The story of Mary in Luke 1:26-28 gives us a scene that helps us investigate what it truly means to be blessed. Blessings aren’t the good things in life. Blessing is the presence of God in your life and your ability to recognize it! What are some ways that God has blessed you this year? Write them down in your journal or Bible and take time out to thank God in prayer for all that He has done, is doing, and will continue to do to bless you.
Merry Christmas!! May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace. [Numbers 6:24-26]. You are a gift to those around you, and we hope that you can take time today and reflect on the love of friends, family, and your Heavenly Father. As you celebrate the birth of Jesus and the generosity of our Savior today, know that God is with you, God loves you, and God can make something out of nothing!
2 Corinthians 9:8 reminds us that God is able to bless us abundantly for every good work. As the food coma from yesterday subsides, and the leftovers are heated up, consider taking some extra plates to those in the homeless communities nearby. As you do, let them know that God is with them, loves them, and can make something out of nothing. You can also offer to pray for their needs right then and there. As you head back home, consider what it might be like to spend a day in their shoes and pray a special prayer of blessing over them as well.
One of the names given to the Messiah at his birth was IMMANUEL. Immanuel means “God with us.” This idea is referred to as “incarnation,” that God lived and dwelled among us in the form of Jesus. Jesus commissioned his followers to go and do likewise. As we endeavor to be the embodiment of this idea, we should embrace the same attitude of Mary in Luke 1:38. Write down some ideas you have that will allow you to be a blessing to others in your home, workplace, community, church, etc. As you seek the Lord for open doors to those opportunities, let part of your prayer be: “Lord, thank you for blessing me to be a blessing to others.”
As this year comes to a close and the new year approaches, many people will be choosing yearly words to focus on or making New Year’s Resolutions. A new year often symbolizes a fresh start and perhaps a new direction to reach your personal goals. Carve some time out today to take stock of the blessings of this past year and the ways that God is leading you to be a blessing to those around you. Read over Luke 2:52 and think of some goals you have for spiritual, mental, relational, and physical growth this year. Write them down where you will see them daily. You can also share them with a trusted friend or mentor. Use these goals to help you take steps toward knowing Jesus better and becoming more like Him in 2019!
TALK IT OVER
- What are your plans to celebrate Christmas and New Years?
- If you were to post a picture on social media with the hashtag #Blessed, what would it be a picture of?
- How old were you when you first understood the depth of the Christmas story? (Mary as an unwed mother & Joseph putting faith in God as they traveled, etc.)
- How has God blessed you (even through seasons/situations you didn’t understand or appreciate at the moment)?
- Do you know someone (maybe it’s you) going through a really tough time during this holiday season? How can we be praying with you/them during this time? If needed, pass along information for them to call/email the church: [email protected], (512) 298-2013
- What is one way you feel God challenging/empowering you to be a blessing to others in 2019?