Art For Your New Journaling Bible :)

 

Feel free to join our online Bible Study on Facebook:  

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1447039392265675/

 

bib    lion 8   reneewed   12032045_10153605876227243_5691372140928730565_n

 

 

Check out our etsy shop for ready to trace scripture based art :

 

pink cards   0001-117551602

https://www.etsy.com/listing/262790692/bible-stories-from-the-heart-flash-card?ref=shop_home_active_2

 

https://www.etsy.com/listing/262896367/bible-stories-from-the-heart-scripture?ref=related-0

 

The 2 sets  can be purchased  in the above links- they contain 9 scripture based pictures each.

These pictures are small enough to be easily drawn or traced directly into your journaling Bible.

All artwork in this supplement pdf is designed to accompany the lessons written by Bible Stories from the HeArT. To get the most from this faith growing experience, you will need the following two Bible study workbooks, “Exodus Study” and “New Beginnings.”

Both of these workbooks are available on Amazon 🙂 🙂

Here is the Amazon link for Exodus:
http://www.amazon.com/Exodus-Study-Bible-Stories-HeArT/dp/0692591915/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1450961878&sr=8-1&keywords=exodus+study+Bible+Stories+from+the+Heart

Here is the Amazon link for New Beginnings
http://www.amazon.com/New-Beginnings-Bible-Stories-HeArT/dp/0692607080/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1451051245&sr=8-1&keywords=New+Beginnings+Bible+Stories+from+the+Heart

Bible Stories from the Heart incorporates reading, writing, and artwork to help you meditate and pray over God’s Word in a deep and meaningful way. Our lessons and activities are written to lead you at an intentionally slow and steady pace. Each lesson will focus on the same scriptures for several days before moving on to new scripture. There are very powerful reasons why the lessons are written this way. We believe that moving slowly and intentionally through God’s Word helps create an actual relationship with God. By slowing down to reflect and create as we study we are actually training our spiritual selves how to quietly sit at our Heavenly Father’s feet. God wants a relationship with each one of us! This study will help retrain our over active bodies and minds to slow down long enough to actually interact with our amazing Lord!

Feel free to join our online Bible Study on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1447039392265675/

True Christmas Joy

Scan-013

 

Scan-001     Free Coloring page  🙂

 

 

 

 

Feel free to join us on Facebook for free Christian devotions and coloring pages 🙂

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1447039392265675/

 

 

CHRISTmas Joy ~

https://poetrybydeborahann.wordpress.com/2014/12/21/christmas-joy/

May the joy of the season,
you come to know . . .
may the hope Jesus brings
in your heart, begin to grow.

May you be wrapped,
in the light of His love
may you find delight
in God’s gift from above.

May this season,
bring to you happiness
may your heart be filled
with wonder and gladness.

May you accept openly,
the gift of God’s grace
may the life of Jesus
in your heart, you embrace.

May the joy of the season,
become real to you . . .
may the hope Jesus brings
start in you, something new!

~~~~~~~~~~

Psalm 32:11

“Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice,
ye righteous: and shout for joy,
all ye that are upright in heart.”

King James Version
by Public Domain

Copyright 2014
Deborah Ann Belka

Our Savior is Born

born   our sa

 

Luke 2:15-20  (NKJV)

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

 

Thoughts from Leslie

 Notice in this passage that God deliberately announces the birth of Jesus first to shepherds.  The shepherds in this area raised sheep for a very specific purpose. The sheep that these shepherds raised and cared for were not the type of sheep used for ordinary purposes. The shepherds working there took care of the temple-flocks, which were actually the sheep meant for sacrifice. These particular shepherds were the ones who received this divine message. God sent His angels to announce to these specific shepherds that Jesus had just been born.  Jesus would be the ultimate sacrificial Lamb.  The shepherds in charge of raising sacrificial lambs would one day soon not have to see their beloved flocks sacrificed any longer. They were told by a heavenly that The Lamb of God had been born ! This Perfect Lamb of God would one day soon be offered as the ultimate, permanent  sacrifice!  As we read and study these verses this week, let’s allow ourselves to see the gift of Jesus for what He ultimately is: Our Perfect Sacrificial Lamb!

History

 

Lambs  were an important part of the worship of God.  God will not be around sin.  Because we have are all sinned, God will not allow us to draw close to Him without covering our sin first. God deeply desired to be close to each and every one of us, so from the very beginning of time, He provided ways for us to temporarily cover our sins. The Bible teaches us that the blood of an innocent animal must be shed in order for our sins to be covered and ultimately forgiven. (Hebrews 9:22) In the Old Testament the blood of lambs was used to cover sins.

The shedding of innocent blood took place very early on. When sin first entered the world in the Garden of Eden an innocent animal lost its life so Adam and Eve could be clothed. This was the very first time God required the shedding of blood as a symbol to cover sin. Genesis 3:21

Many years later, on the night that God delivered His people from slavery in Egypt He required that every family take care of a lamb for fourteen days. On the fourteenth day they were to kill the lamb. The blood from that lamb was then put on the doorposts of their homes. Then when the death angel went through their villages that night he would pass over the homes that had blood on the doorposts.  Through the innocent blood of the lamb, the family living inside would not lose their life. Exodus 12

A little later in the Bible when God’s people were living in the desert, Moses was given instructions to build a Tabernacle. This tabernacle would be a place where the children of God could go to worship. In the tabernacle there was a room called the Most Holy place. It was in the Most Holy place that the High Priest would take the blood of animals and offer it to God as a covering for the sin of the people. (Leviticus 16)

God allowed the blood of innocent lambs to be shed so the sins of people could be covered. This was done throughout the Old Testament. The people may not have understood it at the time but each time a lamb lost his life it was symbolic picture of the Savior God promised to send who would shed His blood so every person could have their sins removed and forgiven for all eternity. This Lamb would only have to die once so our sins could be completely removed. Hebrews 9:11-14

Since the time of Adam and Eve, God’s people had been waiting for the promised Savior. Each year many lambs lost their lives so the people could have their sins covered. This is where the job of a shepherd came in. Taking care of the lambs used as sacrifices was the job of shepherds. This was an important job whether people looked down on shepherds or not. Imagine how much the shepherds loved the little lambs and made sure they were safe from dangerous wolves and bears. Shepherds lived among the sheep so they could be cared for and safe.

 

Key Verse:

16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.

haste-  noun

sudden passion filled motion; speed; swiftness;; expedition; applied only to voluntary beings, as men and other animals.

The shepherds heard where baby Jesus was, and they traveled in haste to both see Him and to be near to Him.

We have a decision to make during this holiday season, are we going to move in haste to intentionally draw closer to our loving Jesus,

or are we going to allow ourselves to get caught up in all of the other  minute details of the season and not ever actually make it to the “manger”?

Jesus is beckoning for us to draw near to Him today with the same haste as these shepherds had.

Questions

  1.  Moving closer to Jesus requires action on our part.  What actions do you plan on doing today to move closer to your loving Savior?
  2.  The people that heard about the birth of Our Messiah marveled ( which can be a temporary thing) ,  (verse 19) But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart (which is a more permanent- life changing thing).  Do you take the time to ponder what you read in God’s Word?  How does creating the art each week and completing the reflection writing help you?
  3. When the shepherds returned from seeing baby Jesus they praised God for what they had see.  What do you do on a daily basis to praise God?  What are some things you could add to your daily routine?

FaMiLy DeVoTiOnS fOr ChRiStMaS

Feel free to join our Christian online “art based”Bible study here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1447039392265675/

bib

 

ChEcK ThEsE oUt…….

Wonderful (art inspired) Family Devotions to read for Christmas

brought to you by:  Bible Stories from the HeArT

We hope they bless you 🙂

1-1232202210pfVp      Scan0006-001

click on these links:

Week One: http://biblestoriesfromtheheart.com/2015/11/30/she-believed/

Week Two: http://biblestoriesfromtheheart.com/…/the-magic-of-the-sea…/

Week Three: http://biblestoriesfromtheheart.com/…/angels-we-have-heard…/

 

12347850_1111125068897641_5466202956312527852_n   il_570xN.841271421_5a1e (1)  cover nb

 

Bible Stories from the HeArt workbooks can be purchased here:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/StoriesfromHeart?ref=hdr_shop_menu

They are PERFECT for both individuals as well as small groups 🙂  

 

 

 

 

 

Cute Gift Idea (FREE)

Christmas-Tags
KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA
KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Scan0006-001

ChEcK tHiS oUt!!!!!
 
 
Cute gift idea for friends and co-workers…
 
1. Print out this week’s lesson and coloring page
easy to print from here:
2. Tie a cute bow around it
3. add a box of crayons or a few colored pencils (optional)
4. Put a pretty gift tag on it
5. Give someone the gift of “Jesus” this holiday season:)

Angels We Have Heard on High

Scan0006-001Scan-011

For more Christian devotions and coloring pages- join us on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1447039392265675/

ChEcK oUt our etsy shop:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/StoriesfromHeart?ref=hdr_shop_menu

______________________________________

Luke 2:8-15  New King James Version (NKJV)

Glory in the Highest

8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 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. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”

 

Thoughts from Leslie

Many of us are familiar with these verses in the gospel of Luke.  When we hear these verses taught, the focus is usually placed on the shepherds. Let’s read these verses again and focus on what this day must be like for the angels. We must not overlook the fact that an extremely large number, a multitude, of angels came down from Heaven on this day to join in the celebration:

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

 

**** The FIRST Christmas Carol sung by the angels themselves 🙂

 

History

It is important to remember that thousands of years earlier the heavenly host of angels witnessed first hand Satan’s rebellion and fall.

The angels no doubt saw and heard the evil that was directed at their God by the prideful angel Lucifer (Satan) as he and other fellow angels chose to turn from the Lord.

Isaiah 14:12-17New King James Version (NKJV)

The Fall of Lucifer

12 “How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer,[a] son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!
13 For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’
15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol,
To the lowest depths of the Pit.

The remaining angels  knew how ridiculous and downright hurtful it was for Satan to even suggest that he would one day become more powerful than God.

They realized that their Lord would eventually show Lucifer (Satan) just how ludicrous his rebellion was.

All of Heaven had been watching in anxious anticipation as the fallen Lucifer mocked God and continuously tried to lie and cheat his way to the top.

They witnessed him repeatedly use and torment God’s children beginning very early on with the deceive Eve in the garden of Eden.

Satan did not stop with Eve, his goal was to cause distance between God and ALL of His children- which he did.

Once sin entered the hearts of Adam and Eve, sin was then a part of all humanity.

God is the opposite of sin.  He not only disapproves of sin, He also judges it very harshly.  The Old Testament is full of stories which demonstrate God’s wrath against sin. Because  all of humanity were sinners, they were all  living under God’s wrath.  There was no permanent peace on earth for mankind.  If a person wanted even a momentary amount of God’s peace in the Old Testament, they had to sacrifice animals to get it.  They had to somehow cover their sin with innocent blood so that God could draw near to them even momentarily.  This is so sad, but this would all change with Christ.  On this first Christmas day, hope was restored to all of God’s children.  Through the blood of Jesus later in His life, all of humanity would finally have the chance to experience PEACE from God!

___________________________________________________________________________________

Key Verse

Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

 It is important to notice that is reads, “Good will toward men” not “good will between men.”

This verse is actually referring to peace between man and God.  It is through Jesus in the manger that all of humanity can have peace with God.

The New international Version of the Bible does a good job of making this verse clear. It says:

“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests’” (Luke 2:13-14).

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Connection to Us

The world around us is a hostile place, but through the gift of Jesus we can have unlimited PEACE in our hearts!

 God is PEACE!

Thanks to God for offering us a Messiah, now we can forever be ONE with  God’s ultimate PEACE .

God can provide an unlimited supply of peace for each and every one of us.

Let’s open our hearts today and  accept This AMAZING gift!

PEACE……. What a WONDERFUL Christmas GIFT indeed!!

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Questions

  • What does the word peace mean to you?
  • How does the sin in your life keep you from feeling peace?
  • Without the blood of Jesus and God’s ultimate forgiveness, every sin we commit would take us farther and farther away fro our loving  Heavenly Father.   What ongoing sin are you struggling with right now?  I challenge you to write it down on a piece of paper and GIVE it to Jesus.
  • What can you do today and from this day forward to allow yourself to FEEL God’s peace in your heart?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ExCiTiNg NeWs: Our Studies Are Now Offered as pdfs!

 

1-1232202210pfVp images

Check out our etsy shop:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/StoriesfromHeart?ref=hdr_shop_menu

 

Are you looking for a Fun, New way to study God’s Word?

 

Why not COLOR as you study?

 

Our Christian Bible studies combine art with each weekly lesson.

 

There is no other Christian Bible Study like this on the market today!

 

ExCiTiNg NeWs:

You have been waiting and asking us for this.

We are SO happy to announce that we are now offering our workbooks as downloadable pdf files!!!

 

Feel free to print one and try it today!

 

Each interactive study is PERFECT for both small groups or individual study!  🙂

 

 

Here are step by step instructions on how to begin:

Example Schedule

 

Hours of the day can be adjusted to fit your schedule. 

 

 

7:00-7:30   Snacks and social time

 

7:35- 7:40   Open in prayer and welcome members

 

7:40-7:50    Give instructions to highlight key words 

 

7:50-8:00    Members read the weekly lesson

 

8:00-8:10    Read a few of the questions and allow discussion         

 

8:10-8:15    Get out art supplies and preview weekly art piece

 

8:15-9:00    Play soft music and allow time for members to create

 

9:00- 9:15   Share art pieces and thoughts

 

9:15- 9:30   Pass out SOAP pages and close in prayer

 

 

 

 

Hospitality Ideas

 

  1. Serve a light snack each week. Members can volunteer to bring finger foods or desserts on a rotating basis, if desired.
  2. Offer a variety of both sugary and non-sugary drinks.
  3. Have plenty of plastic cups, paper plates, as well as napkins.
  4. Have name tags ready for members to fill out and wear.
  5. Remember people are coming for a purpose: to connect with others and to connect with God. Be sure that all members are introduced and feel welcome.
  6. Have chairs set in a circle formation to promote easy conversation throughout the lesson.
  7. Provide an “ice breaker” activity for the first few meetings: there are several fun ideas found on Google (Christian small group ice breaker activities).
  8. Make sure you have an area designated for the art activity. You may need to provide paper towels and plastic cups of water for watercolor paints (if needed).
  9. Have a few extra boxes of crayons on hand in case members forget their art supplies.

 

 

Directions
Lesson Time:

  • Leader will introduce the lesson and instruct members to open their workbooks to the correct page. Members will be given 10 minutes to read the lesson. Before they begin reading, they will be encouraged to jot down their thoughts directly on the lesson pages as they go.
  • Time is allowed after the lesson is read for members to share their thoughts with the group. 
  • The leader will then read a few discussion questions to the group and give time to allow members to answer and give collaborative feedback.

Art Time:

  • Time is given to prepare all art supplies and preview the weekly art example. Members can choose to bring any art materials that they wish: watercolors, crayons, colored pencils, markers, etc.  There is no one way to create the weekly art pieces.
  • Members are encouraged to create their art in their Bible Stories from the Heart journals. Keeping the art pieces together is a wonderful way to document their spiritual growth and will make it easier for them to continue this process after this 6 week study ends.
  • The art tutorial pages are then reviewed. Members are free to recreate the piece exactly or create one of their very own. Members also have the option of not creating an art piece, but simply coloring the page provided in their workbooks.

The leader will then play soft music in the background and allow members time to reflect on God’s Word as they create their own art.

Meeting Conclusion:

  • The meeting will end with members sharing their art and thoughts with the group.
  • Each member will leave the meeting with an understanding of how to use their SOAP reflection page. They will be encouraged to go deeper into God’s Word in the next few days by reading the given scripture and then reflecting upon it. 

 

 

Also, feel free to join our Facebook group for more fun ideas:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1447039392265675/

 

 

Here is our etsy shop where you may purchase the pdf versions of our workbooks:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/StoriesfromHeart?ref=hdr_shop_menu

She BELIEVED!

Scan-012

Join us on Facebook for more Christian devotions and free coloring pages:  

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1447039392265675/

Advent workbooks can be ordered here:  https://www.etsy.com/listing/255772252/bible-stories-from-the-heart-advent?ref=shop_home_active_1

Focus Verses

Luke 1:26-38 New King James Version (NKJV)

Christ’s Birth Announced to Mary

26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”

29 But when she saw him,she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.32 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. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”

35 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. 36 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. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible.”

38 Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

 

Thoughts from Leslie

Let’s read these verses and try to place ourselves back in the life and times of Mary. To do this should attempt to understand and reflect upon Jewish life during this time in history.  It is important for us to remember that Mary and Joseph, Jesus’ earthly parents, were both Jewish.  Their Jewish beliefs and family customs are important factors to consider when we read these verses.  Besides the many customs, we should also consider the many Jewish laws and punishments of this time. Understanding both the beliefs and laws of this time will help us appreciate the HUGE amount of faith required by Mary!

History

Jewish girls at this time were  brought up learning about Jewish laws and customs.  Mary would no doubt have been raised in the same way.  She would have much knowledge about the history of her people. She would know how God had rescued His children from bad situations in the past. She would have been taught that God LOVES her and the Jewish people very much.  Her and her family would participate in various Hebrew festivals throughout the year as a way to remember God’s Love, protection and provision. Remembering how God had rescued His children in the past would give her and her people hope for their future. She would be waiting in faith for her God to deliver her people from the harsh Roman rule they were under at the present time.

Mary would also have been raised knowing the various laws of her day.  She would have seen what happens to people who choose to disobey these laws.  Because she was being raised by strong Jewish parents she would be held to a very high standard not only in her community but in her family’s household as well.  She would have no doubt witnessed what happens to young girls like herself who are found to be with child without first being married.  Mary would have seen many of these girls commonly stoned to death or even sent away as slaves.  Being chosen to be the holy “virgin” mother to Jesus was a GREAT honor.  It was an honor that carried with it GREAT RISK! Mary must BELIEVE that She could TOTALLY trust in her Heavenly Father to protect her through her pregnancy, AND HE DID!

When Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel, getting messages from God Himself  was very special and definitely out of the ordinary.  People were not visited by angels on a regular basis.  In fact up until about six months before Mary’s heavenly visit, the Jewish people had not had ANY sign or word from God in over 400 years.  God had been totally silent for four centuries . Earlier in the book of Luke God sends a wonderful message to Mary’s relative, Zechariah. Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth were going to have a baby. Their baby was to be named John.  They were told that their future son, John,  would prepare the way for the coming Messiah. Then, according to Luke 1:26, six months after the visit to Zechariah the angel Gabriel was sent to deliver an even greater message to Mary.  Gabriel was sent by God to tell Mary THE GREATEST NEWS OF ALL: the time had come that God was to send a Messiah to rescue her and her people. On top of that SHE had been chosen by God Himself to be the mother to their Messiah.

This was no doubt going to be the GREATEST possible news for all Jewish people, but receiving this news required GREAT faith on Mary’s part.  Mary could have been stoned to death or sold into slavery the minute that someone discovered her pregnancy.  She had been chosen by God Himself to be a HOLY “vessel”, but agreeing to be this “vessel” could have easily cost her her own life. It took GREAT faith for her to see God’s plan and protection upon her.

Everything was going to work out just as God had intended that it would.  Mary would not be harmed in any way. Joseph would still marry her and together he and Mary would raise God’s one and only begotten son.

Mary BELIEVED that she could TOTALLY trust in God and HIS protection, and so SHE DID!!!

 

Connection To Us

Mary BELIEVED in God’s Words and LOVE for her.

Because of this, she would forever be a key part in the most AMAZING STORY EVER TOLD.

This is extraordinary faith for such a young girl to possess!

Because of her trust and faithfulness, God blessed Mary and allowed her to be a part of His master plan.

God is still interested in “partnering” with people.  He wants us to be His hands and feet throughout the world today.

Let’s not miss out on our God-inspired opportinities.

Let’s be willing and available to also be used as HOLY VESSELS for GOD’S GLORY.

Let’s pray to have a “Mary” type of faith from this day forward!

Key Verse:

Luke 1:38 Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.

Behold- to observe; look at; see.

Maidservant- a female servant

Of the Lord – belonging to the Lord,

Let it be to me- allow this to happen to me (Mary)

According- as stated by or in

Your Word- The exact words and promises spoken by God  which were given to Moses. These words had been passed down throughout the years to all of the Jewish people and to Mary herself.

Mary is pretty much saying-

“Look at me. I am agreeing to be the Lord’s servant.  I am allowing God to use me to fulfill His promises.  I have learned about these promises by hearing the Torah taught to me by my parents. From this day forward, my life belongs to the Lord!”

Questions:

  1.  Do you consider yourself a “servant” of your Heavenly Father? Why or why not?
  2. Are you willing to be used as a “vessel” by God? Give examples to support your answer
  3. Is your faith in the Lord as strong as Mary’s? What are your areas of your faith are your strengths?  Your Weaknesses?
  4. What can you do today and this week to strengthen your faith?

 

Coloring Page to download and color:

 

Scan0002-001

The Magic of the Season

 Scan-004

Feel free to join us on Facebook :

 https://www.facebook.com/groups/1447039392265675/

 

Here is a free coloring sheet to color as you reflect on God’s Word:

Scan0001-001

Christ Born of Mary

Christ Born of Mary

Luke 2: 2-7

2 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 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.

Thoughts from Leslie

As we read these verses, it is important for us to realize that every minute detail of our Christmas Story was planned MANY years in advance by God Himself.  Our Heavenly Father put great thought into this very special day. It is vital to understand the magnitude of the fact that  that Jesus is God’s ONE and ONLY begotten son.  God absolutely adores His Son.  Likewise, God adores each and every one of us.  Because of this great love, the day of our Savior’s birth was not only going to be a spectacular day in our lives, but it was also going to be a very special moment for God Himself. Giving Jesus to us on that historical FIRST Christmas morning  was no doubt the GREATEST GIFT that would ever be given. The events surrounding this “gift” are not only monumental to each one of us,  they are monumental to the giver Himself, the Lord of the Universe: also known as OUR HEAVENLY FATHER!

Understanding that God’s detailed planning and preparation were involved in every aspect of this day  makes the plainness of the setting even more beautiful.  God was intentional about keeping the geographical area surrounding this magnificent birth unpretentious.  The simpleness itself should help guide our eyes from the setting, to the gift Himself:  JESUS!!!  As we read these verses, let’s be intentional on where we place our focus.  Let’s prayerfully prepare our hearts and intentionally open our eyes to see that the TRUE MAGIC of the SEASON  is IN Jesus!

History

Prophets had been announcing the “upcoming” birth of the Messiah for hundreds of years before the historic day ever took place. God had predestined the young unknown Mary to be Jesus’ mother years in advance.  He had chosen the small lowly town of Bethlehem to be Jesus’ birthplace, and the Lord had handpicked the unpretentious manger to be our Savior’s first nursery.

Let’s look at each one of God designed details a little closer.

The name Bethlehem in Hebrew is ‘Bet Lehem’. This word actually means ‘House of Bread.’

The prophet Micah prophesied that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem almost 700 years before Mary the virgin mother of Jesus, was even born (Michah 5:2).  The chief priests and scribes of Mary’s day knew of the prophesy given by Micah. They referred to Micah’s prediction regarding Bethlehem when being questioned by King Herod later in the story of Jesus’ early life (Matthew 2:1-6). It is important to note that nothing regarding the time or location of our Savior’s arrival happened by chance.

Jesus was born in the exact town that was predetermined hundreds of years before.  If you grew up hearing the wonderful Christmas Story as a child, you no doubt are familiar with the name Caesar Augustus.  He was the one responsible for declaring the census which ultimately brought Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem in the first place.  Oddly enough, as familiar as we are with his role in this story, Caesar Augustus was never aware of his part in our fantastic Christmas Story at all. He is forever remembered in these verses as a greedy and power hungry Roman ruler who was ultimately used by God to help fulfill the greatest prophesy of all time.  God used Caesar’s own greedy ambitions and plans to set something WONDERFUL into motion- the birth of our Lord and Savior, JESUS CHRIST!!  By ordering a royal census Caesar Augustus actually prepared the way for the Savior of the world to be born in Bethlehem.

When we read verse 7, we see a word that is commonly translated as inn. The original Greek word is kataluma.  This word more accurately means lodging place. It is usually translated as “upper room” not “inn” It can refer to a room of a house where out of town guests could spend the night or even just a dining room. For example, in Luke 22:11 Jesus ate  The Last Supper with his disciples in an “upper room” (same word used there).

This is why the NIV translates Luke 2:7  like this:

and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

Isn’t is amazing that even before our Savior’s birth, God was directing our eyes to see the SALVATION POWER behind His most MAGICAL GIFT!

Here is what we need to not miss:

  1. Jesus was born in a place known as the “House of Bread.”   This is vital to note because years later Jesus would refer to Himself as “the bread of life” (John 6:35) .  From the moment He arrived on here on earth the setting of His birth was directing us to what this MAGICAL gift (Jesus) would ultimately represent to us all.  Jesus represents LIFE! Just as earthly bread fulfills our physical bodies, Our Lord Jesus would provide nourishment and fulfillment to our spiritual bodies.
  2. According to the original wording of the Bible, our Messiah  was turned away from a kataluma (guest room, or upper room) and so had to be born in a manger.  Many years later Jesus and His disciples would meet  in a kataluma (guest room, or upper room) for their last supper together. Since every detail of our Savior’s birth was planned by God I think that this word connection should not be overlooked.  I think God was directing our eyes and hearts to the MAGICAL purpose of Jesus.  From the moment He arrived until His Last Supper and crucifixion,  Jesus was a GUEST on this earth.   His time on this planet was predetermined and purposed way before this first SPECTACULAR Christmas Day.  

I think this is AMAZING!!!!

Key Verse:

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.

manger- a box or trough in a stable or barn from which horses or cattle eat.

We should not miss these HUGE details:

Our beloved Messiah came to this earth as a “sacrifice” for our sins.

He was to be OUR sacrificial lamb!

As a way to help us SEE the beauty of this, God carefully PLANNED what His first bed would be….

A MANGER!!!  Isn’t this BEAUTIFUL!!!!  🙂

Questions:

  1.  When someone mentions the word  “Christmas” what is the FIRST picture that pops into your mind?
  2. How has the “simpleness” surrounding the first Christmas been distorted in our society?
  3. What steps are you planning to take this year to help both you and your family focus on the TRUE MAGIC of Christmas?