Good morning, beloved,
I had one of THOSE days yesterday. Tried, failed, tried, failed. Christmas cookies were TOO inviting. I grumped at my kids. I grumped at the dog. I lost my focus. Our laundry couch was overflowing. Piles of papers seem to fly. Nobody could find anything. Does that ever happen to you? Then God gave me a gift. I certainly did not deserve the gift, of course, I never do. God gave me some time with a friend. She shared with me just how God has used their family and I listened. I listened as she talked about her kids, her faith, her journey and I revived. I was so grateful. God gave me a perspective shift. Boy howdy, I sure needed it.
As I walked away with children having fits that we couldn’t stay longer, my mother instinct began to kick in. I wanted to lecture. I wanted to rant. And the Lord just put a cap over my mouth, I quieted. I understood where they were coming from. I brought change to their schedule. I pushed because I knew we had to be at an appointment and there was no way I could give in to their rants. They didn’t know that their daddy had a plan while I was in my appointment. As we drove to the appointment, I pointed out a rainbow. Promises. Promises. I was dropped out at my physical therapy appointment and they got their treat.
I’m no different, sadly. I rant and rave at God. Why do I have to be in pain? Why do I have to be dizzy? Couldn’t it just be an easy fix?
2 Corinthians 12: 9 But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and[a]show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may[b]pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!
I’m afraid I wasn’t bearing the trouble manfully. I was forgetting the power and the strength and the grace and the sufficiency of our God. God showed me with my friend the power of taking my eyes off myself and feeling sorry for myself and placing that on the Lord and serving Him. I have a saying I tell my kids after I send them to a chore…all the way, right away with a happy heart. I had forgotten to keep my eyes on the birth of Jesus.
So, here I am. I am turning my eyes to Jesus. Want to join me?
The prophecy today is about WHERE Jesus was to be born.
2 But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, you are little to be among the clans of Judah; [yet] out of you shall One come forth for Me Who is to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth have been from of old, from ancient days (eternity).
And the fulfillment:
2 Where is He Who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east[a]at its rising and have come to worship Him.
3 When Herod the king heard this, he was disturbed and troubled, and the whole of Jerusalem with him.
4 So he called together all the chief priests and learned men (scribes) of the people and[b]anxiously asked them where the Christ was to be born.
5 They replied to him, In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
6 And you Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, you are not in any way least or insignificant among the [c]chief cities of Judah; for from you shall come a Ruler ([d]Leader) Who will govern and[e]shepherd My people Israel.
Commentary from Precept Austin:
Even if Jesus could have fulfilled some of the other prophecies by choosing to do so, He could hardly have fulfilled His place of birth in an obscure village distinct from the other village by the same first name (Bethlehem)! Jesus sternly warned every skeptic of every age that
“unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins.” (John 8:25)
Notice that in this verse “He” has been added by the translators, so what Jesus really said was that He was “I Am”, the equivalent of Jehovah (“I Am”) in the Old Testament. In contrast to the argument by many skeptics that Jesus never declared He was God, this verse is one of many clear refutations. His hearers, although unbelieving, nevertheless knew exactly what He was saying and after He again declared “I Am”…
“they picked up stones to throw at Him…” (John 8:59)
I believe. I place my trust in the great I Am. How about you today?
Pray on. Pray on.
- Advent Celebration -Day 3, “And the Glory of the Lord” (trumpeterwak.wordpress.com)
- Why Bethlehem of All Places? (christianmotivations.weebly.com)
- “My grace is sufficient for you” (intoxicatedwithmadness.com)