Lay Your Failure In The Manger - Guidelines Devotional
December 24, 2021

Lay Your Failure In The Manger


The LORD is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.  He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever.  He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.  Psalm 103:8-11

Christmas time can make you feel like one big failure.  It used to be popular to send a “creatively written” Christmas letter that bragged about everything your family had done that year.  We knew what had really happened in our lives—failed marriages, kids that got into trouble and jobs that were lost.  But we didn’t include that in those Christmas letters.

Pastor Timothy Keller writes, “To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial.  To be known and not loved is our greatest fear.  But to be fully known and truly loved, is well, a lot like being loved by God. “[1]  God knows us fully and loves us truly.  Here then, is the message of the Manger: “You are a totally loved moral failure.” (Keller) The coming of the babe of the Manger was needed, because of our failure, and because of God’s love.

If you were raised in a home where failure was met with punishment instead of mercy and instruction, you may be more inclined to try to forget about your failures. But unconfessed failure is a heavy burden to bear.  Sometimes it even makes us sick; David wrote, “When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long” (Psalm 32:4). Because Jesus came, fully God and fully man, to stand in our places, there is freedom from failure waiting for you.  There is refreshing cleansing, unfailing love and forgiveness.  Lay your failure in the Manger today and find freedom.


Resource reading: Psalm 140:3-4

[1] Keller, T. (n.d.). A quote from The Meaning of Marriage. Goodreads. Retrieved November 22, 2021, from

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