Receiving and GivingHoliday Devotional – Day 5

“In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, Go sent an angel
Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be
married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David.
The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said,
“Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
Mary was greatly troubles at his words and wondered what kind
of greeting this might be. But the angel told her, “Do not be
afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive
and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.”

Luke 1:36-31 (NIV)

God gave His gift of pure love by allowing one of us to carry out His plan. Yes, Mary’s character was impeccable and her willingness to serve greatly honorable, but perhaps what God saw most when He looked at His “highly favored” daughter was the depth of her love, our as God’s and out there for everyone to see. She chose to give the gift that only she could–bearing our Savior.

At Christmas and always, we learn from Mary how to live out loud our love for God. We can grab onto whatever God places before us and live a life that says, “God gives, I receive, and then I give back. Watch!”

Today we can touch our family members, friends, and even strangers with the simple and pure love of Christ. We can do what Mary did–trust that God has found something favorable within us that fits the special work He has for us. And because He loves with a pure love that supplies whatever we lack, we can live our love for Him out loud simply by doing what he asks. That’s a gift we both receive from God and can return to Him at will and without fear. Because God still gives and receives, so can we.

Prayer

Father, thank you for the opportunity to follow Mary’s example and love You out loud to those around us.

Action

Help your children understand how simple loving God is–receiving His grace, following Him, and showing Him to others. As a family, decorate a greeting card for a faraway friend or put together a basket of candy for a lonely neighbor. Younger children may enjoy calling a family member on the phone and singing a carol. Remind your children that God is especially pleased when we love Him by loving others.