Christmas - Joy - Day 17

Opening Prayer: 

Heavenly Father, I come to you humbly as I read your inerrant word. I trust and know you are real and give thanks for your “living word” coming from this scripture. I pray for discernment to understand and for courage to apply it to my life today. Thank you, God. I love you. It’s in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

 Read Nehemiah 8: 9-11, NIV

“9 Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and teacher of the Law, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, “This day is holy to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.

Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

The Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be still, for this is a holy day. Do not grieve.”


Here we see the people of Jerusalem with a focus on the toils and struggles of rebuilding the city. Nehemiah is tasked with leading this charge along with the rebuilding of its people, both physically and spiritually. While the laws are being read as part of the “rebuilding process” the people lose sight of where they had come from and who delivered them. They simply focused on their current hardships. Their present-day circumstances made them tired and weak. They failed to remember that they were in the middle of God’s great promise of restoring his people. They missed the gift of his great love and lost their joy in the Lord.

 Nehemiah reminds them that regardless of the toils of the day, the hardships, and tough times; no matter how tired they were, their strength was in the joy of the Lord. With them, he was well pleased. Nehemiah also proclaims, “today is a Holy day” and that they should rejoice, as God is pleased. All they need can be found in the joy of the Lord.


This time of the year can be very stressful and even painful for some people and tiring on many levels. If that’s you, know that God loves you and has prepared a gift for you! He is pleased with you. You were fearfully and wonderfully made, made in his image and likeness. In YOU, he is well pleased. Allow God’s love for you be the strength you need to make it through each and every day.


 Closing Prayer: 

Dear God, I thank you for your love. I thank you that even when I focus on my struggles of the day, you still love me and are pleased with me. Allow me to find my strength in the joy you have in me. It’s in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Today’s Family Christmas Calendar Activity: Read a Christmas story around the tree.

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Terry Schneider