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In his new Because of Bethlehem Advent Tabletop Devotional, Max Lucado highlights an inspirational quote, a Scripture and conversation starter questions. Rejoice in the truth with twenty-five daily devotions for the Christmas season that focus on Jesus, the reason we celebrate Christmas. Please enjoy the passage from December 23.
In the manger God loves you; through the cross God saves you. But has he taken you to his home? Not yet. He has work for you to do. He wants the world to see what God can do with his purchased possessions. So . . . he prunes you.
Once he stabilizes us, the decorating begins. He festoons us with the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. He crowns us. Most people crown their Christmas trees with either an angel or a star. God uses both. He sends his angels to protect us and his Word as a star to guide us. Then he surrounds us with his grace. We become his depot, the distribution point of God’s gifts. He wants no one to leave our presence empty handed. Some people find the gift of salvation. For others the gifts are smaller: a kind word, a good deed. But all the gifts are from God.
Our task is to stand tall in his love, secure in our place, sparkling in kindness, surrounded by his goodness, freely giving to all who come our way. You, me, and the Christmas tree. Picked, purchased, and pruned.
Jesus said, “My Father is the gardener . . . He trims and cleans every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce even more fruit.” John 15:1, 2 NCV
What gifts has God given to you? How can you “freely give” those to others?
This is an excerpt from the Because of Bethlehem Tabletop Devotional written by Max Lucado, to view more about this book along with our entire Max Lucado Collection, click here. To read an exclusive Q&A with Max Lucado, click here.
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Therefore encourage one another
and build each other up as you are already doing.
1 Thess 5:11 CSB