I don’t always do things God’s way.
Looking back, I see times when God was right and I was wrong. And not one time when I was right and God was wrong.
Colossians 3:17 (ERV)
Everything you say and everything you do should be done for Jesus your Lord.
Easier said than done.
My goal for 2017 was “divine balance.” To keep my efforts–health, home, job, writing, ministry–moving forward without trespassing on each other’s boundaries. And more importantly, without trespassing on God’s boundaries. I did OK. Not great, but good enough.
What about you? Are you maintaining divine balance?
- Nope, I fell short
- My balance beam looks more like a roller coaster
- Not graceful, but still on my feet
- Nailed it!
The King of kings and Lord of lords left heaven’s golden streets to travel the dusty road to Bethlehem as an unborn babe.
From this Bethlehem road, he walked on to Calvary.
Philippians 2:7-8 (ERV)
He gave up everything, even his place with God . . . he humbled himself by being fully obedient to God, even when that caused his death—death on a cross.
Your road to Bethlehem likewise leads you to the manger and on to the cross.
As we celebrate Christmas, let’s pause and pray for our brothers and sisters who are in unsafe places: persecuted Christians worshiping in secret, those who are in war zones, ones on the run or in refugee camps, the poor souls in prison and work camps.
Psalm 34:7 (NIV)
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.
O Lord, we’re celebrating the angels you sent to Mary, Joseph and the shepherds. Send your angels again, this time to guard your children who find themselves in risky places. May our prayers wrap them in safety, for your sake, dear Jesus Christ. Amen.
The kings’ wisdom came from years of study. The shepherds learned their lesson in a sudden blaze of glory. The kings followed a star. The shepherds had specific instructions.
Luke 2:12 (ERV)
You will find a baby wrapped in pieces of cloth and lying in a feeding box.
Trust God to map out your unique road to Bethlehem.
The kings left their homes and the shepherds left their sheep. What did they get in return? Front row seats to the greatest story ever told.
John 3:16 (ERV)
God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him would not be lost but have eternal life.
Your Bethlehem journey – best road trip ever.
Maybe the wise ones weren’t so wise. They asked the wrong guy—Herod—for directions:
Matthew 2:13 (ERV)
Herod is looking for the child and wants to kill him.
OK, Lord, there are people who will try to trip or trick me on my Bethlehem Road. Give me the wisdom to see them for what they really are.
The wise men spent years studying books and stars.
The shepherds just listened and obeyed. Short and simple.
Imagine you’re a shepherd or a wise man, on the road to Bethlehem. What would you say to God?
- What will people think?
- What’s in it for me?
- Your will be done.
The shepherds were on the road to Bethlehem for only a few minutes, the other guys (the “wise” ones) perhaps a few years.
All Bethlehem journeys are not the same. Don’t doubt just because your trip is different.