest Gift" Advent devotional book. 
 
Todays reading: 
Luke 2: 11-19
The Savior - yes, the Messiah, the Lord - has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others - the armies of heaven - praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” … The shepherds hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherd’s story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.
 
Thoughts to discuss: 
  • What do you think it means that Jesus is the greatest Gift? How can you unwrap more of Him in the coming year?
  • As you hang the final ornament on your Jesse Tree, celebrate and feel the burning warmth of the love of Jesus in your heart! Thank Jesus for being your greatest Gift - and pray that He will help you light this world on fire with his warming love.

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  • Dec 25, 2019Day 25 – Never Ending Christmas
    Dec 25, 2019
    Day 25 – Never Ending Christmas

    Unwrapping the Greatest Gift Advent Devotional by Ann Voskamp

    Click here to purchase "Unwrapping the Greatest Gift" Advent devotional book. 
     
    Todays reading: 
    Luke 2: 11-19
    The Savior - yes, the Messiah, the Lord - has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others - the armies of heaven - praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” … The shepherds hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherd’s story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.
     
    Thoughts to discuss: 
    • What do you think it means that Jesus is the greatest Gift? How can you unwrap more of Him in the coming year?
    • As you hang the final ornament on your Jesse Tree, celebrate and feel the burning warmth of the love of Jesus in your heart! Thank Jesus for being your greatest Gift - and pray that He will help you light this world on fire with his warming love.

  • Dec 24, 2019Day 24 – Kneel at the Manger
    Dec 24, 2019
    Day 24 – Kneel at the Manger

    Unwrapping the Greatest Gift Advent Devotional by Ann Voskamp

    Click here to purchase "Unwrapping the Greatest Gift" Advent devotional book. 
     
    Todays reading: 
    Luke 2:1-7
    At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancee, who was now obviously pregnant. And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.
     
    Thoughts to discuss: 
    • How do you feel Jesus’ love, His presence, with you everywhere you go? How can you keep unwrapping the gift of His presence - the gift of God with you?

    • Write a thank-you note or draw a picture, thanking Jesus for His unstoppable love. Write a neighbor, sharing this love. 
  • Dec 23, 2019Day 23 – He Can’t Stay Away
    Dec 23, 2019
    Day 23 – He Can’t Stay Away

    Unwrapping the Greatest Gift Advent Devotional by Ann Voskamp

    Click here to purchase "Unwrapping the Greatest Gift" Advent devotional book. 
     
    Today’s Reading: Matthew 1:20-23
    An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Joseph, a son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 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.’”
     
    Thoughts to discuss:
    • Do you remember what Jesus’ name means? Why do you think God decided that His name should mean “the Lord saves”?
    • When is it the hardest for you to remember that God is with you? 
    • Find out what each member of your family's name means. Create a reminder of the meaning for their names. 
  • Dec 22, 2019Day 22 – Wide Awake Dreams
    Dec 22, 2019
    Day 22 – Wide Awake Dreams

    Unwrapping the Greatest Gift Advent Devotional by Ann Voskamp

    Click here to purchase "Unwrapping the Greatest Gift" Advent devotional book. 
     
    Today's reading
    Luke 1:28
    Gabriel appeared to Mary and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.” … Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.
     
    Thought to discuss: 
    • Is there anything you need to take a break from for a while to make more space for Jesus? 
    • Close your hands in fists and then open them again. As you do, think about giving God whatever is bothering you. Find one way to open your hand and say yes to God. 
     
  • Dec 21, 2019Day 21 – Thunder in the Desert
    Dec 21, 2019
    Day 21 – Thunder in the Desert

    Unwrapping the Greatest Gift Advent Devotional by Ann Voskamp

    Click here to purchase "Unwrapping the Greatest Gift" Advent devotional book. 
     
    Today's reading: 
    Matthew 3:1-3
    In those days John the Baptist came to the Judean wilderness and began preaching. His message was, "Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near." The prophet Isaiah was speaking about John when he said, "He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, prepare the way for the LORD's coming! Clear the road for him!"
     
    Thought to discuss:
    • What's one thing you could do to prepare the way for Jesus's coming now?
    • Spend some time today thinking about what it means to have Jesus here with you. How does He make a difference in your life? 
  • Dec 20, 2019Day 20 – God Remembers
    Dec 20, 2019
    Day 20 – God Remembers

    Unwrapping the Greatest Gift Advent Devotional by Ann Voskamp

    Click here to purchase "Unwrapping the Greatest Gift" Advent devotional book. 
     
    Today's reading: 
    Luke 1:6-8, 11-17
    Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations. They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old. One day Zechariah was serving God in the Temple, for his order was on duty that week … While Zechariah was in the sanctuary, an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the incense altar. Zechariah was shaken and overwhelmed with fear when he saw him. But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John. You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or other alcoholic drinks. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. And he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God. He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord.”
     
    Thoughts to discuss: 
    • Have you ever experienced a miracle? Have you heard about someone else who experienced a miracle? 

    • Why do you think the miracles of Christmas is one of the greatest miracles of all? 
    • As a family, sing a Christmas song that reminds you of the miracle of Christmas. 
  • Dec 19, 2019Day 19 – Watch and Wait
    Dec 19, 2019
    Day 19 – Watch and Wait

    Unwrapping the Greatest Gift Advent Devotional by Ann Voskamp

    Click here to purchase "Unwrapping the Greatest Gift" Advent devotional book. 
     
    Today's reading: 
    Habakkuk 2:1; 3:17-19
    I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guardpost. There I will wait to see what the Lord says and how he will answer my complaint … Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines: even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields; and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.
     
    Thoughts to discuss: 
    • Is there something that has been stealing your joy lately? What has helped you get through sad times in the past?

    • Go around the room and have each person tell about a gift from God he or she noticed today. 
    • Find a jar to use as your "grateful jar." Write down some of the things you are thankful for and put the slips of paper in the jar. Whenever you're having a rough day, you can empty the jar to remember the things you have to be grateful for. 
     
  • Dec 18, 2019Day 18 – A Bridge to the King
    Dec 18, 2019
    Day 18 – A Bridge to the King

    Unwrapping the Greatest Gift Advent Devotional by Ann Voskamp

    Click here to purchase "Unwrapping the Greatest Gift" Advent devotional book. 
     
    Today's reading: 
    Esther 4:10-16
    Esther said: “All the king’s officials and even the people in the provinces know that anyone who appears before the king in his inner court without being invited is doomed to die unless the king holds out his gold scepter. And the king has not called for me to come to him for thirty days.” … Mordecai sent this reply to Esther: “Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for such a time as this?” The Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the laws, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die.”
     
    Thoughts to Discuss: 
    • Do you think Esther was brave? Why or why not?
    • Do you think you need to be brave to share the greatest Gift with other people? Why or why not?
    • Think of a creative way you can tell others that God loves them. Be brave, just like Esther! 
  • Dec 17, 2019Day 17 – A True Fairytale
    Dec 17, 2019
    Day 17 – A True Fairytale

    Unwrapping the Greatest Gift Advent Devotional by Ann Voskamp

    Click here to purchase "Unwrapping the Greatest Gift" Advent devotional book. 
     
    Today's reading: 
    Micah 5:2-5
    You, O Bethlemhem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past. The people of Israel will be abandoned to their enemies until the woman in labor gives birth. Then at last his fellow countrymen will return from exile to their own land. And he will stand to lead his flock with the Lord's strength, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. Then his people will live there undisturbed, for he will be highly honored around the world. And he will be the source of peace. 
     
    Thoughts to discuss:
    • Why do you think Jesus was born in such a small, insignificant town?
    • How does it make you feel to know that God can do amazing things in little places with unexpected people?
    • Think of one little thing you can do today to make someone feel special.
  • Dec 16, 2019Day 16 – Turning Around
    Dec 16, 2019
    Day 16 – Turning Around

    Unwrapping the Greatest Gift Advent Devotional by Ann Voskamp

    Click here to purchase "Unwrapping the Greatest Gift" Advent devotional book. 
     
    Today's reading:
    Jonah 1:1-3, 17; 2:10; 3:1-3 
    The Lord gave this message to Jonah son of Amittai: “Get up and go to the great city of Ninevah. Announce my judgement against it because I have seen how wicked its people are.” But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord. He went down to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket and went on board, hoping to escape from the Lord by sailing to Tarshish..
    Now the Lord had arranged for a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights … Then the Lord ordered the fish to spit JOnah out onto the beach … Then the Lord spoke to Jonah a second time: “Get up and go to the great city of Ninevah, and deliver the message I have given you.” This time Jonah obeyed the Lord’s command and went to Ninevah.
     
    Thoughts to discuss: 
    • What's one thing you'd like to say sorry for?
    • How would describe a miracle? Do you think miracles still happen today? 
    • Write down something you want to tell God you are sorry about. Draw a heart around it to remind you that nothing can stop God's love for you. 
    • As you hang today's ornament on your Jesse Tree, thank God for the miracle of forgiveness.