A message to us from Bethlehem; “You might recognize this as a manger. This is where Jesus laid after he was born. Right behind me was the spot he was born in. I had to elbow two girls to stick my head down in this little room and touch the spot. People were going crazy there.”
double click to enlarge
“…this might look familiar too. This is the garden of olive trees where Jesus prayed the night before he was crucified.”
I bow down and worship…..How fast we can see the place our Lord laid. How fast we will see His coming again. “Every eye will Behold Him.” These pictures came to us live from ‘our heritage.’
23 thoughts on “Today, in Bethlehem;”
OH LORD GOD You have sent a messenger, again as in days of old, to remind us of Your greatest Gift of all…the Lord Jesus Christ. Real, breathing, crucified, resurrected, living God. He came to the stable. He came to the Olive Garden. He came to the Cross. He came to the right hand of the Father. Now He is coming again in power and majesty to reign on the New Earth. O COME TO MY HEART LORD JESUS!! THERE”S ROOM IN MY HEART FOR TEEH!!!!”
Beautiful pictures. Behold the Lamb of God! What a glorious time to be in a place where JESUS was born as we are about to celebrate his birth. Just touching the pictures are thrilling.
O Little Town of Bethlehem was written in 1867 after his trip to that city.
O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.
For Christ is born of Mary, and gathered all above,
While mortals sleep, the angels keep their watch of wondering love.
O morning stars together, proclaim the holy birth,
And praises sing to God the King, and peace to men on earth!
How silently, how silently, the wondrous Gift is givâ€™n;
So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His Heavâ€™n.
No ear may hear His coming, but in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in.
Where children pure and happy pray to the blessÃ¨d Child,
Where misery cries out to Thee, Son of the mother mild;
Where charity stands watching and faith holds wide the door,
The dark night wakes, the glory breaks, and Christmas comes once more.
O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel!
“Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.” Rev 1:7 NIV
O What A Day!
But 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.”(Mic. 5:2)
Seeing these pictures makes reading the Bible accounts really come alive and intensifies the longing to see Him come again.
When He comes in clouds to take us home, we who are alive on the earth at that time will look up and there HE WILL BE in the clouds, arms wide open, and UP UP AND AWAY we will go. But that is ONLY for those of us who long for HIS appearing in the clouds.
Last week Sara taught on six bullets of A W. Tozer concerning being a part of the “Bridal Brigade” (my words) i.e. those who will be going UP when Jesus comes for His bride.
If you LONG for Him to appear and strongly desire to go home with Him if He should come in our lifetime….and there is reason to believe He just might because many signs described in the Bible are apparent in today’s News, then there must be a calling upon His name to forgive us for our sinful life. Then we must repent/change! That means STOP DOING IT! Our sin must become as evident and abhorrent to us, [as our sin is to others 😦 ] and we must repent and boldly begin to declare our witness of what God has done for us.
And there is so much more as we increase in the knowledge of the Lord. Why would we not want to choose life.
Even the buzz-word of today is looking to the ‘CLOUD’ configuration. Every time I hear the jargon of the day “CLOUD COMPUTING” I think of Jesus in the CLOUDS computing the time, day, moment when He will appear in the clouds. Am I ready if He comes today? Are you? We had better get busy and receive the greatest offer Christ gives us. The greatest Christmas gift of all ” CLOUD COMPUTING” WITH JESUS CHRIST when He comes in the clouds.
Exodus to Revelation clouds have fascinated the mind and thrilled the soul with Hope and great exhilaration thinking we might ride one. I have heard that clouds also mean the ‘positional honor, glory, & authority of Jesus Christ.’
What a mystery just as a Virgin Birth, an ascension and many other things finite can’t explain.
“He wraps himself in light as with a garment; He stretches out the heavens like a tent and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters. He makes the CLOUDS HIS CHARIOT and rides on the wings of the wind.” Ps. 104:3
Do you suppose, as is indicated in this Psalm that Jesus will return in His CHARIOT ….the CLOUDS…for that’s what this Psalm says. He makes the clouds His chariots. OH WHOA! MAYBE, We will be riding the chariots of God when we go up to Jesus in HIS CLOUD LIMOUSINE! The chariot of GOD.
“Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots shall be as the whirlwind”
“For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.”
Isaiah 66:15, cf. 19:1
Men of Galilee….After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. And two angels said to them, “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven in a cloud, will come back in the same way… in the cloud…. you have seen him go into heaven.”
There’s the promise of the angel. He will come back and get us. Oh my Jesus. OH!! Please come to my heart Lord Jesus there’s room in my heart for THEE.
The living creatures spoken of in Ezekial 1 came in a cloud also…”an immense cloud with flashing lightning and surrounded by brilliant light.” (vs 4)
And in Revelation 14 there was one ‘like the son of man’ seated on a cloud. “So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.”
Clouds seem to be associated with very mighty and significant works of the Lord God.
Have we touched the spot where He laid?
â€œBehold, the virgin shall become pregnant and give birth to a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel â€” which, when translated, means, God with usâ€
(Matthew 1:23, AMP)
Matthew 2: 7 says: “She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because THERE WAS NO LODGING AVAILABLE FOR THEM.” Read with me the footnotes for this verse: “Strips of cloth were used to keep a baby warm and give him a sense of security. These cloths were believed to protect his internal organs. The custom of wrapping infants this way is still practiced in many Mid-eastern countries. This mention of the manger is the basis for the traditional belief that Jesus was born in a stable. Stables were often caves with feeding troughs (mangers) carved into the rock walls. Despite popular Christmas card pictures, the surroundings were dark and dirty. This was not the atmosphere the Jews expected as the birthplace of the Messiah-King. They thought their promised Messiah would be born in royal surroundings. We should not limit God by our expectations. He is at work wherever he is needed in our sin-darkened and dirty world. Although our first picture of Jesus is as a baby in a manger, it must not be our last. The Christ child in the manger is the subject of a beautiful Christmas scene, but we must not leave him there. This tiny, helpless baby lived an amazing life, died for us, ascended to heaven, and will return to earth as King of Kings. Christ will rule the world and judge all people according to their decisions about him. Do you still picture Jesus as a baby in a manger–or is he your Lord? Make sure you don’t underestimate Jesus. Let him grow up in your life.”
Bethlehem was yesterday in many minds yet Bethlehem IS Today as we see in this blog title and as evidenced by the photos.
Several of our Daily Lily readers may remember our 2010 Retreat where we studied Sara Mullennex’s book, “Designs of One’s Heart, The Four Seasons”. Though that was ‘yesterday, the words are for Today. The today picture of the olive tree at this winter season above in the garden of Gethsemane makes the timely words of “Lesson II Winter Tells Us” in Sara’s book jump off the page for me! For in that Lesson we learn that, “Our Winter tour of our Heart’s Design, takes us to a garden called Gethsemane. This is basically known as an olive orchard with a press in it for crushing out the olive oil from the fruit. It is the garden near Jerusalem. According to Luke, Jesus our Lord visited the garden quite often…” and in this garden He found them sleeping when they should have been watching and praying. Lesson II says’ “Do you know we can be asleep without being asleep? Our prayers are just about like being asleep.”
And Lesson II reminds us that thie Olive tree has many names, but “that name really means a peaceful spirit.”
Lesson II also speaks of a reflecting pool in that garden…a place reflect and to examine ourselves.
And in looking at the photo above of the empty manger that we can reach out to and ‘touch the spot’, as Sara asks above, we may wonder where is Jesus now? Needles writes, “Do you still picture Jesus as a baby in a mangerâ€“or is he your Lord?” We’ve touched the spot but have we really touched Him? Lesson II addresses this by asking, “I’d like to ask you today, do you know Him? Has He come to you and you have knowingly turned Him away? Or have you reached out your hand and taken the dove into yourself? Reach out and touch. Take Him to yourself. For Solomon has said in the Song of Solomon, “for His love is better than wine. His very name, Jesus, is ointment poured forth. Draw me and I will follow you.”
What a wonderful book and Lesson to re-read and study at this Winter season. It is so timely and ties right in to the photos. Surely the Lord is near!
Following Debi’s and Sara’s suggestion I looked back into” DESIGNS OF ONE’S HEART”
On P. 3 of Winter Landscape IN DESIGNS OF ONE’S HEART by Sara (c) she writes…
“The disciples slept rather than prayed. You know, if you’re sleeping when you should be praying I want to tell you something…YOU SHOULD WATCH OUT! BECAUSE THE WORD OF GOD SAYS:
“Watch out, lest a ROOT of BITTERNESS spring up”
“……Are you brooding over a hurt or an offense? Have you given another your disease, allowing a bitter root to spread? Roots of bitterness follow us; anger, hostility, and bad attitudes. They have come to rob us of our joy and peace. Is 11:2 says, Let me tell you something….I want to tell you about your roots.
OUR ROOTS ARE THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.”
So , I am saying that we had been warned over a year ago…like you said.
Thanks Debi, MG and Needles for the encouragement to stay in touch with the artist within.
“The truth brings the past into the present and prepares us for the future. That’s what truth does.” Maya Angelou
The world would pay big bucks to have this kind of spiritual wisdom about life and the future laid out before them; the pitfalls, the warnings, the remedies, the solutions. We have it all in CHRIST JESUS as HE gives it forth through His Scriptures, His prophets and messengers.
Yet many do not heed, or miss it entirely because of distractions, or don’t find to apply it to their lives for more than a moment or regard it as virtual wisdom. But when the Truth of it is revealed in REAL TIME then the agonies of situations and circumstances that we should have been prepared for take us out.
Speaking of the world would pay big bucks:
Here is a message by Billy Graham on technology and faith. We hear HIm speak
of who has the spiritual wisdom to solve the problems of this world and whom
I guess this is the essence of his speech. “Speaking at TED in 1998, Rev. Billy Graham marvels at technology’s power to improve lives and change the world — but says the end of evil, suffering and death will come only after the world accepts Christ.”
Yes that is the essence of his speech.
Earlier in the day I read about building up our faith in Beth Moore’s book, Jesus, the One and Only. The reading of her Week 6 lesson caught my attention, “Without prayer, we return to our own ability rather than to God. The disciples were arguing with the teachers of the law when they should have been rehearsing the greatness and power of God through prayer and asking Him to demonstrate His authority. True prayer, not just mindless, halfhearted petitions, is what digs the well God wants to fill with faith.”
I also ran across a great faith song sung by
the Gaithers, “I don’t know about tomorrow, I just live from day to day, I don’t borrow from its sunshine for the skies may turn to grey. I don’t worry for the future, for I know what my Jesus said. And today I’ll walk beside Him for He knows what is ahead. Many things about tomorrow I don’t seem to understand But I know who holds tomorrow and I know who holds my hands….
Rena: That song by those golden oldies…many of them gone to be with the Lord, reminds me that there ARE many things we DO NOT understand…but many of them we could if we would but trust and obey. Look at what the Lord says in His Word about letting us know His plans & purposes and pursuits.
Jeremiah. 1:5 tells us that God ordains prophets before they are born.
Numgers. 12:6, and Hos. 12:10 tells us that The Lord makes Himself known to the prophets.
2 Kings. 16:12, and Amos 3:7 tells us that God gives hidden knowledge to the prophets.
2 Kings. 17:23, and 21:10 tells us that God speaks by His prophets.
AMOS 3:7 And then God said that He does nothing without first telling His Prophets.
if we would listen to what God’s true prophets speak from the mouth of God we could save ourselves a lot of heartache, misery, pain and anguish.
But we are like Frank Sinatra and his hit song…”I DID IT MY WAY”. What a waste!!