How to Find and Follow God’s Will This Year

Discerning God’s will is always found in God’s Word.

There is only one way you will know God’s will for you this year. Relatively speaking, that’s the easy part. But once you know it, then comes the tough assignment.

How to Find and Follow God's Will This Year

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From the first verse of Scripture, God revealed how the Earth set the stage for the divine drama of history to take place (Gen. 1:1). From its formless, void beginning, the Lord fashioned the Earth with His intention in its details. From this ground, God made physical people spiritual beings in His image.

Finding and following God’s will was no different for Adam and Eve than it is for us.

We have the same problem they did.

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Christmas Shows God’s Amazing Providence in Your Life

Here's how you can know your chances are really God’s choices.

The first Christmas looked like a coincidence. From a human perspective, politics set the agenda: Caesar took a census of his people. End of story. But it wasn’t.

Christmas Shows the Power of God's Providence in Your Life

(Photo: Bethlehem Fields with Herod’s Herodium in background. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

From the divine viewpoint, God orchestrated ordinary events for extraordinary outcomes.

Think about this past year in your life. Many ordinary events occurred. Most of them you don’t remember. But God has been working. It isn’t just the Christmas story.

It’s your story too. God uses the power of providence in your life.

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Why You Should Give Books for Christmas

5 Reasons Your Best Gifts Include Good Books

You like to read. (After all, you read my blog.) That means you probably have read some great books over the years. One of the best gifts you can give someone is a book, and I’m convinced we should give books for Christmas. Here’s why.

Why You Should Give Books for Christmas

(Photo by Photodune)

Here are give reasons books make great gifts for Christmas. 

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4 Blessings from God that May Surprise You

God May Want to Give You More than Relief

Sometimes it seems no one understands what we’re going through. When people fail us, or forget us, or even betray us, we’re left alone in the ashes of a reality we never expected or wanted.

God May Want to Give You More than Relief

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In those intense moments of loneliness, confusion, and pain, we ask God for one thing more than anything else. Relief from suffering.

But when relief is denied, we begin the difficult journey of resisting the notion that God is a cruel sovereign who toys with our lives. After all, He could stop it all in moment. After everything else but God gets stripped away from our lives, we begin realize that the Lord may want to give us something more—and much greater—than relief.

In those moments, God becomes more real to us than we ever would have known any other way.

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Where was Jesus Really Born?

Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity—Appropriately Unassuming

Bethlehem’s main attraction centers on the oldest standing church in Israel. The ancient structure marks the traditional site of Jesus’ birth, and yet, it isn’t much to look at.

Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity—Appropriately Unassuming

(Photo: The front of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Built in the sixth century by the emperor Justinian, the Church of the Nativity sits on top of the location of the original octagonal church Constantine’s mother, Helena, constructed just a few centuries after Jesus.

When I went there earlier this year, it looked altogether uninspiring and unassuming.

To me, that’s appropriate.

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Ein Kerem—Waiting on God’s Promise a Long Time

God has something special planned for you.

When we think of the Bible’s Christmas couple, of course we picture Joseph and Mary. But there’s another couple in the Christmas narrative. In fact, they appear even before Jesus’ parents do.

Ein Kerem terraces

(Photo: Tradition places the home of Zacharias and Elizabeth at Ein Kerem. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

God had been silent for 400 years. No additional Scripture. No more prophecy. No visions. Just waiting for the Messiah. 400 years! Then, God spoke to an old man in Jerusalem. God had been silent to Zacharias and Elizabeth as well. They were elderly and had no children. They prayed for years. But nothing.

God’s Word makes the point that they were righteous in God’s sight—blameless in God’s Law. In other words, their childless home wasn’t because of their unfaithfulness.

Times of waiting on God can even come to a point of what seems impossible. Most times of lack are like that.

Waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. (Rom. 8:24, The Message)

God had something special planned for them. And for you.

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Video 3: Continue Your Virtual Tour through the Places of Jesus’ Birth

See where the first Christmas happened in the Holy Land

The third episode releases today in my new virtual tour of the places of Jesus’ birth. I love this episode, because we have examples in the biblical Christmas story of how to follow God when His leading makes no sense. Click here to watch.

I had a blast filming these videos. One reason? I love going to the Holy Land and seeing the places where the Bible occurred.

But not everybody can go to Israel.

In fact, there are several very good reasons people don’t go.

If you’ve never been to Israel, I’m pretty sure it’s because of one of these 3 reasons. I’ll share the reasons with you in this video. But more importantly, I’ll also show you a fantastic solution to the hurdles.

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Video 2: Continue Your Virtual Tour through the Places of Jesus’ Birth

See where the first Christmas happened in the Holy Land

Today Episode 2 releases in my new video series giving a virtual tour through the places of Jesus’ birth. You can click here to watch it now (as well as Episode 1).

 

The response has been tremendous, and I’m so grateful to you who have given a comment on Facebook, Twitter, or another social media outlet. Here’s one about Episode 1 that really meant a lot to me:

sue says

What Sue said is precisely why I’m doing this series. I want those who can’t go to Israel—and those who want to relive their experience there—to have a way to enjoy the places where the Bible happened.

The first Christmas was a fulfillment of God’s promise in the Old Testament. In fact, it’s “the promise that changed the world.”

It can also change your life.

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Please share this video with others by clicking the Facebook and Twitter buttons below. Or you can copy and share this URL: walkingthebiblelands.waynestiles.com/christmasvideos/

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Watch Video 1: A Virtual Tour through the Places of the Birth of Christ

See where the first Christmas happened in the Holy Land

I am so excited to release my new video series on the Birth of Jesus, called “The Promise that Changed the World.” If you want to skip to the nitty-gritty, and just watch the video, here it is. Just click.

WATCH VIDEO 1: A JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIRTH OF CHRIST

Not everybody can go to the Holy Land where the first Christmas occurred.

That’s frustrated me for years, because I know firsthand the benefits of including the land of the Bible in the study of the Scriptures. Leaving it out leaves out a LOT. I couldn’t imagine not knowing the Bible lands and trying to understand Scripture.

I don’t want you to miss out as well.

This is Just the First of 3  Videos

This video series will give you a virtual tour to the biblical sites of Christmas. But experiencing the Bible lands not just about pointing to a pile of rocks. It’s about connecting the Bible and its lands to life.

This first video looks at the places and promises of God that led up the birth of Jesus. The following two episodes release next week—on Monday and Wednesday—and reveals the places of Jesus’ birth and what happened afterwards– including the Wise Men.

Please Share These Videos

I have prayed for many months that these videos would encourage you, inspire you, and even make you say, “Wow.”

Please share this video with others by clicking the Facebook and Twitter buttons below. Or you can copy and share this URL: walkingthebiblelands.waynestiles.com/christmasvideos/

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