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Th e J e s u s Ca l l i n gBi b l e Ch r i s t ma s De v o t i o n a l

Week2: Hi sPr es enc e


a c ei En j o yPe n

s Pr e s e n c e Hi

sCh s t s Th i r i ma

Four weekJesusCal l i ngBi bl e Chr i st masi nspi r edemai ldevot i onal .

TheJ es usCal l i ngDev ot i onal Bi bl eput sr eader si nt ouc hwi t h GodandHi sans wer sf ort hei rl i f es i t uat i ons .Mi s s i onar ySar ah Younghadbeenj our nal i ngherpr ay er sf ory ear swhens hebegan " l i s t eni ng"f orwhatJ es uswass ay i ngt oherwi t hi nt hewor dsof Sc r i pt ur e.I nt hi sBi bl e,260s c enar i ospos el i f es t r uggl est owhi c h Sar ahYounggi v esans wer sf r om herSav i or wor dst hatJ es us hasl ov i ngl yl ai donherhear t wor dst hathav ec omf or t edandi ns pi r edSar ahandmanyot her sar oundt hewor l d.

ThomasNel sonBi bl es. com


Week Two: His Presence Introduction to Week Two In the hurly-burly, hustle-bustle of the Christmas season, most of us find it easy to lose the sense of Christ's presence in an avalanche of frenetic activity, excessive commitments, and overbooked schedules. And yet the whole point of Jesus coming to this earth centers on His passionate desire to be with us and among us. Even His Old Testament name, Emmanuel, means "God with us." So this week, let's focus our attention on experiencing and enjoying a deep sense of Jesus' presence, regardless of the challenges or difficulties we face. Let's commit to doing whatever it takes to make the words of the old carol, "O Come, O come Emmanuel" a reality in our busy lives. Come, Jesus, into our hearts and into our frenetic days—and bring to us a rich and full experience of Your holy presence.


Day Eight: The Summit of Salvation Blessings Read Matthew 1:23; see also Psalm 34:4–6; 105:4; 2 Corinthians 1:3, 4.

Prayer: Praise be to You in the highest, O Lord! You are truly with me every moment of every day. It takes no time at all for something to go wrong or for me to stumble in my walk; yet You never release Your hold on me. The steadfastness of Your hand allows me to pick myself up again. You sustain me in countless ways. Today, when stressful situations began to pile up, Your grace helped me get through them. A while back, my circumstances were much more complicated and difficult. You never left me during those trying hours. Even now You are with me in the daily tasks. You care about how I am doing through the little events as well as through the big ones. I love You, Lord. Thank You for Your overwhelming love for me! My most heartfelt prayer today is that You would teach me to show this love to others when they are struggling. Help me to put aside their slights as You put aside mine and to focus on how You view us all: as people of invaluable worth. — Yvette

Devotion: Look to Me continually for help, comfort, and companionship. Because I am always by your side, the briefest glance can connect you with Me. When you look to Me for help, it flows freely from My Presence. This recognition of your need for Me, in small matters as well as in large ones, keeps you spiritually alive. When you need comfort, I

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love to enfold you in My arms. I enable you not only to feel comforted but also to be a channel through whom I comfort others. Thus you are doubly blessed, because a living channel absorbs some of whatever flows through it. My constant Companionship is the pièce de rÊsistance: the summit of salvation blessings. No matter what losses you suffer in your life, no one can take away this glorious gift. (From Jesus Calling by Sarah Young)

Contemplate: What does it mean to you that God promises to be "with" you? How can you tell whether God is "with" you? What difference does it make to you that Jesus came to earth as Immanuel, "God with us"? Who can you be "with" this Christmas season and so bring God's presence, because God is "with" you?

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Day Nine: A Refuge of Utter Safety Read Exodus 33:14; see also Psalm 46:1-2; 91:4; 19:14; Matthew 23:37.

Prayer: I am thankful that You are always with me, Lord. But I admit that when my troubles loom large and I can’t find answers, I feel overwhelmed even with the knowledge of Your presence. I know in my head that You are there, but my heart tells a different story. It whispers of fear and isolation. Sometimes it is hard for me to understand that You are ever-present in the midst of my difficulties. Today, life is a swelling tidal wave that I am afraid will sweep me away. My mind is being bombarded with anxiety and with circumstances beyond my control. It is in these times that I wish I knew You better. Guide me to understand Your view of the landscape. Bring to mind Your vastness and Your ability to see me through whatever comes my way. Control my thoughts and move me to remember what You have taught me. I want to do more than believe it, God; I want to live it. — Jacob

Devotion: I am Immanuel—God with you—an ever-present Help in trouble. No matter what may happen, I am sufficient to provide whatever you need. Instead of imagining how you might respond to terrible things that could happen, draw your mind back to the present and take refuge in My Presence. I am much like a mother hen, eager to cover you with

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My protective pinions. As you snuggle under My wings, you will find not only refuge; you also will discover a growing ability to trust Me. It is in closeness to Me that you realize how trustworthy I am. Remember that I am both your Rock and your Redeemer. Though I am impregnable in My vast strength, I became a vulnerable Man so I could redeem you from your sins. The more you take refuge in Me, the more aware you become of My overflowing Love. In Me you are utterly safe, for I am your Rock of everlasting Love! (From Jesus Lives by Sarah Young)

Contemplate: To help you remember that God is your Rock during this holiday season, consider polishing off your crafts skills to make a different kind of tree ornament. Find a flat rock and paint the name "Emmanuel" on it (or paint some other scene that reminds you of the Rock of your salvation). Then attach a string to it and hang it on your tree, remembering to give thanks for Jesus, who is God with you.

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Day Ten: Master the Time Read Numbers 6:24-27; see also Revelation 1:8; 2:1; Micah 7:7.

Prayer: My days are so busy I practically have to schedule my next breath! I guess that’s to be expected while I complete my residency at the hospital. Unfortunately, the nonstop work leaves me only minutes a day to spend with You. I wish things were different, but they aren’t right now. At least You know I enjoy our time together. And there’s no denying that I can’t make it without Your strength each day—I wholeheartedly depend on Your love and guidance to get me through. With the time crunch I’m under, however, I do feel disappointed sometimes when I approach You for an answer . . . only to be met with silence. I probably shouldn’t have the expectation that You’ll give me the insight I need right away; it’s not my place to demand that You fit into my schedule. On the other hand, I know You understand how valuable our fellowship is. It’s not like I’m checking my watch whenever we’re together. Okay, maybe I am, in a way. It’s just that I really look forward to our times together, and I have so few minutes to spare. I would love for those times to be quality times, even if the quantity is lacking. — Sǿren

Devotion: Wait patiently with Me while I bless you. Don’t rush into My Presence with timeconsciousness gnawing at your mind. I dwell in timelessness: I am, I was, I always will

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be. For you, time is a protection; you’re a frail creature who can handle only twenty-fourhour segments of life. Time can also be a tyrant, ticking away relentlessly in your mind. Learn to master time, or it will master you. Though you are a time-bound creature, seek to meet Me in timelessness. As you focus on My Presence, the demands of time and tasks will diminish. I will bless you and keep you, making My Face shine upon you graciously, giving you Peace. (From Jesus Calling by Sarah Young)

Contemplate: If you don't know the words by heart, find the lyrics to "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing" and meditate on them. Work your way through the carol verse by verse, and ask the Lord to give you insight into the incarnation of Christ. How can this truth change the way you celebrate Christmas?

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Day Eleven: The Wisest Investment Read 2 Chronicles 2:4-6; see also Psalm 119:27; 2 Chronicles 16:9; Hebrews 13:15.

Prayer: Late again! That phrase now seems to be the story of my life every day. Lord, time management has become my ultimate stressor. The workload and the weight of my responsibilities are just impossible for me to handle. When my palms sweat and my heart pounds, panic sets in because everything in life seems like such an emergency. I can’t even sleep anymore. My mind races with what I have left undone today and still need to do tomorrow. Once I enjoyed my time with You and came away from Your presence completely refreshed. You were my treasury of strength and peace who gave me mercy every day. Now even You would need to schedule an appointment with me! My life is out of control! I’m feeling crazy! I am in such a hurry all the time, from the moment my eyes open in the morning to when they close at night. Time is a precious commodity, and I just don’t seem to have enough of it. I need my time with You again, Jesus. Not in a rush, not in a haze of activity, but in the quiet. How can I find that quiet time, dear Jesus? — Larry

Devotion: Time with Me cannot be rushed. When you are in a hurry, your mind flitters back and forth between Me and the tasks ahead of you. Push back the demands pressing in on you; create a safe space around you, a haven in which you can rest with Me. I also desire

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this time of focused attention and I use it to bless you, strengthening and equipping you for the day ahead. Thus, spending time with Me is a wise investment. Bring Me the sacrifice of your precious time. This creates sacred space around you—space permeated with My Presence and My Peace. (From Jesus Calling by Sarah Young)

Contemplate: Year after year, "Silent Night" gets named in polls as the most popular Christmas carol in America. Why should that be? What is it about this simple song that attracts and encourages so many? Is part of it, at least, that a song extolling a holy silence has an irresistible appeal to people worn out by activity? Hum the tune to yourself, and as you do, meditate on the message of the Psalm: "Be still, and know that I am God" (46:10).

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Day Twelve: Your Glorious Source of Strength Within Read Zechariah 3:8; see also John 14:16, 17; 16:7; Zechariah 4:6.

Prayer: My life is good, Lord. The road is clear and the path easy. I should trust You more at this time. Instead, I start trusting myself more. I guess old habits die hard. Over and over, I call out to You in tough times. In the darkness, I seek Your light. When I need guidance, I search Scripture. At these times, You are the first name on my lips; You are my help; I am amazed at what You do for me. All too soon, however—when life eases up—I forget. Once I can see where I’m going, I resort to relying on my own abilities, as if I am suddenly capable of being in charge. I stop seeking the counsel of Scripture or of others. And my arrogance only grows if I find success apart from You! But before long I trip and fall. Then I realize once again: left to myself, I will fail. Your Spirit is always with me, so why don’t I ask for guidance? That is what gets me more than anything. How often do I waste the opportunity You have given me to daily know Your will? How much frustration do I suffer because I don’t listen to Your Spirit’s voice? — Rachel

Devotion: I am the Creator of heaven and earth: Lord of all that is and all that will ever be. Although I am unimaginably vast, I choose to dwell within you, permeating you with My Presence. Only in the spirit realm could Someone so infinitely great live within someone

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so very small. Be awed by the Power and the Glory of My Spirit within you! Though the Holy Spirit is infinite, He deigns to be your Helper. He is always ready to offer assistance; all you need to do is ask. When the path before you looks easy and straightforward, you may be tempted to go it alone instead of relying on Me. This is when you are in the greatest danger of stumbling. Ask My Spirit to help you as you go each step of the way. Never neglect this glorious Source of strength within you. (From Jesus Calling by Sarah Young)

Contemplate: Jesus told us, "He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world" (1 John 4:4). What does this verse mean to you . . . especially as Christmas draws near?

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Day Thirteen: Enfolded in Radiant Love Read Isaiah 7:14; see also Romans 8:38-39; Philippians 4:9; Colossians 2:6, 7.

Prayer: Lord, life with You has been one good thing after another. So why am I feeling so burnt out today? My heart’s desire is to stay close to You. Life’s ups and downs, on the other hand, leave me feeling scattered, confused. Today began just fine; but before long I found myself overwhelmed by distressing headlines from around the globe, bad news in the mail, and a worrisome quarterly report at work. Then I got good news from a family member, enjoyed lunch with a friend, and had an invigorating workout. Everything was great again, as You know—until I was hit with the day’s last round: that devastating piece of personal news that has sent me reeling. How do I handle all of these ups and downs? How can I stay close to You as my emotions run the gamut? I’d give just about anything if life would slow down so I could be a little more mellow; I’d love to get off this roller coaster for good. But I doubt that’s even realistic. So, Lord, help me to find You at the center of my swirling emotions. Help me to find You a sure and solid refuge. — Emilio

Devotion: I am with you, watching over you constantly. I am Immanuel (God with you); My Presence enfolds you in radiant Love. Nothing, including the brightest blessings and the darkest trials, can separate you from Me. Some of My children find Me more readily

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during dark times, when difficulties force them to depend on Me. Others feel closer to Me when their lives are filled with good things. They respond with thanksgiving and praise, thus opening wide the door to My Presence. I know precisely what you need to draw nearer to Me. Go through each day looking for what I have prepared for you. Accept every event as My hand-tailored provision for your needs. When you view your life this way, the most reasonable response is to be thankful. Do not reject any of My gifts; find Me in every situation. (From Jesus Calling by Sarah Young)

Contemplate: Where have you seen God at work so far during this holiday season? Where have you seen His smiling face? Where have you witnessed His loving hands? More to the point, where have others seen God's presence in you during these days leading up to Christmas? Where would you like others to see Him in you?

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Day Fourteen: Declare His Glory Read Luke 2:8-18; see also James 4:8; 1 Timothy 6:15, 16; Acts 17:28; Psalm 145:3–6.

Prayer: Holy Lord, come close. Make me more and more like You so that I may reflect Your love to every corner of my world. As You touch me with Your presence, challenge me to reach for greater heights in my knowledge of You. Increase my faith, and allow me to see Your power at work. And keep me humble, Father. Too often I have seen Your people become overzealous in their works, meanwhile forgetting that You are ever at the center of our service. As You teach me what You would have me know, let me never forget that I am Your servant. I yearn to see Your hand, rather than my own, in everything I do. I want to feel You beside me, directing all I do. The door of my heart is open. Welcome in. — Eva

Devotion: Let Me anoint you with My Presence. I am King of kings and Lord of lords, dwelling in unapproachable Light. When you draw near to Me, I respond by coming closer to you. As My Presence envelops you, you may feel overwhelmed by My Power and Glory. This is a form of worship: sensing your smallness in comparison to My Greatness. Man has tended to make himself the measure of all things. But man’s measure is too tiny to comprehend My majestic vastness. That is why most people do not see Me

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at all, even though they live and move and have their being in Me. Enjoy the radiant beauty of My Presence. Declare My glorious Being to the world! (From Jesus Calling by Sarah Young)

Contemplate: Who in your circle of friends and acquaintances most needs to hear about the Savior this Christmas season? Who can you invite to church with you this year, to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ? How can you creatively make His glory known this year to those who most need to see it?

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a c ei En j o yPe n

s Pr e s e n c e Hi

sCh s t s Th i r i ma

Four weekJesusCal l i ngBi bl e Chr i st masi nspi r edemai ldevot i onal .

TheJ es usCal l i ngDev ot i onal Bi bl eput sr eader si nt ouc hwi t h GodandHi sans wer sf ort hei rl i f es i t uat i ons .Mi s s i onar ySar ah Younghadbeenj our nal i ngherpr ay er sf ory ear swhens hebegan " l i s t eni ng"f orwhatJ es uswass ay i ngt oherwi t hi nt hewor dsof Sc r i pt ur e.I nt hi sBi bl e,260s c enar i ospos el i f es t r uggl est owhi c h Sar ahYounggi v esans wer sf r om herSav i or wor dst hatJ es us hasl ov i ngl yl ai donherhear t wor dst hathav ec omf or t edandi ns pi r edSar ahandmanyot her sar oundt hewor l d.

ThomasNel sonBi bl es. com


Jesus Calling Bible Christmas Devotional - Week 2: His Presence