7 Days of Devos

The months and days leading up to Christmas can be fun and exciting. For some, it can be stressful or lonely. Either way, as RISE we wanted to share with you 7 Days of Devos to prepare your heart for Christmas. We hope God blesses you, and that you have a very Merry Christmas!



Christmas Lists | Day 7

What are you chasing this holiday season? What is it that you think will make your holidays happier? More money, a new car, different job, warm vacation?

We’re all chasing something, some of us harder than others. Deep down we’ve placed something in our mind that we think it will make us happy. At least for a little while. We all have a Christmas list, our kid’s lists might be longer, but we still have one.

Those things on our lists never seem to last. We get excited at Christmas, our kids play with their new stuff for a while, we show off our new gifts but the excitement is usually short-lived. Why doesn’t it last?  I think Charles Spurgeon has a great answer, “Having made Jesus your all, you shall find all in Jesus.” What a great message this Christmas season! Find your all in Jesus, not the stuff you thought you wanted! 

Written by Rob Roozeboom

Jesus & Mariah Carey | Day 6

We've all got our favorite Christmas songs. Some of us think we can start playing them in November. Other people (the normal ones) start playing it the day after Thanksgiving while we head out to get our Christmas trees and decorate our homes. You'll hear it playing in every store, and when you scan radio stations it's on every channel.

One of my personal favorites to jam out to is "All I Want for Christmas is You" by Mariah Carey. When that song comes on, I turn it up to 10 and start dancing, and I can almost hit the high notes...almost. Well with Christmas music, comes Christmas shopping.

I know I'm not alone in admitting this, but the shopping part of Christmas gives me mild anxiety. What do I get for people? Will they like it? Did I spend enough money? My friend got me a gift, and I feel bad because I didn't get her anything. So I lie and say I left it at home, and run to the store to get her something to balance the scales.

I am thankful that with God, there is nothing we can do, or have to do to earn his love. It is a free gift. All we have to do is open our hearts and say, "Jesus, I need you. This life is meaningless without you. Come take over and use me for your glory." All Jesus wants for Christmas is your heart. He just wants you for his own, more than you could ever know.

If you want to give your heart to Jesus today, start with a simple prayer like the one above. If you have more questions, feel free to message me (ellie@riseministries.com)! I'd love to share the best gift in the world with you!

Written by Ellie Dykstra




"Come On" | Day 5

Anyone who has had small children knows that life is chaotic, to say the least. Not only are you supposed to continue “adulting” with work, social, and family life but you’re also responsible for this tiny human. You are your child’s entire world! I love being a parent but there definitely times when I feel like I’ve dropped the ball.

My wife and I are blessed with a very active two-year-old, who has a younger brother on the way. Life is already racing at 100 mph and now the holidays are here to make sure we are running from thing to thing and continually checking our to-do lists. Or, if you’re like me, forgetting everything on your to-do list!

Lately, I’ve noticed that the craziness doesn’t stop when I get home. It actually seems to get busier! I’m constantly running from this to that in an effort to get everything “done.” However, my son usually has different ideas. He’ll grab a toy and come find me with a simple request. Looking up at me, open palm extended he’ll say, “Come on, daddy. Come on.” Then he’ll proceed to lead me to whatever it is he’s got in his head.

It doesn’t matter what he’s doing, he just wants to me to be a part of it. Sometimes he doesn’t even really want me to play with him, he just wants me to be present! “Come on, daddy.” More often then I’d care to admit, I’ll ignore the request. Chores need to be done. Presents need to be wrapped. Doesn’t he know how busy I am? “Come on.”

I wonder how often we ignore Jesus’ same request. How often does he want us to join Him in whatever He’s doing? Maybe we can’t really do anything with Him, he just wants us present. He wants our attention. He’s extending an invitation with an open, pierced palm extended, “Come on.” In this ever-busy season, take some time and just be with Jesus.

Written by Lee Stover



Inside a Stable | Day 4

Once in our world, a stable had something in it that was bigger than our whole world.
 - C.S. Lewis

One of my favorite holidays is Christmas! I like the lights, the trees, the fact that the kids don’t have to go to school, my wife baking and blaring Christmas music and a sense of love that’s shared among people. For just a few days, weeks, maybe even a month we treat people a little nicer - unless you’re Black Friday shopping than that’s a whole different thing. But between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we think about others, we plan parties, have meals together, sing Christmas songs, laugh and make memories. It can be a great time of year, but...and of course, they’re always a “but.”

We freak out about the parties, what gifts to get, who’s coming home for the holidays, whether or not there’s enough money in the account to buy gifts or if the kids have a new outfit for the Christmas program. All of a sudden one of the greatest times of the year is overshadowed by stress and worry. And before we know it, Christmas is over and we missed the whole reason for the season!

I do love Christmas for all the things listed above, but why I really love Christmas is because as C.S. Lewis said, “Once in our world, a stable had something in it that was bigger than our whole world.”  That something was Jesus. Our savior! This Christmas don’t forget to set aside a little time to remember what it’s really all about.

Written by Rob Roozeboom



Influenced by Gratitude | Day 3

The other day I got a devotional email and a challenge to go with it. The challenge was to write to the 5 most influential people who have helped shape your life.

Of  course,  I put it on the back burner and haven’t done anything with it, and then this morning I was sent a link to a video entitled, "The Science of Happiness – finding out what makes you happy."

Guess what the video was about? Writing down the qualities of the most influential person in your life, and then calling them (if they’re still alive), and reading them what you wrote! I’m starting to see a sign here.

The point is gratitude helps with happiness. So how about it, are you up for the challenge? With 5 days to go until Christmas why not use each day to think about those 5 influential people who have helped shape your life. It will get you thinking about gratitude, and what a great thing to think about right before Christmas!

Written by Rob Roozeboom



Be the Light | Day 2

Have you watched the news lately? Scrolled through your Facebook feed? It seems that story after story is more bad news. Some days my eyes get a little teary thinking about how broken the world is. I feel so helpless. Christmas time should be a happy time of year, but I've been feeling a bit distracted by all the pain that is going on around me. 

I have been getting notifications from the Bible app lately with the Verse of the Day. Each Bible verse speaks truth against the brokenness I feel in the world. The Bible is full of verses that offer hope (Romans 8:18 & Isaiah 43:2), courage (Isaiah 54:17), and encouragement (Romans 5:3-4) to keep fighting the good fight.

God gave Jesus to the earth to be light of the world. Where there is light, there can be no darkness (Matthew 5:14-15). Jesus came to redeem the mess and make the broken beautiful. When we have Jesus inside of us we can be a light that shines into this broken world. YOU can make a difference right where you're at. Let the light of Jesus shine through you this Christmas season!

Written by Ellie Dykstra



Christmas Program | Day 1

Tonight is the big night, you know, the Christmas program!  Where everybody comes out, and all of a sudden there’s pushing and shoving to sit in the front row (and then you have to ask grandpa and grandma to knock it off because they’re causing a scene in church). Oh, that’s not your church? Must just be mine! It’s Christmas program day front row seats are at a premium. Not quite like the Super Bowl, but they’re close. Everybody wants to have a good view to video and take pictures of their kids dressed up, singing their songs, reading their verses, and trying to catch that one kid who does something crazy!

It’s all fun and games when it’s not your kid, but then all of a sudden things change. Now it’s your kid everybody is being entertained by. And your wife’s looking at you like, “that’s your kid!”  Or worse yet, she gives you the eye of, “do something!”  Yeah right, I’m going to get up there and drag them off, I don’t think so. As embarrassing as those moments can be, they eventually fade from everyone’s memories.  I’ll be honest it might take years, maybe even decades, but sooner or later someone else’s kid takes the mantle.  Whether you’re that parent, or a grandparent hurrying to the front to get the best seats just enjoy this special moment.  Enjoy watching your kids and grandkids retelling what this time is all about – Jesus!

Written by Rob Roozeboom