arrow to previous dayarrow to next day
Thursday, January 18, 2018

Daily Devotion for December 23, 2010

Two Days Until Christmas



200 people in our community are currently praying with you.

lessons and scripture

Lord's Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.


Prayer for the Morning

Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.


Prayer for Grace and Strength

Lord God, I pray that you will fill my heart with the blessing of your Holy Spirit. Grant me this day the strength to be temperate in all things, diligent in my duties, and patient under my afflictions. Direct me in all my ways. Give me grace to be just and upright in all my dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all people, according to my abilities and opportunities. For the sake of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,


Community of Prayer

Heavenly Lord, I know I am not alone saying these prayers or reading your Word this morning, but many people unknown to me, from all stations of life, have joined together in this brief moment of devotion. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us always.


(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.

Christmas Adoration of the Shephers by Anton Mengs

Psalm 142:1-2

I cry out to the Lord with my voice; With my voice to the Lord I make my supplication.

I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare before Him my trouble.

Blue Latin Cross

Matthew 1:18-25 (New King James Version)

Christ is Born of Mary

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows:

After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.”

So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.

Notes on the Scripture

The word betrothed means something very similar to what we would call "engaged" today. But it was more binding; it was a legal contract. Even as late as 100 years ago in our own society, people rarely got stood up at the altar or broke an engagement; it happened, but it usually generated a lawsuit for breach of promise. In Hebrew culture of Joseph and Mary's day, the period of betrothal was at least nine months, for a specific reason: to ensure that the bride was not pregnant by another man and could thus be presumed to be a virgin.

The betrothal process, thus, was partly an assurance to the groom that he would not find himself responsible for another man's child. But poor Joseph. He was obviously fond of his bride-to-be and had not slept with her, when suddenly he faced the prospective groom's worst nightmare: his fiancee was pregnant, but not by him. But what a man Joseph proved to be; he loved Mary so much, that instead of breaking the engagement (which was the main purpose of the betrothal), he hid her from sight, so that she would not suffer the disgrace of her condition. The verse is not clear whether he still planned to marry her; possibly, the words "put her away" imply that he would break the betrothal, possibly not. Deuteronomy 24 does not require that divorce be public.

Or perhaps, more likely, he was confused and uncertain and was trying to make up his mind what to do, because today's Scripture says that the angel came to him "when he considered this".

So why was Joseph so willing to trust a dream he had? Matthew says, "All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet." This rang a bell with Joseph; every Hebrew knew the words of the great prophets Isaiah and Micah, and knew that the redeemer would be born to a virgin. So he was faced with the rather mind-boggling possibility that he would be the stepfather of God made flesh. Joseph was clearly a righteous man, because not only did he take Mary as his wife, but he allowed her to remain a virgin until after Jesus was born.

We don't find out very much about Joseph and Mary after this. They certainly lived in the fear of God, and went through quite an ordeal to keep Jesus safe from harm, moving to a foreign country (Egypt) on a moment's notice. And we know that they traveled to attend religious festivals, because we see them traveling when Christ was 12 years old. But after that, they were a fairly normal couple. They don't appear to have been either rich or poor. We do know that Jesus had younger siblings, so obviously they entered into a normal conjugal relationship, and had more children.

It is a bit heartwarming to think of this young man woman thrust into these extraordinary circumstances; and on this day, we especially remember Mary, who gave birth to her first child, the child of God, lying on a pile of straw in a smelly stable. We are reminded of the humility of Christ's birth, by being told that his first bed was a feed bin. The human side of Christ was an object lesson to all who would come to believe in him; the humility he preached was a humilty he had lived.

endless knot

Current Memory Verse     Remember the Bible

Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse


About Daily Prayer

Follow us on Facebook

If you are new to Daily Prayer, welcome. This page provides a non-denominational, Bible-based devotion every day, including prayers, Scripture, Bible study, music, and art, designed to be usable for worship and the deepening of faith by any person who confesses Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

We hope you will take a look around at some of the features. Registration is not necessary, although if you do register, you will be greeted by name and be able to record your scores on our Daily Bible Quiz, Match-a-Verse, and Memorize Favorite Bible Verses features.

We do not email anything, except replies to emails from readers. Registration asks for an email address as a means of verifying that people are real, but this is kept completely private and never used.

“The mind of God is greater than all the minds of men, so let all men leave the gospel just as God has delivered it unto us.” ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon


No comments yet.

Add Comment

Daily Quiz

No scores available at this time.

Our Community Around the World: Visitors July 1, 2009 - May 31, 2017

US  18,241,900
PH  1,732,821
CA  1,245,652
UK  602,550
AU  168,504
MY  65,993
ZA  51,385
SG  49,058
NG  44,005
IN  43,546
AE  33,122
SA  29,493
TT  29,087
KE  27,995
NZ  48,220
BB  25,751
JM  20,844
FJ  17,844
KY  16,993
CN  16,385
DE  14,541
HK  12,325
KR  11,058
GH  10,924
DM  10,005
IT  10,002
FR  9,455
TZ  9,220
BM  8,941
BS  8,277
MW  7,459
ID  7,441
LC  5,995
ZW  5,478
GU  5,759
PK  5,589
CZ  5,325
CO  5,286
UG  5,459
HN  4,555
VC  4,106
QA  4,008
MX  3,569
KW  3,592
BR  3,421
NL  3,356
TH  3,225
BZ  2,994
BW  2,653
OM  2,551
BG  2,547
BO  2,420
EG  3,991
CH  4,560
NA  2,006
ES  2,245
AW  1,818
PR  9,258
LK  2,644
IE  2,546
IL  2,116
GY  1,935
ET  1,839
TW  1,832
CM  1,831
BE  1,674
DK  3,945
LB  1,443
ZM  1,209