December 11th-15th, 2017

Day 1: Away in a Manger

YouTube: Away in a Manger

Opener: Where is the most uncomfortable place you've slept?

John 6:47-51

Commentary: Maybe the cow was confused about the baby asleep in his supper.  Maybe there's a reason Jesus slept in a trough for food. During his ministry, Jesus said that he was the "bread of life." You cannot live without eating, and you can't have eternal life without Jesus.

Challenge: Do you eat good things spiritually? Are you starving or living on junk food?

Prayer Focus: Thank God for eternal life.


Day 2: The Ox

YouTube: O Come All Ye Faithful

Opener: Do you like farms? Why or why not?

Isaiah 1:2-3

Commentary: The Bible doesn't mention an ox where Jesus slept, but because of this passage, an ox is always included in the nativity. In many Ukrainian villages, the cows walk themselves home each evening. They know their master and where they live. Sadly, many people who claim to be God's, have no relationship with Him or His son.

Challenge: Help make Jesus known. Grab some friends and go Christmas caroling.

Prayer Focus: Thank God for revealing who He is through Jesus. Commit to knowing Him more.


Day 3: 1st Shepherd

YouTube: Silent Night

Opener: What's on your Christmas list?

John 10:11-13

Commentary: God may have a special place in his heart for shepherds. Not only did He announce Jesus' birth to shepherds, but Jesus called himself the Good Shepherd. This reminds us of another characteristic of Jesus. Like a shepherd will give his life to protect the sheep, Jesus gave his life for us.

Challenge: When planning gifts for Christmas, think about how you can serve another person.

Prayer Focus: Thank God for Jesus and the gift he gave us on Christmas.


Day 4: 2nd Shepherd

YouTube: Joy to the World

Opener: Do you like surprise gifts? How do you feel when you unwrap an amazing surprise?

Luke 2:8-12

Commentary: When the shepherds watched their sheep, it seemed like an ordinary night. But then the wrapping of heaven was torn open, revealing God's glory. God's glory is the demonstrating of His character. The fullness of God is displayed in Jesus.

Challenge: Why do you think God's glory is usually hidden from human view?

Prayer Focus: Thank God that we could see Him clearly in Jesus. Ask Him to reveal Jesus through us.


Day 5: Sheep

YouTube: Mary Did You Know

Opener: Why do you think God compared us to sheep?

1 Peter 2:23-25

Commentary: I spent some time with sheep. They're not the smartest animals, but I made it a point to teach them my voice. Every time I brought veggie scraps, I called out to them. You know which sheep are the smartest? The ones who stay near the Shepherd. They come when He calls. 

Challenge: What are the benefits of being a sheep in God's flock?

Prayer Focus: Thank God that he carries us close to his heart. Draw close to Him and commit to listening to Him.



December 4th-8th, 2017

Day 1: Stable

YouTube: Oh Little town of Bethlehem

Opener: Are there any famous people (or anything famous) from your hometown?

John 1:10-12 New King James Version (NKJV)

Challenge: What would it mean to make more room for Jesus in your heart, schedule or home?

Prayer Focus: Thank the Lord for coming in humility. Ask him to reveal what He wants from you for Christmas this year.


Day 2: Angel Gabriel

YouTube: Angels We Have Heard on High

Opener: How have you seen angels depicted in movies or artwork?

Luke 1:26-33 NIV

Commentary: Gabriel must have been big. In the Bible, He appeared to three people: Daniel, Zechariah, and Mary. Daniel was so afraid that he was sick for days after. Gabriel always said, "Don't be afraid." Whatever happens in this life, we can be comforted to know that Jesus is coming. This is good news!

Challenge: How does it reassure you to know that Jesus is coming?

Prayer Focus: Remember that Jesus is coming a second time. Thank the God of all comfort for both visits from Jesus.


Day 3: Mary

YouTube: Breath of Heaven

Opener: What do you think went through Mary's mind when she heard the angel's words?

Luke 1:35-38 NIV

The true test of our faith and trust comes in our obedience to God.  He didn't promise great rewards. Having this special baby would mean she would feel pain, lose her reputation. People who heard her story might even call her crazy. But Mary offered herself up to the Lord to do his will.

Challenge: Are there people in your life whom God has chosen to use in surprising ways?

Prayer Focus: Praise God for choosing us for his plans. Offer yourself to Him for His benefit, not yours.


Day 4: Joseph

YouTube: What Child is This?

Matthew 1:18-25 NIV

Commentary: Joseph is often overlooked in the Christmas story but he was chosen just as Mary was. Joseph literally adopted Jesus as his own son. I know Mary's story was hard to believe, and God sent an angel again to tell him not to be afraid. He must have felt a huge responsibility, even fleeing with his family to Egypt to save his son's life.

Challenge: What difficult things is God asking of you? Are you willing to listen?

Prayer Focus: Thank God for and pray for our Fathers


Day 5: Donkey

YouTube: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Opener: What's the longest trip you've ever taken?

Luke 2:3-7 NIV

Commentary: We don't know how Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem. A donkey isn't mentioned. But the donkey is considered a humble method of transportation. There was a prophecy about Jesus coming lowly on a donkey bringing peace to the nations. Jesus is the Prince of Peace.

Challenge: How do you represent the Prince of Peace at home, school and work?

Prayer Focus: Worship the Lord who brings peace. Ask Him to help you bring Jesus to your world.