WEEK 05

December 22 – December 28

DAILY READINGS

Sunday

Luke 3:1-22

Monday

Matthew 3:1-17; Psalm 18:6-14; Proverbs 1:1-3

Tuesday

Matthew 4:1-25; Psalm 18:15-22; Proverbs 1:4-7

Wednesday

Matthew 5:1-26; Psalm 18:23-30; Proverbs 1:8-9

Thursday

Matthew 5:27-48; Psalm 18:31-41; Proverbs 1:10-12

Friday

Matthew 6:1-34; Psalm 18:42-50; Proverbs 1:13-15

Saturday

Matthew 7:1-29; Psalm 19:1-14; Proverbs 1:16-19

DEVOTIONAL: READ LUKE 3:1-22

The season of Epiphany marks the time after Advent and Christmas in the ancient Christian calendar. It is associated with appearances of the divine and moments of deep insight. We might even say from time to time that we have had an epiphany when a sudden, helpful thought hits us and we experience clarity, a new perspective on our direction in life.

What a sight John the Baptist must have been! He cried out in the wilderness for repentance—that people would turn from dead religion and sinful ways. He would baptize those who repented as a symbol of the cleansing of sins. As people responded to John’s call for repentance, deep questions probably formed in their hearts: Who can really right the wrongs? What can wash away the sins of the soul? Who can cleanse deep within the heart in the way baptism symbolizes? John knew that his work was to point them to the One who could satisfy their deepest questions and forgive all their sins.

When John baptized Jesus, he identified Jesus as the only one who can fully cleanse the world and forgive sins! As we have looked forward to Christ’s coming during Advent, we witness His arrival and ministry during Epiphany. He is the ultimate epiphany! He is the full appearance of the Divine bringing clarity into our world. Jesus is without sin and without the need of repentance. Christ’s baptism is a mission statement of His redeeming work—all of which He shares with us if we will believe in Him and follow His footsteps. May we continue to see Christ clearly and have an epiphany of who He is and what He has done for us!

REFLECTION

Where do you see the purpose and influence of John’s ministry in this passage? How does this encourage or challenge you?

How is the baptism of Jesus unique? How does it affirm that Jesus is the Messiah for whom John was preparing the way?

In what areas of your life do you need to repent from sin, turning toward Jesus? How can you call others to repentance and point people to Jesus?

DISCUSSION

Do you feel loved by God?

PRAYER

O God, You stepped down from heaven and made Yourself a man. You identify Yourself with me, yet remain holy. What a beautiful mystery. Your eternal presence with us was made undeniably evident in Your incarnation–“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14).

Lord, give Your people the strength to be obedient. Help me to repent from my sin. Let me turn from my selfish desires and run the other way, knowing that I am running toward You. Jesus, in humility, You obediently surrendered to the will of Your Father. Help me to become more like You.

Father, John the Baptist proclaimed that Jesus, Your only Son, was stepping into the world to save it from itself. Help me to also proclaim the greatness of Your Son in my life! Use me to prepare a way for others to know You.

Thank You, Jesus, for identifying with me. Thank You, Father, for the invitation to become a part of Your family. Holy Spirit, teach me to identify more and more with who I am in Christ. Amen.

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