Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Devotionals for the Heart: Patrick's thoughts on Christmastime and Jesus


The Neglected Gift

A devotional by Patrick E. Craig


“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” 
~Luke 2:8-14 (KJV)

Christmas! What a wonderful time! But the wonder doesn’t come from the festivities or the presents or the lights or even gathering together with family. The wonder comes from the truth of what really happened that long-ago morning: The Creator of the Universe set aside His glory and came into the world to redeem fallen man. It was the greatest of all Christmas gifts!

Yes, it is a miraculous gift, but how often do we forget that He gave us another gift? A gift so important, so necessary to live the way He desires us to live that He exalted it above even His own name? (Psalm 138:2) And sad to say, even in the season that focuses so completely on Jesus, this precious gift too often sits gathering dust on a shelf in our home, its power hidden between unopened covers. That gift is the written Word, a love letter from God, without which we could not be certain of the foundations of our faith.

The written word is powerful in its capacity to pervade the mind and heart of those who read it. I’m an author and when someone picks up my book, there is an implied acceptance of the ideas I am trying to get across in my writing. The reader is thereby open to my words and thoughts. Like a baby bird with its mouth gaping open waiting for mother to feed it, my reader has given me the right to speak into their lives. Because of this acceptance, my words can penetrate a resistant heart, simply because the choice to read my book opens the door to the truth it contains.

If that is true for a human writer then how much more will we benefit when we pick up our Bibles and give God permission to speak into our lives. Then the truth of God will permeate our very spirit, and wash away the things of this world that hold us back.


“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
~Hebrews 4:12 (KJV)

As the ages draw to a close, it is time for Christians to understand that the task of the church is very clear. There are millions of people who will go into a Christ-less eternity unless they hear the truth of the Gospel. And they will never hear that truth unless someone tells them. But we cannot tell people what we do not know ourselves. For we cannot know it unless we open the pages of our Bible and let God speak to us—for His name and His face are on every page.

“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, how beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” 
~Romans 10:14-15 (KJV)

It is God’s will that all men should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. So in this Christmas season, remember that the greatest gift we can give is the gift of Christ. And being able to give that gift means taking up the Word and letting His words fill us with His wisdom and understanding so that we are always ready to give an answer as to why we are the way we are. 


Merry Christmas!

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Author Bio:

Patrick E. Craig is a lifelong writer and musician who left a successful songwriting and performance career in the music industry to follow Christ in 1984. 

In 2011 he signed a three-book deal with Harvest House Publishers to publish his Apple Creek Dreams series. His current series is The Paradise Chronicles. The first book in the series, The Amish Heiress, a romantic suspense novel, was published by Patrick's company, P&J Publishing, in August of 2015 and remained on the Amazon Top 100 best sellers list in three categories for seven months.

The second book in the series, The Amish Princess, a historical romance novel, was released in December of 2016 and was on Amazon's Hot New Releases for over a month. Harlequin recently purchased the print rights for both books for their Walmart Amish series. Patrick also just released Cracking The Indie Egg—A Recipe For Publishing Your Own Book and it is available in most major digital bookstores.

Patrick and his wife Judy, make their home in Idaho. They have two married children and five grandchildren. Patrick is represented by the Steve Laube Agency.

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Connect with Patrick:
Website - www.patrickecraig.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/PatrickECraig
Twitter - https://twitter.com/PatrickECraig
Amazon Author page - http://tinyurl.com/n6sfagg

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