Check out all the previous Christmas readings here.
Christmas Reading Plan | Week 3 | Day 5
As you come to spend time with Jesus, calm your mind and body until you feel fully present. Ask God to open your eyes to wonderful things from His word today.
Bible Reading: Zephaniah 3:14-17
Read these verses three times slowly.
Sing, Daughter Zion;
shout aloud, Israel!
Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,
The Lord has taken away your punishment,
he has turned back your enemy.
The Lord, the King of Israel, is with you;
never again will you fear any harm.
On that day
they will say to Jerusalem,
“Do not fear, Zion;
do not let your hands hang limp.
The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”
Reflection & Questions
There are so many things in our lives that we take joy in. Maybe it’s our kids who are doing well in school and on the sports team. Maybe it’s the joy that comes with seeing most grand kids get along with each other. Maybe it’s the joy that comes with closing the deal, being useful in local politics, or maybe it’s as simple as you have actually hit your fitness goals this year. While all those things can be great to take joy in, they can fail. You could get fired, the kids could hate each other this year at Christmas, and your gifted athlete could get an injury. What once brought you joy, now brings fear, anger, and sadness.
However, what is a joy that can outlast all of that? It’s the joy that comes with a God-centered joy. Taking delight in what He delights in for us. In Zephaniah 3:14-17 it says that the people of Israel should rejoice and be glad… which leads us to consider, why?
The passage gives four reasons: The Lord has taken away your punishment, God is with you, God is active and not limp, and finally God is a mighty warrior who saves! But all this leads to the response in the second half of verse 17: He will take great delight in us, loving us, and will rejoice with singing over you!
Wow! God singing over you because he delights in you? What does that sound like? Forget the Disney Orchestra, the Broadway musical or some other earthly sounding beauty. We so often sing to God because of how great He is, God here is singing over us because He delights in us. Before you get too proud about this, remember it’s not because you are awesome, but because He has done an awesome work in us. He rejoices, not because of anything we have done, but because of what He has done for us and who He has made us to be.
That is so cool! That is something to rejoice in. That is something to lift up our spirits and rejoice today. No matter the cause of unhappiness in our lives, the failure, the injury, the fear of the future, God delights in you and rejoices over you because you are simply a child of God.
- What is something that is getting in the way of your joy lately?
- Knowing that God takes delight in you, rejoicing and singing, how can you have joy today?
God help me to take joy, knowing that you rejoice in me.
You might use this song today to worship Jesus today:
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