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OUR DAILY BREAD 2023, DEVOTIONAL WAS WRITTEN BY OUR DAILY BREAD MINISTRIES
Our Daily Bread Devotional, December 6th, 2023
TOPIC: Saint Nick
TEXT: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:23
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE & INSIGHT: Matthew 1:18–25
BIBLE IN A YEAR: Daniel 3–4, 1 John 5
The person we know as Saint Nicholas (Saint Nick) was born around ad 270 to a wealthy Grecian family. Tragically, his parents died when he was a boy, and he lived with his uncle who loved him and taught him to follow God. When Nicholas was a young man, legend says that he heard of three sisters who didn’t have a dowry for marriage and would soon be destitute. Wanting to follow Jesus’ teaching about giving to those in need, he took his inheritance and gave each sister a bag of gold coins. Over the years, Nicholas gave the rest of his money away feeding the poor and caring for others. In the following centuries, Nicholas was honored for his lavish generosity, and he inspired the character we know as Santa Claus.
While the glitz and advertising of the season may threaten our celebrations, the gift-giving tradition connects to Nicholas. And his generosity was based on his devotion to Jesus. Nicholas knew that Christ enacted unimagined generosity, bringing the most profound gift: God. Jesus is “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). And He brought us the gift of life. In a world of death, He “save[s] his people from their sins” (v. 21).
When we believe in Jesus, sacrificial generosity unfolds. We tend to others’ needs, and we joyfully provide for them as God provides for us. This is Saint Nick’s story; but far more, this is God’s story.
REFLECT & PRAY:
What’s your experience with gift-giving—is it forced or free and joyful? How does Jesus’ life change your notions of generosity?
Dear God, I want to be generous, but I don’t always feel it. Please help me to practice true generosity.
PRAYER OF SALVATION
Please say this prayer.
I come to you, Lord Jesus. I admit that I am a sinner, and I want to be right with you. I ask you to forgive me for all my sins. Wash Me Away from All Unrighteousness and Cleanse Me Clean Today. The Bible says if I confess with my mouth that “Jesus is Lord” and believe in my heart that God raised me,
Thank you for saying that prayer. You are in Christ now. Old things have passed away. HALLELUYAH