December 24 - What God Expects


By Don Bailey

Today's Scripture: Zechariah 7:1-10

Central Thought: God expects more than external religious acts from us.

    'Tis the most wonderful time of the year.” This well-known Christmas song captures a vital truth—people are generally their most generous at the Christmas season. Many non-Christians see Christmas as a great time to give to the less fortunate. Charities count on this generosity to help them function through the rest of the year.

    Zechariah preached to a nation that thought they had been doing the right things. In fact, they wondered if they even needed to continue their regular fasting and feast schedule. Rather than approval for their 'great acts of piety” God questioned the people's motives for these acts. Even though they claimed to fast and hold feasts to God's honor, they were actually fasting and feasting for themselves. Had they really wanted to please God, they could have done so by showing justice, mercy, and compassion to those who were truly in need.

    Let us remember to show our Christmas generosity to those who are truly hurting throughout the year. Widows, single-parent children, the hurting, and the poor need our compassion and love. We can make the Christ of Christmas our source of giving every day of the year.

Devotional Prayer: Remind me of those who need Christ's love everyday.

Today's Bible Reading: Zechariah 6:1-7:14; Revelation 15:1-8; Psalm 143:1-12; Proverbs 30:24-28