A Christmas heart is not a heart that puts on a happy face and throws more tinsel at the season. Rather a Christmas heart is a heart that longs for Jesus. A Christmas heart finds joy in relationship with Jesus through prayer, worship and praise. A Christmas heart holds tightly to Jesus, our Emmanuel, God with us. He is at the center of everything in our lives.
As the Christmas season unfolds, I dream that you will take time to soak in the scriptures about Mary and Jesus. Don't rush through them, but rather simmer on the Christmas word of God like mulled cider on the stove top. Take time to sit, slow down and enjoy His presence which in turn will bring you great comfort and hope. Christmas is a time of reflection into the heart of the season. My desire is to share a Christmas heart with you by taking a deeper look at the Christmas story through the lens of God's word. You can read through this devotional a week at a time, saving the final chapter for Christmas Day, or travel at your own pace. Maybe you gather friends to take this journey with you, discussing the scriptures and questions together for richer study. There are no rules. It's your journey to savor.
Each chapter begins with a quick sentence prayer in the hopes of grounding your spirit before you dig into the content. The chapters end with practical steps for application that first include a verse from scripture for memorization, and I encourage you to pray each scripture over your own life. The Words Worth Repeating sections provide statements and themes that are easy to remember. The reflection questions are great journal prompts or discussion points for you to engage in your time with God or with friends. The prayers at the end of each chapter are prayers that I've prayed over my own life, and I pray them also for you. I hope you'll join me in these prayers. Finally, each chapter closes with a favorite holiday recipe that I've enjoyed with my own family, and I hope you will enjoy with yours.
Through this devotional, may Mary come alive as you implement the lessons she teaches. May your life mirror hers, and may your heart soften to Jesus. I pray that you discover Emmanuel through this journey. God was with Mary. He is with me, and He is with you. Living inside of our hearts and guiding us with His Spirit, He is our peace, our hope and our salvation.
This Christmas, may your heart be transformed to reflect Emmanuel: God with us.
This 5-chapter devotional invites you on a journey to take you closer to the heart of God during the Christmas season. Through it you will discover how to:
Treasure and ponder like Mary.Be available to God like Mary.Endure suffering like Mary.Learn prayer and praise like Mary.Experience Emmanuel like Mary.