Christmas Email Devotions

, by Christopher D. Hudson

Daily Devotions Delivered to Your Email

Would having Christmas readings delivered to you by email help you focus on Jesus a bit better this season?

Click the link below to begin receiving a daily devotions and scripture reading every day through email. This list is free and open to anyone.

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A Job to Do: The Great Commission

, by Christopher D. Hudson

“I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

What began as a call to become disciples ended as a commission to make disciples. 

In the wake of Jesus’ resurrection, the apostles were on the brink of a future they could not imagine. His words in Matthew 28:18–20 gave them their marching orders: 

“I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” 

Jesus gave purpose and direction to the disciples’ potential, to their burning desire to share all they had seen and heard. He channeled their energy into an unprecedented evangelical explosion. He removed the barriers standing in their way. Before long, it wasn’t only Jerusalem that was in play for them; it was the entire Roman Empire. It was Asia Minor, Europe, India, and lands beyond. All nations were prospective destinations. 

Jesus gave his disciples the authority to speak for and about him. With that authority came great power— power that was unmistakably divine. That power enabled Peter and John to heal the disabled and drive demons out of the possessed. 

With that power came great responsibility as well. The apostles’ role changed from students to teachers, leaders, counselors, mentors, and proclaimers. Christians today share that same responsibility to share the message of Jesus with the world. 

And with that responsibility comes support. Though Jesus returned to heaven, his Spirit accompanies his followers wherever we go. 

The Great Commission, as it is called, is Jesus’ final spoken message recorded in the Gospel of Matthew.  


Christ’s mission was (and still is) surprisingly simple: he trained twelve original disciples who would make disciples, who would make disciples . . .

This blog post has been adapted from The Twelve Apostles, a special-edition magazine now available in stores. 
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No Appointment, No Problem: Jesus and the Children

, by Christopher D. Hudson

When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them. 

Who wouldn’t want to be a gatekeeper? A gatekeeper wields power. A gatekeeper determines who gets in and who’s left out.

So it was with the disciples. As the crowds swelled around Jesus, so did the strain on his time and attention. Everyone wanted to see him, talk to him, be healed by him, and find purpose and direction through him. There weren’t enough hours in the day to accommodate everyone who sought an audience with Jesus. 

In certain cases, the disciples took it upon themselves to manage Jesus’ schedule, to decide who got a backstage pass and who didn’t. Their intentions were good, for the most part. They wanted to protect Jesus’ much-needed alone time. Their track record as gatekeepers, however, left something to be desired. 

One day, while Jesus and his entourage were in Judea, a group of parents brought their children to be blessed by Jesus. The disciples turned them away. Apparently children and parents weren’t high on the apostles’ VIP list. To add insult to injury, the disciples scolded the parents and children for “bothering” Jesus. 

That’s when they discovered what really bothered Jesus. 

When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them. (Mark 10:14–16

Jesus’ rebuke was especially pointed because the disciples represented him. If he hadn’t intervened, those children would have returned to their homes not knowing that he considered them part of his kingdom. 

The disciples eventually became extraordinary ambassadors for Jesus. The number of transformed lives left in their wake testifies to this fact. Their example should encourage us to assess how we represent Jesus to others. Do we avoid sharing the message of Jesus with certain types of people? Or are we unafraid to share the good news of Jesus with people from all walks of life?

Like the first disciples, we modern-day Christ followers are called to help men, women, and children get to Jesus—not keep them away from him. Seek to be an ambassador, not a gatekeeper, and watch God transform lives. 

This blog post is adapted from The Twelve Apostles, a special edition magazine that is now available in stores. 
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What is Mustard Seed Faith?

, by Christopher D. Hudson

Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:19-21)

The mustard seed is a useful analogy for faith. The seed starts small and inconsequential, as did the disciples’ first attempts at ministry. Case in point: their inability to drive out a demon in Matthew 17.

Faith, like a tiny seed, has the potential to emerge from humble beginnings into something magnificent. Jesus tended to his disciples’ growth, encouraging them to branch out. According to Mark 6, he sent them out in pairs to preach from village to village. Their instructions were clear. They were to take no money or food on their journey. Each of them was allowed only a walking stick, a pair of sandals, and a coat.

They had no Bibles, no Scripture to take with them. They would preach what Jesus had taught them. They had no reservations, no itineraries, no contacts in the villages before them. They depended on those to whom they preached for food and shelter.

The experience must have strengthened their faith. In time, like the mustard seed, they blossomed and produced fruit. The Bible makes clear that the same potential exists in any follower of Jesus today.


God can take small, shaky faith, nurture it, grow it, and cause it to blossom into something amazing.

This blog post has been adapted from The Twelve Apostles, a special-edition magazine that is available in stores.
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The First Disciples

, by Christopher D. Hudson

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 

What could compel ordinary men to unhesitatingly drop everything in their lives to follow a man they had only just met? 

It’s not that these men were looking for an escape. It’s not that they were impetuous, bored with their lives, or easily distracted. Men like Simon Peter, Andrew, James, John, and Levi (Matthew) responded to Jesus’ call because they recognized something in him that demanded immediate attention and action. 

One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” And they left their nets at once and followed him. (Matthew 4:18–20

Later, as Jesus left the town, he saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Levi got up, left everything, and followed him. (Luke 5:27–28

Many Bible studies have been built on the premise that Jesus could recognize something in his disciples that no one else saw. He was able to see past their rough exteriors and into their hearts. He didn’t recruit them based on who they were; he recruited them based on who they could become. Where others saw insignificance, Jesus saw potential.

Perhaps, though, to a lesser extent, the reverse was true as well. Perhaps those Jesus chose were disciple material because they could see something in him that others couldn’t. Perhaps his words triggered an inexplicable—and irresistible—reaction in them.

Consider the question two followers of Jesus asked in Luke 24:32 after realizing the man they had been conversing with was the risen (yet unrecognizable) Jesus. Acknowledging they should have known it was him, they said, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us?”

Perhaps the twelve apostles experienced a similar burning-heart sensation when Jesus said, “Follow me.” 

Like the apostles, we also have the opportunity to discover who Jesus is and respond to his invitation to follow him. How will you respond to Jesus? 

Like every great journey, the spiritual life begins with a response: the willingness to accept God’s invitation to leave what we know in hopes of finding something far better. 

This post has been adapted from The Twelve Apostles, a special-edition magazine that is now available in stores.

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Names of God: Jehovah-Rapha (The Lord Who Heals)

, by Christopher D. Hudson

“He said, ‘If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.’”

When we think of healings in the Bible, we tend to think of all those jaw-dropping physical restorations: lepers made whole, the blind healed, the lame suddenly leaping through the air. Without question, these are marvelous demonstrations of God’s power. Yet His power far transcends the physical realm.

God created us in His own image, which means that He gave each of us a mind, a will, and emotions, and He enabled us to have relationships. We are complex beings, and our brokenness due to sin is complex as well. Sometimes our deepest hurts cannot be seen on an X-ray or through the results of a blood test. If you’ve wallowed in guilt and shame, felt the heartbreak of a broken relationship, agonized over a wayward family member, felt grief over a lost loved one, or been disappointed by an unfulfilled dream, you know that spiritual, emotional, and relational hurts can sometimes be more painful than physical maladies.

The good news is that God is able to heal more than just the physical—much more. In fact, our greatest need, and the one emphasized the most by the Hebrew word rapha, is spiritual healing.

When Jesus was on earth, He healed many. But none of these healings was ever an end in itself. Each compassionate healing was a sign of things to come. These physical healings pointed people toward the kingdom of God that was coming, toward a new heaven and restored earth, where there will be no more pain, no more suffering, and no more tears (see Revelation 21:4).

Today, when God heals—a broken bone, a broken heart, a broken relationship—He is giving us a foretaste of what is to come. God is Jehovah-Rapha, our healer.

God alone saves from spiritual death. He only can give eternal life.


Lord, thank You for caring about every part of me. You desire that I find healing—physically, emotionally, and most of all, spiritually. Thank You for providing me with a way to be healed of my sin. Amen.

This blog post is adapted from my newly released book 100 Names of God Daily Devotional. You can learn more about it here
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Names of God: Geōrgos (The Gardener)

, by Christopher D. Hudson

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.”

“Gardener” is not a title we typically use to refer to God (even though there is a lot of agricultural imagery in the Bible). But that’s how the Scriptures portray Him, and that’s what Jesus called Him. And with good reason.

Human history began in a garden (Genesis 13). It’s there in a lush place called Eden that God met with His human creatures and instructed them to cultivate and care for His creation.

When sin entered the world, God’s garden was ruined and access to Eden was lost. What did God do? He instituted an epic plan to restore His garden paradise. Throughout the events described in the rest of the Bible, God farmed. He carefully and patiently grew a nation, in much the same way one would grow crops. God, in a sense, sowed seed. He planted and watered. He mended and tended. He replanted and transplanted. He pruned and fertilized. He drove away “pests.” He uprooted and shored up.

When God sent

In the final three chapters of the Bible, we read about a new creation—new heavens and a new earth—that sounds very “garden-like.” The apostle John described a lush and green paradise where humans once again have access to “the tree of life.” 

Meanwhile, in a world still feeling the effects of sin, the divine Gardener works. By His grace, and through our faith, He grafts us into Christ, the true vine, the source of life. We’re just branches. But as we stay firmly attached to Him, we grow and bear life-giving fruit. At times God props us up or trims us back so that we’ll be even more fruitful.

Our job is not to worry about dirt or fertilizer, or where other plants are located, or what fruit they’re producing. Our job is simply to respond to the Gardener’s care—and grow!


Lord, I surrender my life to You. Plant me where You want. Make me beautiful and fruitful in Your garden. Amen.

This blog post is adapted from my book 100 Names of God Daily Devotional, which was released on October 20. You can learn more about it here.
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Names of God: El Kanna (Jealous God)

, by Christopher D. Hudson

You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God.”

Who wants to be thought of as jealous? This unflattering description brings to mind the petty schoolgirl who bitterly resents the spotlight that a peer is enjoying, or the fact that her rival’s boyfriend is cuter than hers. To be jealous is to be vain, selfish, suspicious. It is to move through life greedily desiring all the good things that others have, never fully acknowledging or appreciating the good things in one’s own life.

And yet, there is another kind of jealousy—a holy version. It’s this noble form of jealousy that God has for His people, according to the Bible. But why is this a fitting jealousy? Why is God right to want us exclusively for Himself? Because He made us, and in Christ He purchased us (1 Corinthians 6:20; 7:23). 

Divine jealousy isn’t motivated by greed or selfishness. God’s holy jealousy is rooted in a desire to protect, provide, and bless. He always and only wants what is best for His chosen ones. And what can be better than His perfect love? 

Instead of imagining the negative and hurtful jealousy displayed by a petty schoolgirl, we need to imagine the protecting and providing jealousy of God. Picture God more as an adoring husband who catches his once-faithful wife turning to other lovers (who have evil motives), and who jealously seeks to rescue her—not to punish her for her betrayal, but to win back her heart.

When God freed the Hebrew people from slavery in Egypt, He took them to Mount Sinai and, in essence, married them there, taking them as His bride. In that ceremony, they gladly pledged their loyalty and devotion to God alone. However, God told them they would soon be surrounded by neighbors who were devoted to other gods. He warned them they would be tempted to turn away and be unfaithful. Lastly, He assured them He would not stand idly by and allow that to happen. As a jealous God, He would fight fervently for their attention and affection. 
When God calls Himself jealous, it is a reminder to us that our worship cannot be divided. The Great Commandment is to love God with “all” (not part of) our hearts. He alone is worthy of our devotion. He alone is deserving of our hearts. 

Still, God’s demand for worship raises questions in the minds of many believers and nonbelievers. Is He needy? Is He being egotistical? No. Actually He’s being righteous and good. He knows that the ones He loves will find life, ultimate meaning, purpose, and joy nowhere else. He knows that He alone always seeks what’s best for us. He also knows that He alone is the one place where our hearts will find their true home. 

This is why when Jesus came, He reminded us that we cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). He told us that whoever is not for God is against Him (Luke 11:23). We cannot be “sort of,” “sometimes,” or “mostly” devoted to God. We either give ourselves to Him or we give ourselves to other lovers. 

God is jealous for our love because He is zealous for us to know His.


God, drive from my heart anything that captures my attention and affection more than You. May I not make You jealous today by being unfaithful. Amen.

This blog post is adapted from my book 100 Names of God Daily Devotional, which is now available. You can learn more about it here.
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New Bible Study

, by Christopher D. Hudson

When I was working on the 100 Names of God Devotional, I was challenged to ensure that God is #1 in every area of life. He is my all-powerful God, creator, lover, and savior. As such, GOD IS MY LIFE.
That experience has inspired this month's Bible study. Topics we will look at will include:
  • * Putting God First
  • * Knowing God Is Near
  • * Experiencing God's Love
  • * Enjoying God's Peace
  • * Setting Aside Distractions
  • * Embracing God's Touch

To participate, join me twice a week on Facebook for a free Bible study. Sign up here and I'll send you a link to the Bible Study and  Join me twice a weekReadings will be posted Sundays and Thursdays. Be sure to join the discussion twice a week.

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Names of God: Jehovah-Shalom (The Lord Is Peace)

, by Christopher D. Hudson

“So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it The Lord Is Peace.

To this day it stands in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.”

In multiple hot spots of the world, you can find regions known as demilitarized zones. These are sort of no-man’s-lands between opposing nations or armies. Though you won’t likely experience whizzing bullets in such places, you will sense a great tension. The armies aren’t fighting, yet there’s no deep sense of peace. Why? Because true peace—what the Bible calls 


During a dark time in Israel’s history, Gideon was able to lead his people in defeating the enemy Midianites. After experiencing victory, Gideon felt great peace. It was an earthly and physical peace that comes from no longer being threatened and attacked. And it was an inner and spiritual peace that comes from knowing God had called, strengthened, and delivered him. He was so thankful that he built an altar and called it “The Lord Is Peace.”

How peaceful are you today? Maybe you live in a safe neighborhood where you don’t fear for your life. Or perhaps you have enough assets and income to not worry about your financial future.

Those are wonderful blessings, but there’s a whole other level of peace that God makes available to us. We can have peace with God through Jesus Christ. By faith we can go from being unforgiven enemies of God (Romans 5:10) to being God’s beloved children (John 1:12). It’s only when we enter into this peace with God that we begin to experience the peace of God (Philippians 4:7).

A popular bumper sticker sums it up well: “Know Jesus, know peace. No Jesus, no peace.” Do you know Him?

Ask Jehovah-Shalom to give you His peace, and He will give you a person, Jesus, the Prince of Peace.


God, life is difficult and full of conflict. May Your shalom—the peace that passes all understanding—rule in my heart today and always. Amen.

This blog post is adapted from my book, 100 Names of God. You can learn more about this daily devotional here.
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