Christmas Devotional | Day 23
December 24, 2017
Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017 | Good News is Meant to Be Spread
Jesus commanded His followers to make disciples, and this involves sharing the gospel with unbelievers.
And Jesus came and said to them [His disciples], "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
In yesterday's reading the angels announced to the shepherds that the child born in Bethlehem was the Savior, "Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:11). After seeing this child with their own eyes, the shepherds made known what they had heard. Good news, both then and now, is meant to be spread.
Today we know much more than the shepherds did about the salvation God has provided in Christ. The New Testament unpacks the gospel and its implications for us. We know, for instance, that all who trust in Christ receive the forgiveness of sins and the hope of eternal life. How, then, can we not make this good news known?
In today's reading we learn that spreading the good news about Jesus is something we're commanded to do. Jesus tells His disciples- and, by extension, His church in all ages-to "make disciples of all nations." The first step in making disciples is to make the gospel known. Then, according to Jesus, we baptize those who trust in Him and teach them His commands. But this is not something we do in our own strength. The One who has given us this command has "all authority in heaven and on earth," and He, Jesus, has promised to be with us "to the end of the age." So we share this good news with joy and with confidence in the power of the Risen Lord.
Followers of Christ have good news to share with the world. We not only know about Christ's birth, like the shepherds, but we also know about Christ's life, death, and resurrection. Jesus has commanded us to share this good news as we make disciples of all nations. And we can have confidence as we carry out Christ's mission because He has all authority and He has promised to be with us.
In your own words, what does it mean to make disciples? What are some practical ways this might take place in your own life?
For Kids: Why is it so important that we tell others about Jesus? (Point out that we were created to know and love God, that we are all sinners, and that eternity is at stake in our response to Jesus.)
Ask God to strengthen your faith so that you might share the gospel boldly with those around you. Pray that God would open their hearts to the truth of who Jesus is.
"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."
Practical Response - Encourage a Missionary
Write a note of encouragement and send a care package to a missionary sent out by your church. You may consider reaching out to them beforehand to ask for any specific prayer needs or items they would like to receive in their care package. Let them know you are praying for their ministry and for their family. Use this opportunity to talk as a family about your role in spreading the gospel to the nations.
Devotional credit: Radical, Inc.