Blog entries tagged Advent


1. “Simple Christmas” Available Next Week

November 13, 2017

We’re coming down the homestretch on “Simple Christmas,” our brand-new Advent ebook. It should be available on Amazon late next week. We’ll also make it available on the Keep Believing website.   There is still time for you to nominate your favorite YouTube Christmas song videos. I was very pleased with everything you shared last […]

2. Immanuel: God With Us

December 25, 2016

“Peruvian Nativity: God Is With Us” by Marcia Carole “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us)” (Matthew 1:22-23). Immanuel. God with us. Jesus has come to earth, the Almighty has entered […]

3. Mary: Believing the Impossible

December 24, 2016

“Nativity” by Gari Melchers “How will this be” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” (Luke 1:34). This is a perfectly natural question. Mary is betrothed but not formally married. She has never had sexual relations with any man. How then can she become pregnant and bear a son? Mary does not doubt […]

4. Joseph: A Very Good Man

December 23, 2016

“Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife” (Matthew 1:20).  Joseph has been rightly called the forgotten man of Christmas. It is natural that most of our attention should focus on Mary since she gave birth to Jesus. Nowhere in the birth accounts do we have any recorded […]

5. Simeon: Waiting for Jesus

December 22, 2016

“Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout.  He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.  It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ” (Luke 2:25-26).  If Jesus […]

6. Magi: Strangers from a Distant Land

December 21, 2016

“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?’” (Matthew 2:1-2).  A great mystery surrounds the Magi. Who are they? Where do they come from? The term “Magi” refers […]

7. Shepherds: Watching in the Fields

December 20, 2016

“And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night” (Luke 2:8). You never know when God will show up It happened one night in the fields outside the little village of Bethlehem. Shepherds were near the bottom of the social order of ancient Israel. They […]

8. Scribes: They Should Have Known Better

December 18, 2016

“When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. ‘In Bethlehem in Judea,’ they replied” (Matthew 2:4-5). Sometimes you can know so much that it would be better not to know anything at all. If this had been an […]

9. Herod: A Bully Scared of a Baby

December 18, 2016

Herod the Great “Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared” (Matthew 2:7). If you’re looking for a bad guy in the Christmas story, here he is. There’s nothing good to say about Herod. He lied to the Magi. He killed the baby boys of Bethlehem. He […]

10. Angels: Whispers of Another World

December 17, 2016

“Suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God” (Luke 2:13). Suddenly! It means without warning or prior announcement. One moment the angels weren’t there, and then they were everywhere. Let me amend that last statement a bit. The word “suddenly” means the angels were nowhere to be seen, and […]

11. Caesar Augustus: A Tax Plan That Changed the World

December 16, 2016

Caesar Augustus The traditional Christmas story from the Gospel of Luke begins this way: “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world” (Luke 2:1). Most of us read those words without giving them a second thought. Augustus was the greatest Roman emperor, greater even […]

12. John the Baptist: The First to Greet Jesus

December 15, 2016

“The baby in my womb leaped for joy” (Luke 1:44). That’s what Elizabeth said to Mary when they met. Elizabeth’s baby was John the Baptist. He evidently started his career early. We know babies in the womb can see and hear and react to sounds and light. Consider a child in his mother’s womb in […]

13. Elizabeth: Mother of the Forerunner

December 14, 2016

“No; he shall be called John” (Luke 1:60). That surprised their friends. No one in their family was named John. Everyone assumed this miracle baby would take his father’s name. In our day, we would say Zechariah Senior and Zechariah Junior. Or maybe the first and the second. But Elizabeth knew better. The angel had specified […]

14. Zechariah: He Doubted God

December 13, 2016

“Zechariah said to the angel, ‘How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years’” (Luke 1:18). I probably would have asked the same question. Many times the ways of God are not obvious. If a man and his wife are elderly, if they have had no children, […]

15. Malachi: The Sun of Righteousness Will Rise

December 12, 2016

“The Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings” (Malachi 4:2). The Old Testament ends with one final picture of our Lord. When he comes, he will “rise” as the sun rises in the sky. When he comes, he will banish the darkness. When he comes, his light will fill the world. But […]

16. Haggai: The Desire of All Nations

December 11, 2016

“I will shake all nations, and the Desire of all nations shall come” (Haggai 2:7). This fascinating verse apparently has a double meaning. It applies first to the rebuilding of the temple by Zerubbabel. God promises the wealth of the nations will flow into the temple in Jerusalem. The rest of the verse promises God […]

17. Micah: Born in Bethlehem

December 10, 2016

“But you, Bethlehem . . . though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel” (Micah 5:2). It was an “on the way” place. You passed through Bethlehem because you were on the way to or from Jerusalem. Two thousand years […]

18. Hosea: Out of Egypt

December 9, 2016

“Out of Egypt I called my son” (Hosea 11:1; quoted in Matthew 2:15). When Charles Spurgeon preached on this verse, he began his sermon this way: “Egypt occupies a very singular position towards Israel. It was often the shelter of the seed of Abraham. Abraham himself went there when there was a famine in the […]

19. Ukraine, Here We Come!

December 8, 2016

Here’s an update about our trip to Ukraine along with all the other news from my corner of the world. Here’s the link to the Keep Believing Donate Page.

20. Nebuchadnezzar: The Fourth Man in the Furnace

December 8, 2016

“But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods” (Daniel 3:25). No wonder the king was confused. You throw three men, bound with ropes, into the furnace. They don’t die. The ropes burn off, but the […]

21. Isaiah: The Root of Jesse

December 7, 2016

“In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious” (Isaiah 11:10). Isaiah referred more to the Holy Spirit than any other Old Testament prophet. In chapter 11 he predicts the fullness of the Holy Spirit will […]

22. Rahab: A Harlot in Jesus’ Family Tree

December 6, 2016

“Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab” (Matthew 1:5). Many first-time Bible readers are surprised to learn the New Testament begins with a genealogy (Matthew 1:1-16). They are even more surprised when Rahab shows up on the list. Most of us know about her. She is almost always mentioned in the Bible as […]

23. Balaam: A Star from Jacob

December 5, 2016

Photo credit: Bible Pathway Adventures “A star will rise from Jacob; a scepter will emerge from Israel” (Numbers 24:17). Let’s begin with the one thing people know about Balaam. He had a talking donkey. You can read about it in Numbers 22:21-30 and 2 Peter 2:16. That by itself is amazing if you think about […]

24. Jacob: Messiah Will Come From Judah

December 4, 2016

Photo credit: “The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his” (Genesis 49:10). Here is a little lesson in biblical genealogy. God had promised Abraham all the world would be blessed through him. […]

25. Moses: A Lamb for the Family

December 3, 2016

“Tell the whole community of Israel, ‘In the tenth day of this month they each must take a lamb for themselves according to their families—a lamb for each household“ (Exodus 12:3). Either the lamb dies, or the firstborn of the family dies. The blood must be shed either way. Suppose you were an Israelite being […]

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