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Bethlehem Ephrathah

December 11, 2014

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Post 2012 12 16 Mary n Joseph

Bethlehem Ephrathah

Some people like  to strut around  and make claims  of their power  and greatness.     But,  they can’t hold a candle  to the LORD God Almighty.     People come  and go  —  we all die sooner  or later  and all our boasting is  about nothing.     But,  there is a strange thing  about the LORD  —  at least it seems strange  in this sinful world.     God does not boast,  and yet,  He truly is  the Almighty.

God comes  to us  most quietly  and humbly,  just wanting  to dwell  in our hearts  and bring us  to eternal salvation.     And that’s how He comes  to us  at Christmas time,  also.     We can be  ever so busy,  busy,  busy  and be totally unaware  that God  would like us  to rest  in His peace.

Ever so quietly,  in His word,  the Bible,  God proves  to us  that He is the LORD of lords  and that He really can give us  the gift  of eternal salvation  through faith  in Christ Jesus.     There are many  Old Testament prophecies  about Jesus.     We will look  at a few.     Here we’re looking  for promises  and the power  to keep  the promise.     In 2 Samuel 7:12-13,  God gives this promise  to King David,

When your days  are complete  and you lie down  with your fathers,  I will raise up  your descendant  after you,  who will come forth  from you,  and I will establish his kingdom.     He shall build  a house  for My name,  and I will establish  the throne  of his kingdom forever.

King David realized  that God  was saying  the Eternal King  would be a descendant  of his  —  somehow  or another.     David felt  most humbled  and he believed.     That prophecy  was made approximately 1010 B.C.

Now David  was from the town  of Bethlehem  —  a very small,  insignificant village.     But,  in approximately the year 742 B.C.,  the prophet Micah  had a special prophecy  about David’s home town.     In Micah 5:2,  he says,

But  as for you,  Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little  to be among the clans  of Judah,
From you  One will go forth  for Me  to be ruler  in Israel.
His goings forth  are from long ago,
From the days  of eternity.

Only God Almighty is  from the days  of eternity.     The rest  of us  are just a creation  of the Almighty.     We have a specific day  of birth — a specific beginning.     So,  Micah  is prophesying  that the eternal God  will come  from Bethlehem Ephrathah  to be a ruler.     And then,  more time passes.

In approximately 25 B.C.,  Jesus is born.     In people’s minds  that presents  a problem  because Joseph  and Mary lived  in Nazareth.     But,  from eternity  God kept His plan.     God moved the heart  of Caesar Augustus,  the Roman emperor,  to take a census  of all the people.     It was demanded  that everybody go  to the original home town  of their family.     For Joseph  and Mary  that meant traveling  to Bethlehem  to take part  in the census.     Luke 2:1-7  records the story  like this,

Now it came about  in those days  that a decree  went out  from Caesar Augustus,  that a census be taken  of all the inhabited earth.     This was the first census taken  while Quirinius  was governor  of Syria,  and all were proceeding  to register  for the census,  everyone  to his own city.

And Joseph  also went up  from Galilee,  from the city  of Nazareth,  to Judea,  to the city  of David,  which is called Bethlehem,  because he was  of the house  and family  of David,  in order  to register,  along with Mary,  who was engaged  to him,  and was with child.

And it came about  that while they were there,  the days were completed  for her  to give birth.     And she gave birth  to her first-born son;  and she wrapped Him  in cloths,  and laid Him  in a manger,  because there was no room  for them  in the inn.

This was the fulfillment of a prophecy made a thousand years beforehand.     God Almighty  was moving  behind the scenes  all the time  and people  were totally unaware  of God’s presence.     God’s love  and salvation  were working  to present  to us  the gift  of eternal life  —  and yet,  we’re  so busy  running around  and feeling anxious,  that we don’t  even notice.

We need  to realize  that the fulfilling  of these historical prophecies  prove  that God  is telling us  the truth.     These are historical records  to help us  become strong  in the true faith.

Because  of what God has done  in love  for us,  we don’t have  to wallow  in our sinful,  hateful,  and rebellious lifestyles  any longer.     We can be free  to live  in truth  and love  —  now  and forever.     God has proven  His power  and worth.     Now we need  to turn  to Him  in repentance  and changed lives  —  that is  if we value  the opportunity  to receive  eternal life.

If we don’t value  God’s love  in Jesus Christ,  that’s another story.     But,  such an attitude  won’t bring us happiness  or eternal life.

As we rejoice  in the wonders  of God’s power  to keep all  of His promises,  we say,  “Hallelujah!     Lord,  Your powerful love  and salvation  are beyond awesome.     Let our hearts  be open  to You  at all times.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

A 2.67 year old says  I Pledge Allegiance

Pray for our country.

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Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus

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The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

Psalm 118:24

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The word of the LORD is tried;

He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.

Psalm 18:30

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Sing for joy  in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;

Praise is becoming  to the upright.

Psalm 33:1

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How blessed are those  who dwell  in Thy house!

They are ever praising Thee.

Psalm 84:4

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Just as a father  has compassion  on his children,

So the LORD  has compassion  on those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:13

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O give thanks  to the LORD,  for He is good;

For His lovingkindness  is everlasting.

Psalm 107:1

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Glory in His holy name;

Let the heart  of those who seek the LORD  be glad.

Psalm 105:3

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Not that I have already obtained it,  or have already  become perfect, but I press on  in order that  I may  lay hold  of that for which also  I was laid hold of  by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12

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