Winter 2022

Daily Devotional: Monday, December 19 - The Christmas Spirit

“… God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.” — 1 Timothy 6:15-16

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Coaches and athletes often continue training and participating in competition during the holidays. If we’re not careful, we turn into Ebenezer Scrooge when we try to keep up our regular sports schedules and also buy Christmas presents, go to Christmas parties and struggle to stay in game condition while enjoying Christmas meals and sweets. Generally, we tend to be less patient when we are tired. Plus, it’s human nature to be selfish, and we need God’s help to learn to be generous. All of us like to have our way, but it is Christlike to be unselfish, to think of others and to promote them instead of ourselves.

One aspect of the Christmas spirit is to bow before Jesus in worship as the King above all other kings. Christ is at the center of our Christmas celebrations when we recognize His greatness and that He is God come to earth. Jesus is “… the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen” (1 Timothy 6:15-16).

During the Christmas season, we enjoy exchanging gifts. And the greatest gift was “wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12). An open hand rather than a clenched fist reflects the Christmas spirit. When Paul urged others to help people in need, he pointed to the example of Jesus. “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive'” (Acts 20:35).

If we have the Christmas spirit, we are patient with people during the Christmas season and throughout the year. God is pleased when we treat others well, and we will also have more peace and harmony at home, in the workplace and everywhere. Rude, selfish behavior is the opposite of what Jesus would do. The Spirit of Christ is to love others the way we want to be loved. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).

The gift of kindness is the essence of the Christmas spirit.

— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia

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