Your Daily Advent Devotional
December 11, 2013


A Manger Spoken For

So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Luke 2:6-7 NKJV

We might read that part of the Christmas story and wonder how that no-vacancy detail could have escaped God's attention. How could He have failed to make room at the inn for His Son and His family? But look again, and we'll see something else.

That manger wasn't an afterthought or backup plan if something else didn't work out. It was a gift, a tangible demonstration of God's focus and order, because there was room for only one Savior. And the gift from old is re-created each day in our hearts where, again, there is room for only one Savior.

Is your heart running low on peace or joy, trust or belief or eagerness to live your life? Whatever your heart needs is wrapped perfectly in the gift of the living Christ--joy to the world at His birth and right now, too.

And as surely as He filled that manger designed only for Him, He fills your heart with the grace and will and power you need to live the life He's designed only for you, because you are no afterthought or backup plan either.

Because He is our greatest teacher and example, we learn to live this beautiful life as we make room in the manger of our hearts for the peace and joy He's created especially for us. And Christmas is a wonderful time to begin.

Father, thank You for the manger You planned and our Jesus to fill it and for our family and our Jesus to fill our hearts.

Look at as many pictures as you can find of nativity scenes: in books, on the computer, on greeting cards. Gather any nativity scenes you have, perhaps even unveil a new one for your family, or draw or make a simple one together. Ask your children how many Saviors are in each nativity. The answer is always one--the One God sent because there could be no other. Remind your children how special and unique Jesus is and how our hearts are designed to hold only Him.

Joy to the World

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.


Excerpted from:

Excerpted from Our Family Christmas © 2013, by Barbour Publishing, Inc., used by special permission granted solely for the use of Christianbook.com.


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