Devotional | 69 comments | 8 min read

6 Reflections for a Busy Christmas

Short devotionals from John 1:14

Dec 11, 2023

BSF Staff

From the Editorial Team

After a 90-mile journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem, an exhausted mother-to-be felt the first pangs of childbirth. She knew her baby was special, a gift from God Himself, and this shining hope gave her strength. In the chaos of a stable, far away from home, “the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.” Angels sang in splendor as they honored their heavenly king. Magi followed a divine course to worship in awe and wonder. 

Many of us pause at Christmas to read the gospel accounts of Matthew and Luke. These inspiring passages give us unique insight into events surrounding Jesus’s birth. But John’s Gospel takes a different approach. John 1 shifts our focus beyond the story in Bethlehem to reveal the supreme glory of Jesus, “the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” 

In the chaos of a busy season, we hope these reflections from John 1:14 help you to think about Christmas in a new way. Through prayer and reflection, may you find strength and hope in the true gift of Christmas—Jesus Himself.  

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) 

The Word became flesh

God knows you intimately.

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In John 1, we learn that the Word was in the beginning with God, and that all things were made through Him (John 1:1-4). If Christ participated in creation, that means He participated in your creation. The intimate words of Psalm 139:15 remind us that our “frame was not hidden” from Jesus when we were “made in the secret place,” when we were “woven together in the depths of the earth.” He made us. He sees us. He knows us. 

But there’s more! John 1:14 tells us that the Word, the Creator, became flesh. From the beginning of time, Jesus saw our flaws and understood our sin. And still, He chose to become flesh and blood. He walked the pain we walk, and He suffered the loss we suffer. Perfect and sinless, He willingly bore the guilt and shame of our sin on a cruel cross (Hebrews 4:15).

Jesus knows what you are facing. How does this truth change your approach to your struggles, fears, anxieties, and stress this season? 

Made His dwelling among us

The eternal Creator became accessible to us.

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In this John verse, the word “dwell” or “dwelling” reminds us of when God physically dwelt or “tabernacled” among the Israelites in Exodus. As a pillar of smoke by day and fire by night, God dwelt among His people when they were lost and desperate in the wilderness. With nowhere else to turn, the people found God was their guiding light in the darkness and their protective covering from the scorching sun. He led His people toward hope and rest in the promised land.  

Like God the Father, Jesus chose to dwell among lost and broken people. He entered our worst to give us His best. Jesus saw us wandering through life’s wilderness without hope or direction. In His compassion, He dwelt among us, lighting the path toward eternal hope. 

Jesus is near to you. How does this truth comfort or encourage you today?

We have seen His glory

God revealed His glory through the incarnation of His Son.

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In Exodus 33:20, when Moses asked to see God’s glory, God replied, “You cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.” In His love and compassion, God told Moses, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen” (Exodus 33:21-23). 

And yet, God chose to finally reveal His glory not in ultimate power and might, but in a humble and lowly baby. In a tiny infant laid in a manger, God’s glory was on full display. God chose to showcase His power in human weakness. The face of God that was hidden from Moses will shine upon us in eternity because “we have seen His glory”—the glory of Jesus the Messiah. 

As you gaze on Jesus through the Gospel of John, you have seen God’s glory. How does this revelation change your perspective?  

The glory of the one and only Son

God’s One and Only Son came to earth for us.

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For John’s original readers, Jesus as the “the One and Only Son” would have held great significance. Status as an only son secured a complete inheritance from the father. In Jesus’s case, as the One and Only Son of God, He holds rightful authority over heaven and earth. His inheritance incorporated eternity past and eternity future.  

But in His deep compassion and perfect love, Jesus chose to set His inheritance aside to give us the greatest gift we could never earn. Through His birth, death, and resurrection, Jesus not only gave us eternal life, but also an eternal family. Through Christ, we are not simply accepted—we are adopted. John 1:12 tells us, “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”

How does your adoption as a child of God change the way you view your past, present, and future?

Who came from the Father

The Son came to reveal the Father to us. 

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For all time God the Father, Jesus the Son, and The Holy Spirit have existed in perfect unity. Though Jesus left the splendor of Heaven to dwell among sinners on earth, the union of Father and Son remained unbroken. In John 10:30, Jesus said, “I and the Father are one.” From Colossians 1:15 we know, “The Son is the image of the invisible God …”, and Philippians 2:5 tells us that Jesus is “in the very nature of God.” 

Through His birth, life, death, and resurrection Jesus revealed the height and depth of God’s love for us. John 1:18 tells us, “No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is Himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father has made Him known.”  

On the cross, as Jesus cried out, “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?” Jesus bore the full weight of sin’s penalty so that our relationship with God might be restored. Having accomplished victory over sin and death, Jesus returned to His rightful place in heaven. When Jesus came from the Father that very first Christmas, He revealed God’s eternal love for us. Born to die, He came to accomplish the redemption we so desperately need. 

How will you celebrate your relationship with God the Son, and God the Father this Christmas? 

Full of grace and truth

Jesus perfectly balanced grace and truth.

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In John 8, Jesus told His followers that “everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:34-36). Truthfully, we need a savior, and graciously, God provided nothing less than Himself to save us. Are you burdened with sin that persists no matter what you try? Do you live with secret shame in your heart? Are you afraid to have your sin revealed to those around you, even to God? The truth about your sin, the truth of Jesus’s atoning sacrifice, and the truth of your new identity in Him will set you free. 

The fullness of grace and truth has been given fully to us in Jesus. John tells us, “Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given” (John 1:16). Grace upon grace upon grace is ours in Christ Jesus! 

Will you experience the joy of God’s truth this Christmas? Will you receive the grace He is offering you today?

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69 Comments

  1. I look forward to more spirital food, and this news letter looks like just what I could use.

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  2. Lovely reflections

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  3. Thank you

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  4. I was sick at Christmas, and am just now enjoying the end of Advent, Christmas and New Year all together. I am grateful for these reflections from John. My heart is touched, I am humbled by the unimaginable love of Christ, and even more I long to be closer to Him, and for those in my life who walk in darkness to know the Light of the World. Thank you, BSF.

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  5. Good read for believers to understand why the season of Christmas.
    This points to where and on what one’s focus for Christmas should be. there surely is so much meaning.
    Thank you for the expatiation.

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  6. Thank you for the devotionals. I have learnt to look at Christmas in a new way reflecting on the true gift of Christmas – Jesus Christ Himself.

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  7. So well put together and such an encouragement. BSF does all things well. I have been in BSF for over 40 years, many of them as a GL. It has used the Bible to ground me through many heartaches. All 3 of my children came to Jesus in the 5 year old program. Thank you for your part in sharing the gospel with the world.

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  8. Love this devotional and how it reminds me of the meaning of Christmas, and keeps me focused on Christ. Thank you BSF for your hard work and how you have blessed my life for the last 10 years. I have grown so much in the Lord, knowing Him better every year. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. He’s the same yesterday, today and forever. Praise you Lord!!!!!

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  9. True reason for the season to keep to keep in our hearts and minds.

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  10. Keeping CHRIST in Christmas is my desire. Thanks for the readings. Very uplifting. Merry Christmas. Peace on earth.

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  11. I appreciate the six devotions. It provides us with a proper Christmas focus. I loved that God’s glory in Jesus is revealed to us all!

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  12. Thank You Bsf,Merry Christmas to you all

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  13. I just want to share,i have been reading the word go ..and i have been so blessed in my morning devotional..thank you for sharing❤️

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  14. I know the scripture says in the KJV (in II Corinthians 5:21) that Jesus became sin for us. Is that a proper translation? Would it be more correct to say, Jesus became our sin offering? Puzzled ……. if he actually became sinful would that not nullify his ability to cancel our debt of sin? Which leads to another question. If you believe God turned his back on his son because he could not look upon sin, does Jesus cease to be the perfect sinless Lamb of God at that point? It seems that “sin offering” would be the true meaning of the thought in the scripture.

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  15. Grace and Truth!…Aawwww, What a Savior!!!
    I so enjoyed these 6 Reflections! Thank you ❤️.
    Merry Christmas to all of you!!

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    • Merry Christmas 🎅 🎄. Thanks for sharing. The devotions have really blessed me

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  16. Thank you!

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  17. They really are such beautiful messages. My family especially enjoyed thinking about being God’s adopted children. Through the washing away of our enslaving sin, His cleansing blood has set us free indeed. Hallelujah!!!
    Thanks again for warming & filling our hearts this Christmas with God’s messages of eternal hope.

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  18. Thank you for more clarifying about ” full of grace and truth “; Thank you for linking it with the geniune freedom in Jesus; I want to more meditate about, so I may live this true freedom in my daily life and I am able to share it when I tell about the Gospel. Blessings to all Staff BSF.

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  19. Exceellent reading! Thank you for blessing us with this year.
    We are using the reading as we light our Advent candles…in hopeful anticipation of Christmas eve when celebrating our Savior’s birth- the greatest Gift of all – and praying for His second coming….Come Lord Jesus come…

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  20. Thanks, BSF Staff: this is such a good reminder at this season. Jesus came to die so we may live.

    I praise God Almighty for His Eternal love for us.

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  21. Thank all of you for providing these meaningful insights about Jesus and His sacrifice for each of us during this season. Praying that these blogs will help us keep our minds focused on our Lord and Savior as we enjoy food and fellowship with family and friends!

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  22. I enjoyed the devotionals that you have published for us to read. God is so amazing. I really enjoy the BSF Studies on the Gospel of John..

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  23. My Providential story.…I wrestled long for an answer to Q-11b in our John 10 lesson this week.
    So I took a break, checked my email and found the Christmas note from BSF.
    I opened and perused noting “6 Reflections For Christmas.”
    And voila…..there was my answer in Reflection #5.

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  24. Loved the devotion ! We have seen His glory
    God revealed His glory through the incarnation of His Son.
    The passage;
    The face of God that was hidden from Moses will shine upon us in eternity because “we have seen His glory”—the glory of Jesus the Messiah. Really spoke to me and helped me see His Glory!
    Thank you BSF for your guidance and giving us Gods Word. Have a blessed Christmas 🙏🎄❤️

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  25. What a beautiful blessing magnified with these scriptures! Thank you for pouring out truth in such a beautiful way. My heart is magnified with His love. May God’s blessings at Christmas overflow you and your families.

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  26. Loved this and everything BSF sends out.
    Merry Christmas to you and all.

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  27. I appreciate the effort put into all scripture given at this time of year. It is good to go back and absorb more of His word/life.

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  28. All praise and glory to our great heavenly Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and many thanks and blessings to all the BSF staff this Christmas season.

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  29. Thank You for this intimate & uplifting support !
    God bless BSF & all those who do Your Work so willingly & lovingly!

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  30. Thank you so much BSF staff for the beautiful bible text which is so relevant for the Christmas season. The expounding of every line was such a blessing for me. May the Lord bless you and Merry Christmas to you all

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  31. I appreciate so very much the devotional verse John 1:14 The word
    became flesh……
    it helped me relax, enjoy Gods drawing me into him through Jesus.
    The powerful and beautiful perfect gift we were given is truly wonderful.

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  32. Thank you BSF for the beautiful reminder of God’s greatest gift to us, our Savior and friend, Jesus. Merry Christmas blessings to all who worked to provide these passages.

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  33. Jesus paid a debt he did not owe because I owed a debt I could not pay> Merry Christmas!!

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    • Blessings to you BSF HQ staff for your comment and service to God.
      Have a joyous Christmas celebration. Shalom

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  34. What a hope we have in Jesus!!

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  35. Thank you. So relevant and assuring.

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  36. A wonderful reminder that Jesus is the light in this lost and dark world. He illuminates with truth, dispelling the darkness and offering redemption and hope to all!

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  37. I love it — thank you for taking time to deeply explore on the message of Christmas, God’s love shared through His Son Jesus Christ. I will share the message widely, this Christmas.

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  38. Christmas blessings to all BSF leaders worldwide – especially Adelaide Australia! As a GL I am so appreciative of the help and inspiration from the District On-Line Trainers – always so available and encouraging.

    This beautiful devotion again reminds me that I have been adopted into God’s family – I am an heir of God and co-heir with Christ! (Rom 8:17)
    Hallelujah! What a Saviour!

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  39. Thanks for this insightful article A good reminder of all that the celebration is about

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  40. Wonderful and uplifting reminders of the gift of God in Christ’s incarnation among us. Thank you for these writings.

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  41. I love the breakdown of that scripture and the revelation. God bless you immensely the reflection question at the end are beautiful caused me to pause and reflect on my life and relationship with Christ.

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  42. What a blessing to read this at this time. Christmas is supposed to be a joyful time. I get so busy I sometimes lose my joy. BSF brings me joy. This writing also brought me joy . Thank you.

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  43. This is a very practical blog to help reflect during this period. Reflecting on His Love and Glory.

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  44. What a sweet reminder of Jesus as the true Christmas gift!

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  45. Thank you for taking the time to create and post this for our review. It’s an excellent summary and helpful accompaniment to our study of John

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  46. I love it. So helpful!

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  47. Thank you for taking the time from your own BUSY lives to write these special pieces for us.
    I pray that all of you will have a joyful & peace-filled Christmas, even if it is beyond busy!!!
    Let’s not let Satan extinguish the Light that God has planted inside of each of us! ❤️

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  48. I love BSF and I love the fellowship we had today talking about the word of God.

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  49. God Bless BSF for keeping me in the word for the last sixteen years.

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  50. Hallelujah! What a Savior. The written materials BSF provides for us are priceless. Truly, you help us to Magnify God and Mature His People. Thank you for your beautiful expressions on the Birth of Jesus. “The Word Became Flesh .” I pray that every one at Headquarters will have a Blessed Christmas. Each of you is a gift to me.

    Erma J. Reid, DL, Kirkwood, Mo.

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  51. I am so grateful for BSF and for the Bible Study resources. I have been in BSF since I was little. This year is the first year studying and reading the book of John where the book is actually making sense to me. The Holy Spirit is really lighting up the Bible. I am so thankful for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for his payment for my sins. And the fact he has given the Holy Spirit to dwell in me so I can learn more about Him.

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  52. Thank you for a wonderful Bible Study that has made me feel closer to God, Christ and the Holy Spirit. Have a blessed Christmas.

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  53. Merry Christmas to all
    May our lord Jesus Christ blessing be with all of you always
    I am new member and I can’t wait to learn more

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  54. Am grateful for BSF team for the commitment and dedication for us to learn God’s words. May everyone continues to have a close relationship with Him and enjoy His joy, love and peace. Blessed Christmas!

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  55. So very THANKFUL for BSF and all the leaders that make our weekly meetings possible. You folks put in so many hours of prayer and preparation to ensure everything goes smoothly. Also thankful for all the men in our group that Tom leads. One of the best I have been a part of in my 10 years of being a part of BSF!

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  56. I thank all the brothers and sisters working tirelessly at the BSF to bring God’s word to this part of the world.

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    • I will be forever grateful for BSF. It is strengthening my faith and bringing me closer to God, and I pray I can also bring my love ones closer to Him through the Holy Spirit’s intercession.

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  57. Would like to join a BSF in person near me .

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  58. This has been my 5th year with BSF and I am so thankful for BSF and its leaders. I look forward to each week’s study not just to learn from other men, but to give my input as well. Thank You for doing what you do to give us good lessons and leaders to help us through the scriptures. I will pray for BSF and all its leaders and helpers that God guides you all to where we need to be spiritually. Merry Christmas.

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  59. Thanks to all those who support this mission field sharing the Word to help us grow closer to God and closer to those around us. The Holy Spirit is with us each week as we read His Word, share our thoughts in fellowship and hear the leader’s message. God bless everyone who prepares and presents as His servants.

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  60. What a lovely way to prepare for Christmas and the birth of our Lord. Thank you for the beautiful expressions of who Jesus is, and what he has done for us. I jotted down notes in a journal for reference each day.
    I enjoyed being taken back to the OT connections.

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  61. In the trying times when the government is trying to take away our freedoms, thank you for reminding us of Jesus. God bless you

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  62. Happy Holidays, blessings!

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    • Blessings to you BSF HQ for your commitment and service to God.
      Have a joyous Christmas. Shalom

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    • Thank you God for the gift,your son Jesus Christ

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      • AMEN

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