RSBC Bible Reading Plan

"...Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path..." - Psalm 119:105

November 27 – Revelation 13-15

November 28 – Revelation 16-18

November 29 – Revelation 19-20

November 30 – Revelation 21-22

The Cost Of Christmas 25 Day Devotional Reading Plan

https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/13496-cost-of-christmas

 

The following devotionals are provided online through the Bible Reading App and Bible.com through the generous contributions of Dr. Jack Graham, author and pastor.

 

December 1 – Matthew 1:1-17 “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and … so all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.”

The New Testament’s first book, Matthew, begins with 17 verses, 45 names, and 347 words detailing the genealogy of Jesus. Why would that be so? It’s certainly not an introductory paragraph that grabs the casual reader’s attention. Of course, if you know the whole story, then it’s one of the most amazing passages in all of literature. You see, it reveals that Jesus was the embodiment, the fulfillment of centuries-old Hebrew prophecies about a Messiah, a Savior, a Christ, who would save God’s people   through the line of Abraham. Secondly, it reveals Christ’s humanity and His humility. Even though Jesus was the only begotten Son of God, He came to this Earth in a physical form common to every person and anything but god-like. Yes, Jesus’ family tree included Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, King David, and King Solomon—royalty, patriarchs, and heroes of the Bible. But it also included the wicked: murderers, adulterers, idol worshippers, and thieves. And it included average, everyday people, the common man if you will. On Christmas Day so long ago, when Jesus was born on this Earth, He was no different than any us in the physical or human sense. He cried, He grew hungry or thirsty, and He lived a brief life. But this man always has been, is, and will forever be our Savior, the Messiah, and the only true hope for a dark, degenerate, and dying world.

December 2 – Matthew 1:19-24 “And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife”… When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him.”

I want you to picture this: You’re a man who’s just been engaged to be married. You and your bride-to-be are wholeheartedly devoted to God and are committed to maintaining purity in your relationship with one another. Then one day, your fiancée breaks the news that she’s pregnant. You know you’ve never had relations with her, so she must’ve slept with another man. Then, she has the audacity to tell you she didn’t cheat on you, but God got her pregnant! That’s the dilemma Joseph was facing. No doubt, he didn’t believe her at first. Who would have? But an angel appeared to Joseph and reassured him that Mary was telling the truth. Now, his problems were worse. The honorable thing to do would be to quietly divorce Mary. But now, the world would look on his family with scorn. It’s impossible to really know what life was like for this family. But we do know that because of Joseph’s faithfulness to God, to Mary, and to this new little baby, his family endured the hardship. What an example of faithfulness in the face of hardship! God will often call us to face difficulties because of our obedience to Him. But it’s in those times that we must remain steadfast in our faithfulness and, like Joseph, trust God to bring us through it. Face any hardship with faith and trust God!

December 3 – Matthew 1:21 “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” MATTHEW 1:21

As a child, I used to love getting up on Christmas morning and rushing into the living room to hopefully receive all the gifts I had requested. Like most children, I rarely stopped to think that my parents had spent their hard-earned income on trinkets and toys that would soon be forgotten, discarded, or outgrown. But as I look back as an adult on those Christmases, something sticks out as much more important and much more treasured than opening presents. You see, every Christmas morning, before any of those presents were opened, my family would spend some time with my grandfather’s well-worn Bible, reading the story of that first Christmas. It’s so easy in our day and age to define Christmas by what’s under the tree. But let’s never forget the real reason for the season: Jesus Christ. He’s the one the Old Testament prophecies pointed to, and He is the only one who can truly bring peace to our dark and violent world. As you and your loved ones prepare to celebrate Christmas, I want to encourage you to take the step of reading the Bible together as a part of your celebration. Don’t neglect the heart of the Christmas season. Put Christ and His teachings first in your Christmas, and you’ll create memories that last forever.

December 4 – Matthew 1:21-23 “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel.”

With three weeks to Christmas, the craziness of the season is fast approaching its peak. Right now, millions of people around the world are preparing for Christmas. The mall parking lots are filling up, the lines in stores are growing, and online shopping sites are swamped with frantic buyers searching for the gift that defines this Christmas. People are consumed by the frenzy of Christmas. It makes you wonder whether they really know what Christmas is about. Is it a myth? Is it about merriment? Is it about money and merchandizing? Is it about being with loved ones? In the busyness of the holiday season, it’s easy to lose sight of how  truly incredible the miracle of Christmas really is. Christmas is an amazing, life-changing miracle that happened long ago—and that continues to happen in the lives of those who know Christ. Think about it. A virgin girl in a small backwater town conceived a child who would transform the world. That tiny baby, Jesus, would bridge the gulf between God and mankind, taking on our sin so His followers could be forgiven. The story of Christmas is the Greatest Story Ever Told because Jesus came to bear the cost, to take on the punishment we deserve, to open the gates of heaven for all who believe in our Savior. It’s unimaginable, but it’s true! Christmas is about redemption. It’s about hope. As our verse today says, “He will save his people from their sins.” Because Christ was born, we can be filled with joy, hope, and peace! And that is something truly worth celebrating!

December 5 – Luke 1-41-43 “And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”

Mary, the mother of Jesus, is one of the most misunderstood persons in all of the Word of God. She is adored by some, even worshipped by many, and often ignored by others. There is a great deal of confusion about this amazing woman. But as we look into the story of Jesus’ birth, we find a woman who loved God and faced an uncertain future with full faith. She worshipped and sang to God for many of the reasons you and I do, even calling Jesus her “Savior” (Luke 1:47). Yes, Mary was a faithful servant of God. But she was born in  the same sin and is saved by the same grace that saves you and me. She is not a mediator to Jesus, and she has no special power in heaven. She is what she is by the grace of God – no more and no less. As we look to Mary and her crucial role in the life of Jesus, let’s be quick to thank God for the love that was shown through her. Pray that God would make you a conduit of that same love and grace to others as well!