Day 8 - Christmas Season Devotionals

January 2

Matthew 5:3-10

“On the 8th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...Eight Maids A-milking.”

It's a brand new year! And with each new year comes new plans, new goals, new resolutions. The new year inspires us to assess our lives and determine areas where we desire to change. In this self-evaluation we discover areas of weakness that we determine to address. So, we break out the weights, we try on a new diet, we resolve to get more exercise, read more books and watch less television. For a while we are full of energy and vitality ready to meet all of our new goals. However, far too quickly we get bored and soon we are right back to where we were the previous year. Lasting change doesn’t materialize for a number of reasons: pace of life, lack of discipline, lack of support, etc. Our walk with Christ is not about resolutions to try harder, but it is about character.

The eight maids represent the Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount: “blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are those who mourn, blessed are the meek, blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, blessed are the merciful, blessed are the pure in heart, blessed are the peacemakers, and blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake.”

The Beatitudes inspire us to reflect God-like qualities that sustain us and enable us to live as followers of the Great King. This requires for some of us, change. Real change that makes a difference however, comes only when an individual becomes dependent upon the help of the Holy Spirit, submits to the loving guidance and support of a caring community, and covenants to intensify their walk with God. Different from the “gifts of the spirit” the character qualities that make up the Beatitudes are by-products of lives of daily submission and encounter with God. They come as a result of a disciplined life, committed to follow the way of Christ.

Action Point: Make your New Year's resolutions and goals but determine that you cannot do this alone. You must submit yourselves to the help of both God and community as you develop these qualities of character.