12 Days of Christmas
Day 1: A Partridge in a Pear Tree
- Spiritual Principle: The pear tree represents Jesus who died on a tree. 1 Peter 2:24
- Practical Application: Jesus is the best example of One who suffered unjustly (for us) since He is sinless. Through His suffering, He is both an example to follow and the One who enables us to submit in this manner. Jesus’ suffering and death paid for our sins with the result that we could now be healed of our rebellious attitudes (“die to sin”) and be submissive even to unjust authorities (“live to righteousness”).
Day 2: Two Turtle Doves
- Spiritual Principle: The two turtle doves represent the old and new testaments. Matthew 5:17-18
- Practical Application: The old and new testaments work together to give us the whole picture of who God is. Matthew writes in 5:17-18 that Jesus came to fulfill! How do we walk in the fulfillment of prophecy that Christ spoke over our lives?
- It begins with accepting the gift of salvation, developing and maintaining a personal relationship with Christ and filling our minds with the word of God through reading, meditating and applying it to our lives. We must study the old and new testaments to get a full understanding of God's Word. (that's who He is)
- Let His Word empower you stay focused on Christ to avoid the distractions of the flesh. Walk in your assignment and stay on the path to fulfilling the prophecy Christ spoke over your life. He came to fulfill!
Day 3: Three French Hens
- Spiritual Principle: The three French hens represent faith, hope and love. 1 Corinthians 13:13
- Practical Application: But the greatest of these is love. Not because it is to "endure" the longest, but because it is the most important virtue; it exerts a wider influence; it is more necessary to the joy of society; it overcomes more evils. Individuals can be saved by faith and hope, but the whole kingdom of God depends on love. Without faith, it is impossible to please God, and without hope, we could not endure. But God wants you to that we resemble Him through love.
Day 4: Four Calling Birds
- Spiritual Principle: The four calling birds represent the four gospels. John 21:25
- Practical Application: The four gospels show us that there were multiple witnesses and varied perspectives. Each author recorded the events of Jesus’ life and ministry from a different perspective with different goals and objectives for different audiences. Just like Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, you have your own experiences and perspectives, with different goals and projections. Be sure to journal and make a note of your testimony from your walk with God. Allow it to work to build a complete picture of the life and work of Jesus Christ from your perspective.
Day 5: Five Golden Rings
- Spiritual Principle: The five golden rings represent the first five books of the Bible. Exodus 24:4
- Practical Application: Genesis recounts God's creation of the world, the Great Flood and the stories of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as well as the Hebrew people's arrival in Egypt. Exodus narrates God's revelation to the Hebrew people through Moses after their escape from Egypt. Leviticus is a description of Hebrew moral and dietary laws. Numbers is the story of Moses and his people condemned to wander in the desert for 40 years. Deuteronomy recounts the arrival of the Hebrews to the Promised Land and the death of Moses. I encourage you to study the history of the first five books of the Old Testament. The notes on individual verses are great, but interpretation can be incorrect if we don’t understand the books’ genre, author, audience, time frame and purpose.
Day 6: Six Geese A-Laying
- Spiritual Principle: The six geese a-laying represent the six days of creation. Genesis 1:31
- Practical Application: God is a God of order and He created everything with an order and purpose. We should imitate Him and be women of order. Strive for order in your life, home, ministry or whatever we do. Remember that God created you with a purpose in mind. When He finished, He said that all He made was very good. We are part of God's creation and He is pleased with how He made you. Remember that He created you for a good purpose. Lastly, after He created everything He rested. Incorporate regular periods of rest in your life.
Day 7: Seven Swans a Swimming
- Spiritual Principle: The seven swans a-swimming represent the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:7-11
- Practical Application: Cherish the gift that God has given you. The Lord has given us gifts to edify His kingdom, encourage His people and be a light to a dying world. Use your gifts wisely – remembering your purpose is to bring glory to God and not shame.
Day 8: Eight Maids A-Milking
- Spiritual Principle: The eight maids a milking represent the eight beatitudes. Matthew 5:3-12
- Practical Application: When you speak about the beatitudes, you're talking about how we think and how we feel. To display these attitudes, your spirit must be cleaned, and that can only happen by your soul being washed by the Word of God. Read the Word, meditate on the Word. Just as you physically bathe to be cleaned, bathe daily in the Word and you'll be transformed.
Day 9: Nine Ladies Dancing
- Spiritual Principle: The nine ladies dancing represent the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23
- Practical Application: The Holy Spirit produces fruit which shapes our character. Through the Holy Spirit, we can inwardly have love, joy and peace. Because of our relationship with Him, we can express toward others longsuffering, gentleness and goodness; and finally, we express toward God our faith, meekness and temperance. Study the passages of Scripture that talk about the fruit of the spirit and allow it to minister to your heart. Then ask God to help you exhibit the fruit of the spirit. Focus on love first and don't wait until you feel like it. You will be amazed at the joy it releases in your soul! Focus on learning to love as Jesus loved all the other fruit of the spirit will follow.
Day 10: Ten Lords A-Leaping
- Spiritual Principle: The ten lords a leaping represent the 10 commandments. Exodus 20:1-17
- Practical Application: God's Ten Commandments are still the standard by which we should strive to live our lives. They are not some outdated laws meant to be used only by Moses. God wants the Ten Commandments to be permanent guidelines we still follow to have a more meaningful relationship with Him and each other. He shows us what is right and what is wrong. In Judges 17:6 it says “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes." God wants us to follow His priorities and not do what seems right in our own eyes.
Day 11: Eleven Pipers Piping
- Spiritual Principle: The eleven pipers piping represent the 11th hour.
- Practical Application: The 11th hour is connected to the parable in Matthew 20:6. While each laborer gets paid a denarius for his labor, a problem occurs when the call becomes overly attached to receiving monetary abundance rather than atonement. Even within the parable of Matthew, workers are cautioned not to be too greedy. Each receives a denarius no matter how long they labored or how late they received a call. Some began to grumble, believing they deserved more. Then, the lord of the vineyard says to those who grumble “Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good? So the last will be first, and the first last: for many are called, but few chosen.” One way to view the parable is we all come to Christ at different times in our lives. Whether we are seasoned believers or babes in Christ, we are all promised eternal life.
Day 12: Twelve Drummers Drumming
- Spiritual Principle: The twelve drummers drumming represent the 12 disciples. Matthew 10-1-4
- Practical Application: Jesus Christ selected 12 men from among his early followers to become his closest disciples: Simon Peter, Andrew, James (the son of Zebedee), John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James (the son of Alphaeus), Jude (Thaddeus), Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
- The 12 disciples (later named Apostles) were responsible for the initial writing of the Apostles' Creed. It is now referred to as the Articles of Faith. Though different organization may vary the verbiage, the truths form the foundation of our Christian belief. The FBCG new members' classes and website spell it out (WHO WE ARE - "What We Believe").
- After an intensive discipleship course and following his resurrection from the dead, the Lord fully commissioned the apostles to advance God's kingdom and carry the gospel message to the world. These men became the pioneering leaders of the New Testament church, but they were not without faults and shortcomings.
- Interestingly, not one of the chosen 12 disciples was a scholar or rabbi. They had no extraordinary skills. Neither religious nor refined, they were ordinary people, just like you and me.
- But God chose them for a purpose—to fan the flames of the gospel that would spread across the earth and continue to burn brightly throughout the centuries to follow.
We have at least two discipleship ministries (BID and SID) here at FBCG – intensive courses to train men and women of God. Just like God selected and used each of these regular guys to carry out His exceptional plan, He wants to remind you that He also selected you to to do the same.