Abrahamic / Middle Eastern Christianity The 12 Days of Christmas Devotionals Share Flipboard Email Print Photo Source: Pixabay / Composition: Sue Chastain Christianity Christian Holidays Christianity Origins The Bible The New Testament The Old Testament Practical Tools for Christians Christian Life For Teens Christian Prayers Weddings Inspirational Bible Devotions Denominations of Christianity Funerals and Memorial Services Christian Entertainment Key Terms in Christianity Catholicism Latter Day Saints View More By Mary Fairchild Christianity Expert General Biblical Studies, Interdenominational Christian Training Center Mary Fairchild is a full-time Christian minister, writer, and editor of two Christian anthologies, including "Stories of Cavalry." our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Mary Fairchild Updated July 15, 2019 These short Christmas devotionals offer 12 days of inspiration to encourage the spirit of Christmas and prepare you for the New Year. Each spiritual devotion includes a Christmas quotation, a Bible verse, and a thought for the day. 01 of 12 The Greatest Christmas Gift Photo Source: Pixabay / Composition: Sue Chastain "This is Christmas: not the tinsel, not the giving and receiving, not even the carols, but the humble heart that receives anew the wondrous gift, the Christ."- Frank McKibben "But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ ... For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s gift leads to our being made right with God ... for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ." (Romans 5:15-17, NLT) Jesus Christ Is the Greatest Gift Each year we are reminded that Christmas isn't just about giving and receiving presents. Yet, if we honestly consider the heart of Christmas, it is, indeed, all about gift giving. At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the greatest gift ever given, by the greatest gift-giver of all, our wonderful God and Father. 02 of 12 Laugh With Immanuel Photo Source: Pixabay / Composition: Sue Chastain "The implications of the name 'Immanuel' are both comforting and unsettling. Comforting, because He has come to share the danger as well as the drudgery of our everyday lives. He desires to weep with us and to wipe away our tears. And what seems most bizarre, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, longs to share in and to be the source of the laughter and the joy we all too rarely know."- Michael Card "All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 'The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel' - which means, 'God with us.'" (Matthew 1:22-23, NIV) Immanuel Is God With Us Why do we turn to God so quickly in times of sorrow and struggle, in danger and fear, and forget him in the times of joy and rejoicing? If God is the giver of joy and he is "God with us," then he must want to share in those moments of great joy, and even in those times of silly laughter and fun. 03 of 12 Wonderful Impossibilities Photo Source: Rgbstock / Composition: Sue Chastain "When God intends to make something wonderful he begins with a difficulty. When he intends to make something very wonderful, he begins with an impossibility."- Former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Coggan "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." (Ephesians 3:20-21) God Can Do the Impossible for You The birth of Jesus was not just a difficulty; it was an impossibility. Mary was a virgin. Only God could breathe life into her womb. And just as God caused her to conceive the perfect, sinless Savior -- fully God, fully human -- he can accomplish through you, those things that seem impossible in your life. 04 of 12 Make Room for More Photo Source: Pixabay / Composition: Sue Chastain Somehow, not only for Christmas,But all the long year through,The joy that you give to others,Is the joy that comes back to you.And the more you spend in blessing,The poor and lonely and sad,The more of your heart's possessing,Returns to you glad.- John Greenleaf Whittier "If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving -- large or small -- it will be used to measure what is given back to you." (Luke 6:38) Give More We have heard people say, "You can't out-give God." Well, you can't out-give yourself either. You don't need to be wealthy to possess a giving heart. Give a smile, lend an ear, extend a hand. However you give, God's promise is tried and tested, and you'll see the blessings multiplied and returned back to you. 05 of 12 Not Alone at All Photo Source: Pixabay / Composition: Sue Chastain "I am not alone at all, I thought. I was never alone at all. And that, of course, is the message of Christmas. We are never alone. Not when the night is darkest, the wind coldest, the word seemingly most indifferent. For this is still the time God chooses." - Taylor Caldwell "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? ... No ... For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:35-39) God Is With You, Closer Than Ever When you feel most alone, it may be the very moment when you are truly least alone. God is there in your darkest night and coldest wind. He may be so close you cannot see him, but he is there. And perhaps he has chosen this moment to pull you closer to him than you've ever been before. 06 of 12 Come as a Child Photo Source: Pixabay / Composition: Sue Chastain "There's nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child."- Erma Bombeck "... And he said: 'I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.'" (Matthew 18:2-4) Come to the Father as a Child Is there anything more exciting than being a child on Christmas morning? And yet this is what God asks of us each day, to change and become like little children. Each day approach God the Father as a child, with excited anticipation of his goodness. Humbly trust that your every need will be met and every care will be under his control. 07 of 12 A Christmas Candle Photo Source: Rgbstock / Composition: Sue Chastain A Christmas candle is a lovely thing;It makes no noise at all,But softly gives itself away;While quite unselfish, it grows small.- Eva K. Logue John the Baptist said of Jesus: "He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less." (John 3:30) More of Him, Less of Me We are like a candle that holds a flame, burning bright with the light of Christ. We softly give ourselves away, worshiping him and serving him, that we might become less and less, and he might become greater and brighter through us. 08 of 12 Pleasing in Your Sight Photo Source: Pixabay / Composition: Sue Chastain So remember while DecemberBrings the only Christmas day,In the year let there be ChristmasIn the things you do and say.- Anonymous "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer." (Psalm 19:14) From Words to Thoughts to Actions The words we speak are reflections of our thoughts. These God-pleasing thoughts become pleasing in his sight because they motivate us to Christ-like actions that are seen and not just heard. Are your thoughts and words pleasing to the Lord every day and not just at Christmastime or on Sunday mornings? 09 of 12 Eternal Glory Photo Source: Pixabay / Composition: Sue Chastain "There is no improving the future without disturbing the present."- Catherine Booth "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:16-18) Unseen But Eternal If our present situation disturbs us, perhaps something beyond our natural sight is in the works. The trouble we face today may be achieving an eternal purpose much better than we can imagine. Remember, what we see right now is only temporary. What is most important, although we may not see it yet, is eternal. 10 of 12 Forgiveness Focuses Forward Photo Source: Pixabay / Composition: Sue Chastain Look not back on yesterdaySo full of failure and regret;Look ahead and seek God's way--All sin confessed you must forget.- Dennis DeHaan "But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:13-14) Focus on Pleasing Christ As we come to the end of the year, we often look back with regret on things we did not accomplish or resolutions long forgotten. But sin is one thing we should never look back on with feelings of failure. If we have confessed our sins and asked God's forgiveness, we only need to focus forward on the goal of pleasing Christ. 11 of 12 Hindsight Photo Source: Pixabay / Composition: Sue Chastain "Life has to be lived forwards but it can only be understood backwards."- Søren Kierkegaard "Trust in the LORD with all your heartAnd lean not on your own understanding;In all your ways acknowledge him,And he will make your paths straight." (Proverbs 3:5-6) Moments of Trusting If we could walk through life in reverse order, many times of doubt and questions would be erased from our path. But sadly, we would have missed those desperate moments of trusting in the Lord and clinging to him for guidance. 12 of 12 God Will Direct Photo Source: Pixabay / Composition: Sue Chastain "If this is to be a Happy New Year, a year of usefulness, a year in which we shall live to make this earth better, it is because God will direct our pathway. How important then, to feel our dependence upon Him!"- Matthew Simpson "I guide you in the way of wisdomAnd lead you along straight paths.When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;When you run, you will not stumble.The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn,Shining ever brighter till the full light of day." (Proverbs 4:11-12;18) God Directs From the Dark Sometimes God brings a change or a challenge to shake us loose from our independence and turn us back to dependence on him. We are closest to finding his will, our happiness, and our usefulness, when we are completely in the dark waiting for that first gleam of dawn, depending entirely on him to cause the sun to rise.