“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.”
Daily Reading Plan
Micah 5:1-15 Bible in a Year:
AUDIO VERSIONFIRST CHRISTMASChristmas reminds us all that our greatest need before God is a heart that loves Him and follows Him.
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.” Micah 5:2
Look at Joseph and Mary's travel to Bethlehem. Tired, hungry, and following God's direction. No guest rooms were available in the Inn, so Joseph and Mary were directed to where the animals were kept warm and dry. In the backwoods of Bethlehem, though, a stable made of wood, as portrayed in most nativity scenes, could have been unlikely.
“And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” Luke 2:12
Now you have to picture the setting in Bethlehem in the times that Jesus was born. Most homes were multi-leveled, and they had a lower room or cellar usually used as a storeroom. In areas like Bethlehem, there were caves, a cave beneath the house or in the back of the house would be used as a storeroom for food or supplies. It could also be where the family animals would be fed and sheltered at night, protected from the cold, thieves, and predators.
“And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21
Now we have the picture of Jesus' birth. Small sleepy town. Cave hewed out of the rocky hillside. Stone cold feeding trough filled with hay.
We can unknowingly and quickly put God in the box of our minds. We may not admit it, but we see our greatest needs from God as physical.
Jesus came first in humility, was born in a stable in Bethlehem, and died a thief's death because our greatest need before God is spiritual, not physical.
We needed a savior, not a king.
“so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.” Hebrews 9:28
Just as God began His rescue mission through Jesus' birth in Bethlehem, He can just as easily shake this world as He moves in communities like ours.
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
You might think, well, you do not know my town. Nobody has heard of my town. No worries. God has. God chooses unlikely places as the setting and unlikely people as the characters in His story.
What about the forgotten streets and neighborhoods of your community? What will you do this Christmas to help people less fortunate than you in your community?Do you need Prayer? We are here to pray with you.
“Heavenly Father, as I look around my town and community, I see the need of Jesus. I pray for my community and for eyes to be opened to the real truth of Christmas. Your Son, Jesus, brought life to a dying world. I pray You will use me in my community to share what Christmas really means to the world around me. Jesus was born to take away the sins of the world. I accept Him as my Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
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