“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth have been from of old, From everlasting.” Micah 5:2 NLT
From destined Bethlehem Ephrathah, a town that was very small, would come the One who would be Ruler of Israel and the Lord of all.
The Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary, a virgin humble and mild, who God the Father had chosen to bear the Messiah—Jesus, His Holy Child.
Coming forth from the family of Judah, Jesus’ birth was lauded that night, by rejoicing angelic voices, as the world’s Savior from sin’s blight.
His goings forth, the prophet Micah said, were actually “from of old– from everlasting,” as He preexisted with God the Father, if the truth be told.
After His birth, Mary laid Him down in a manger—a depiction very sweet. But He was Immanuel, the eternal Mighty God, sent to bring about Satan’s defeat.
P. A. Oltrogge
…this writing inspired by a devotional written by Kenneth E. Hagin, Founder, Rhema Bible Training College
Joseph, betrothed to Mary, was troubled, having learned she was with child, and an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying…
“Joseph, Son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His Name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His Name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Matthew 1:20-23 NKJV
Prior to this, Mary had been visited:
“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, ‘Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!’
“But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.’
“Then Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I do not know a man?’ And the angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.’
“Then Mary said, ‘Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.’ And the angel departed from her.”
Luke 1:26-38 NKJV
“And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.’
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!’”
Luke 2:7-14 NKJV
“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 9:6 NKJV
“For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.” Matthew 18:11 NKJV
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 NKJV
“The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all—“. Acts 10:36 NKJV
To hear the Christmas carol, “Silent Night,” see Day 25 of the “25 Songs of Christmas” at http://www.kcm.org
And to followers and friends of The Porch of the Lord, I pray you will have a very blessed Christmas!
Joseph, a son of David, took Mary for his wife, believing she was carrying God’s very sacred life. Joseph stood by her when others may have condemned. Joseph believed God when they didn’t comprehend.
He was chosen by God, and it was to him that Mary and the Child were sent. He became the protector of God’s great intent. Joseph was quick to recognize that in dreams God often spoke, with messages from His angel, and he obeyed when he awoke.
Joseph named the baby, Jesus, just as he’d been told, for He would save His people from sins as said by the prophet of old. In obedience, Joseph went to Egypt–“Out of Egypt did I call My Son.” Joseph had them stay until God said their time there was done.
We see him obeying God in Bible scene after scene; being warned of God, he went to Nazareth, so Jesus would be called a Nazarene. His part was that of an earthly father, and he obeyed God in that role. His heart to obey Him was needed to accomplish God’s great goal.
Joseph’s life seems an example of the importance of hearing and obeying God’s voice. Dear God, may I seek to do that in each and every choice.
P. A. Oltrogge
“…behold an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.’ Now all this took place that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which translated means, ‘God with us.’ And Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took her as his wife, and kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.” Matthew 1:20-25
(Further references in Matthew 2)
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 KJV
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Psalm 32:8; Proverbs 4:18; Jeremiah 29:11-13; John 1:10-18; Hebrews 10:35-36
My prayer is that each poetry post that’s found at this internet site will be an extra way for you to meditate in God’s Word…any day or night.
We’re all growing in faith and the grace of God as we feed upon His Word, through reading it, as written, and as it’s shared and being heard.
Jesus said that we don’t live by just partaking of our daily bread, but real strength comes from the scriptures, by which we’re spiritually fed.
And the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost. Many things are important to God, but living by His love stands out the most.
P. A. Oltrogge
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” John 1:8
“And what this love consists in is this, that we live and walk in accordance with and guided by His commandments–His orders, ordinances, precepts, teaching. This is the commandment, as you have heard from the beginning, that you continue to walk in love–guided by it and following it.” 2 John 1:6 AMPC
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night, He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.” Psalm 1:1-3
“And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Romans 5:5 KJV
“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully, just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, and love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:12-13 NASB
“…It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35
“Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:8
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:43-45
“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.” Mark 11:25
“But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins.’” 1 Peter 4:7-8
“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height–to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:14-21
“Love never fails….” 1 Corinthians 13:8
Scriptures NKJV or as noted.
John 3:16; Ephesians 4:32; 1 John 4:17-20
To hear a carol about the love of God reaching out to you, see Day 23 at the “25 Songs of Christmas” at http://www.kcm.org
For prayer support, visit http://www.govictory.com 24/7 (morning prayer M-F, 9:30 a.m. ET (8:30 a.m. CT), for viewing the program). To call, the number is 877-281-6297, where you can pray with and for others for their needs or submit a prayer request of your own. That number can also be reached throughout the day until 11:00 p.m. ET, (10:00 p.m. CT).
“Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, In His arm He will gather the lambs, And carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes.”
While shepherds watched their flock by night, an angel appeared, and God’s glory shone bright. The angel told the shepherds to not be afraid since a proclamation of great joy was being made! A Savior for all people was born, who was Christ the Lord! And then more angels praised God for the Baby adored. Straightway to Bethlehem the shepherds went to see this One whom God had sent. To everyone they saw, they made known what was told of God’s gift, who was cut from the shepherd’s mold. He would have a flock–the Good Shepherd He would be- He would die for that flock, both for you and for me. To rescue and die for the lambs–no greater love could have been sent to us from above. If you’re not yet His lamb, be aware there is danger– we have need of the Good Shepherd, once a babe in a manger. Just receive Him as Savior–then learn of His great care in shepherding your life as you come to Him in prayer. At Christ’s birth, we were blessed, and God’s message came then— of “peace on earth and good will toward men!”
P. A. Oltrogge
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12
“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy: I came that they might have life and might have it abundantly. I am the Good Shepherd; the Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” John 10:9-11
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:14 (King James Version)
At http://www.kcm.org today on Day 22, “25 Days of Christmas” is a song, “Prepare the Way,” about the Lord’s return, the date of which is only known by the Father in heaven.
“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Matthew 24:36
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8
May you have received Jesus Christ and His peace, thereby knowing that you are ready for the return of the Good Shepherd who loves you so dearly.
“In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
“God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.
“He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.
“So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.”
John 1:1-14 NLT
Jesus is the very Word of God, giving life to every created thing. The darkness can never extinguish the light of Him of whom we sing.
Conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, the Word became flesh… to dwell among us, offering salvation, so that every life might begin afresh.
He’s the Light unto our path—the Way, the Truth, and the Life— and the Prince of Peace unto a world that’s been tainted by sin and strife.
His life brought the Light of the World to all—forever Jesus Christ will reign. Because He defeated death, “To me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
P. A. Oltrogge
“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21 NKJV
“I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 NKJV
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him, who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” 1 Peter 2: 9-10 NKJV
“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12 NKJV
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 NKJV
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:17-18 NKJV
“(The Word Becomes Flesh) And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 NKJV
Day 19 features the carol, “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” and Day 20 is “O Come Let Us Adore Him” in the “25 Songs of Christmas” at http://www.kcm.org