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December 6 | Bible in a Year: Daniel 3-4; 1 John 5

Gifts from Above

The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel.
Matthew 1:23
READ MATTHEW 1:18–25

According to an old story, a man named Nicholas (born in AD 270) heard about a father who was so poor that he couldn’t feed his three daughters, much less provide for their future marriages. Wanting to assist the father, but hoping to keep his help a secret, Nicholas threw a bag of gold through an open window, which landed in a sock or shoe drying on the hearth. That man was known as St. Nicholas, who later became the inspiration for Santa Claus.
When I heard that story of a gift coming down from above, I thought of God the Father, who out of love and compassion sent to earth the greatest gift, His Son, through a miraculous birth. According to Matthew’s gospel, Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecy that a virgin would conceive and give birth to a son whom they would call Immanuel, meaning “God with us” (1:23).

As lovely as Nicholas’s gift was, how much more amazing is the gift of Jesus. He left heaven to become a man, died and rose again, and is God living with us. He brings us comfort when we’re hurting and sad; He encourages us when we feel downhearted; He reveals the truth to us when we might be deceived.
By Amy Boucher Pye

REFLECT & PRAY
Jesus, thank You for the way You left Your Father to be born in humble circumstances. May I never take for granted Your presence in my life. To learn more about the birth of Jesus, visit bit.ly/2R7FD4f.

How can you give the gift of Jesus today? How does His presence lead you to share your resources of time, wisdom, and love with others?

SCRIPTURE INSIGHT
Today’s text introduces us to Joseph, a carpenter in Nazareth and step-father of Jesus. Joseph is only mentioned briefly in Scripture but he’s never the speaker; however, his life speaks volumes of his devotion to God. He’s concerned for the law and desires to act in obedience (Matthew 1:19), yet he pairs that concern with genuine compassion for Mary. His focus on obedience is likewise balanced by trust that the message he’s received from the angel is from God—giving him strength to obey (vv. 22-25).

For more on Joseph, see Mary and Joseph: Reflecting on the Wonder of Christmas at discoveryseries.org/hp074. Bill Crowder
 
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