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Stars of Christmas (Part Two)

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“Did troubles disturb the peace of your sleep last night then wait at the foot of your bed to challenge you this morning? He is Immanuel. Are you experiencing pain and loss like you’ve never experienced before? God is with you. Are you experiencing a major health crisis or tormented by chronic illness? God draws close. God is near to every broken heart, wounded body, and damaged mind.” If you are new to my platform or visiting for the first time this December, you are not too late to begin using my newest devotional, “Stars of Christmas.”

Each day asks you to reflect on one messianic prophecy concerning the birth and life of Jesus and consider its implications for you today. There is such a richness of understanding and insight that God placed within each messianic prophetic star that points to Christ if we will take the time to think about them. I hope you’ll join us. The devotional is set up in segments with December 1-7 as a free download and now, today, December 8-13 as our second installment. You can find them on my website under “Bible studies and Devotionals.” Share them with anyone you please, especially those who are discouraged this year.

Here’s a sampling from this week’s installment. Merry Christmas!

Stars of Christmas Part Two

Welcome to Week Two! If you are new to this devotional, no worries. If you miss a day, going forward, no worries. Each devotional is a stand-alone meditation on one prophecy concerning Christ.

To those who completed Week One, I hope you’ve been encouraged and challenged in your walk with God. Times are hard for many people, and I am on a mission of encouragement to remind people that whatever they are facing, God is greater and will show you your way through.

Our Messiah, our Immanuel, came and took on human form so that we would never need to feel alone again. He is the helpless babe in the manger, the humble Christ child and the soon and coming King, the Lord of Hosts. He is everything we long for and all that we need.

May you find him and know him in fresh ways this season.

December 8

“Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this,” Isaiah 9:7.

Prophecy: Messiah would be heir to King David’s throne

Fulfilled: Luke 1:32-33, Romans 1:3

One of the most remarkable conversations in Scripture occurs in 2 Samuel 7 between King David and God (via Nathan the prophet). The kingdom of Israel is in peace after a long season of war and the king’s thoughts turn to God’s tabernacle. David is struck by the contrast between the expensive cedar palace around him compared to the worn tents of God’s house, which Nathan points out.

David decides, without asking God, that he should launch a temple project. The idea sounds great to Nathan, and he encourages David to go for it. That night, God speaks to the prophet again, expressing surprise that David is making plans to build a temple without consulting God. The original Hebrew indicates that God says something like this,

“David, I love the fact that me mentioning the contrast between my house and yours inspired you to start a temple building project. However, I didn’t ask you to build one and to be honest, I don’t want you to. I’ve already decided that your son will be the builder. But I love the that you were so moved by love for me that you started making plans immediately. Because you did that, I promise you that I will build you a house. Your family line will become a holy kingdom that will last forever.”

King David got ahead of himself, but God saw the intentions of his heart and placed a prophetic star over his life with massive significance. One day Messiah himself would return to earth a second time and rule in the authority of David’s intact bloodline. Remember, King Saul’s bloodline was completely cut off because of his disobedience but David’s would remain protected for millennia.

Part of this prophecy came true in ancient Israel as David’s bloodline ruled for 400 years. The greater part of the promise will come to pass when King Jesus steps down to earth once again and rules from David’s throne in Israel.

For you and me, this prophetic star is a reminder that God is always, always, looking at our heart and motives. David’s motives were pure, and God saw that. Secondly, even when we make mistakes and attempt to or succeed in doing something out of order in God’s plan, if our hearts are right, God is still pleased. He may not bless our plans, just as he didn’t approve David’s building project, but he will shower gifts and favor on us.

This star reminds us that when we are generous towards God, the generosity he returns far surpasses what we wanted to do for him. Ask him where he is already at work this Christmas season and how you can join him in what he’s already doing and blessing. Look for the paths God has prepared for you to show generosity to someone and join Messiah there.

Prayer: God, help me to align my love for you and my desire to serve you with the plans you already have in motion. Show me who needs your touch of generosity this season.

December 9

“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness…   you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you…” Psalm 45:6

“And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed…” Daniel 2:44

Prophecy:  Messiah’s throne will be eternal and anointed.

Fulfillment: Luke 1:33, Hebrews 1:8-12

If ancient rulers time traveled to the present, how do you think they’d react to the condition of their empires and kingdoms now? Earth contains countless archeological ruins of once great empires. Some empire’s remains are yet to be found. Consider the Assyrian, Roman, Babylonian, and Mongolian empires. All that’s left of any of them are crumbling walls and often mere remnants of foundations.

I think they’d be speechless to see what became of their mighty fortresses and surrounding towns. Many rulers, even King Solomon, built incredible palaces and temples with some of the finest and rarest materials in the world, with longevity in mind. Even today, Buckingham Palace is currently up for sale, the royal family no longer in residence. I doubt that the people of the UK ever imagined their iconic castle becoming a private residence.

The wood, hay and stubble of this life is only that to a God-follower but to an unenlightened heart it is the very stuff of which life is made. I believe this prophetic star was not only for Israel but for anyone, in any century, who has eyes to see and ears to hear. Even ancient rulers lived on an earth with the ruins of civilizations

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