31 Days of the Christmas Story from Genesis to John: Day 11 – place of birth is named

3-wise-men

Micah was another Hebrew prophet that lived around the time of Isaiah.  He was considered to be a great communicator and was known as a prophet to the common people. If Isaiah had been the only prophet to prophesy about the coming Messiah then it may not have been as believable, but whenever there is more than one witness, it becomes more credible. We will see that Micah’s writings were not only read and studied by Kings several hundred years after his death, but his writings also appear in the United States Government today.

Micah 5:2
Bethlehem Ephrathah,
you are small among the clans of Judah;
One will come from you
to be ruler over Israel for Me.
His origin is from antiquity,
from eternity.

This is what the Wise Men read that led them to the Star of Bethlehem!  They had studied Micah’s writings, where it was prophesied 700 years earlier that the coming Messiah would be from the small town of Bethlehem, from the tribe of Judah, with an origin from the beginning of time lasting for eternity.  What incredible faith they must have had to travel that distance to a foreign land with nothing more than these ancient prophecies. God clearly rewarded their faith.

And today, if you look in the Library of Congress next to the U.S. Capitol building, you will see these other words from the Prophet Micah inscribed above one of the reading alcoves.

Micah 6:8
He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?

Judeo/Christian principles are found everywhere in the beginning of the U.S. Government.  If anyone tries to convince you differently, they do not know their history.

~ In God We Trust is imprinted on the U.S. currency.
~ A painting of the Baptism of Pocohontas at Jamestown in 1618 hangs in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.
~ The Liberty Bell is inscribed with Leviticus 25:10 (proclaim liberty throughout all the land).
~ A large bronze statue of Moses with the 10 Commandments is located in the Library of Congress, along with over a thousand rare Bibles including an original Gutenberg Bible.
~ All 50 State Constitutions reference God.
And there are many, many other historical references.  God rewards our faithfulness.

I pray that you will have the faith of the Wise Men, the faith of Micah and Isaiah, the faith of the Founding Fathers of America, and countless numbers of others who have gone before us.  May God bless you for your faithfulness during this special season.

* Merry Christmas *

31 Days of the Christmas Story from Genesis to John: Day 21 – Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem

mary-joseph-donkey

Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David, to be registered along with Mary, who was engaged to him and was pregnant. – Luke 2:4-5

Mary and Joseph are both descendants of David.  Joseph is from the line of David’s son Solomon and a legal heir to the throne.  Mary is from the line of Nathan, David’s other son, and therefore her biological children are blood-line heirs to the throne of David.

Both are from Nazareth in Galilee but travel to Bethlehem in Judea to be registered, as decreed by Caesar Augustus.  This is why Jesus is often referred to as the Nazarene from Galilee though he was born in the small town of Bethlehem.

All of this fulfills the prophecies as told 700 years earlier.

I pray that you will believe, in the God who came down to earth to dwell among his creation, to teach us how to love, how to forgive, and to show us the way to eternal salvation.

* Merry Christmas *

31 Days of the Christmas Story from Genesis to John: Day 22 – Names of Jesus

nativity-trail

The trip for Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem was about 70-90 miles through mountainous terrain on foot.  It would have taken them about 8-10 days to complete, while carrying all of their food, water, blankets and supplies.  They were poor and had no place to stay once they were there.  I’m sure they wondered what would happen once they got there, but were they also thinking of the earlier prophecies from Micah 5:2 that said a Savior would be born in Bethlehem, or from Isaiah 7:14 that said he would be born of a virgin?

As we wait for the birth of Jesus in the coming days, here are a few of the names and attributes that would be given to Jesus later in his ministry.

Good Shepherd – John 10:11
Light that shines in the darkness – John 1:5
Immanuel, God is with us – Matthew 1:23
Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world – John 1:29
The Word – John 1:1
Prince of Peace – John 14:27

I pray that you will experience this Christmas the Peace, Light, and Good Shepherd who can take away all your sin and give you a new life in Christ.

* Merry Christmas *

31 Days of the Christmas Story from Genesis to John: Day 24 – the birth of Jesus

jesus-joseph-and-mary

On a quiet unsuspecting night, the Savior came into the world.  And the world has never been the same.

While Mary and Joseph were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to give birth.  Then she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped Him snugly in cloth and laid Him in a feeding trough—because there was no room for them at the lodging place. – Luke 2:6-7

As the Christmas rush begins to quieten down, the stores are closing, the gifts are bought, and the world prepares to stop for a day, remember what this simple but profound birth means to our world.

I pray that no matter what you may be dealing with this Christmas season, and so many of us are, that you will stop for a few minutes on this Christmas Eve and ask Jesus to surround you with His love and peace and hope.  For Jesus truly is the reason for the holiday.

* Merry Christmas *

31 Days of the Christmas Story from Genesis to John: Day 25 – the angels announcement to the shepherds

christmasangelannouncingthebirthofjesus

“Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

The angels first proclamation of the good news was to the shepherds who lived out in the fields of the same country, watching their flock at night.  The angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone all around them.

When the angels had left, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”

From Luke, chapter 2

Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice,
Let the sea and what fills it resound;
Let the plains be joyful and all that is in them!
Then shall all the trees of the forest exult.
Psalm 96:11-12

I pray for blessings to you this Christmas day!

* Merry Christmas *