Weekly Devotionals – 18 December 2023

Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the LORD will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. (Isaiah 60:1-2)


The week of 5-12 December 1982 will always be a special week to remember. Our church featured three different ministers who spoke three powerful messages to our congregation throughout this 7-day period. The Words spoken 41 years ago still resonates with relevance. The following is a brief review of the three services to our church.


  1. Sunday, 5 December – Arise and Shine

The evening service featured an evangelist who shared on what a future revival may look like. It was a dark wintry night on the outside of the church but inside, a congregation was rejoicing and praising the Lord with passion. The evangelist made the contrast of the light and joy that was so evident in the church with the darkness outside. He shared from Isaiah 60 and highlighted the following verse:

The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising. (Isaiah 60:3)

The inside light of the church will attract many who are walking in darkness. Look at today’s world, filled with chaos and uncertainty. People are hurting and looking for hope. The light and joy upon God’s people will serve as a shining light to those in darkness. During this Christmas season, may we be the Light of Christ that points people to Jesus.


  1. Thursday, 8 December – The Tribe of Zebulon

Of Zebulun, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, with all instruments of war, fifty thousand, which could keep rank: they were not of double heart. (1 Chronicles 12:33, KJV)

In our mid-week Bible study, the guest speaker shared on the attributes of the tribe of Zebulun. There were three primary points:


  • Expert in war

Zebulun had a reputation of being effective in battles at the time of King David. Today, our warfare is spiritual (2 Corinthians 10:4). One of our primary weapons of war is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17). Do we know the Word of God? Do we wield it skilfully? Jesus countered many of Satan’s attacks through God’s Word. “It is written” is a weapon that needs to be known and utilised in our day.


  • Could Keep Rank

Zebulon was a tribe that understood their role and identity as part of David’s army. A key to being effective in warfare is to know our position and authority in Christ.

And raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:6)

We must come to know that we are sons and daughters of the Most High, our God. This will enable us to understand our role and purpose in His Kingdom.


  • Not of a Double Heart

A powerful tactic of the enemy is in his ability to distract and discourage. In warfare we must be able to maintain a focus and not allow for divided loyalties to get in the way. Consider the following words from the Apostle Peter:

Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:13)

How easy it is for our minds to wander in so many different directions. Now, more than ever, there needs to be a singleness of heart that is committed to the commission that has been given us. This message on Zebulon makes clear that spiritual warfare is real, yet there are keys that can help us to prevail.


Sunday, 12 December – Committing to the Cross

It is interesting that in the Christmas season was a message on the Cross given. It makes sense when you consider that it was for this reason that Christ was born. His birth is to be celebrated but it’s the Cross that resulted in salvation and ever-lasting life. Do you think of the Cross as a Christmas gift? The fruit of this message has a profound impact upon our church. This will be explored in greater detail in future devotionals.

In reflecting upon this memorable week, I am amazed how the Lord brought us three different speakers to share on three different messages. God’s Word is a Living Word which is always relevant and in season. As we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour, may we be ever mindful of why He came. May we be shining Lights amid darkness, equipped to fight the battles of the Lord while always remembering the Cross as God’s great gift to mankind.

Monday: Matthew 5:16

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Tuesday: Haggai 2:9

The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the Lord of hosts.”

Wednesday: Ephesians 6:17

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;

Thursday: John 1:12

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 

Friday: 1 Samuel 17:26

Then David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

Saturday: 1 Corinthians 1:18

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Sunday: John 3:16

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.


All scriptures are quoted from the New King James Version (NKJV).
By Pastor Timothy O’Connell