Take a Google Street View of 6 Biblical Sites

Walk around in the Holy Land without leaving home.

Google Maps Street View serves us well with directions, helping us to see what the turns in our journey actually look like. But the Web site also allows a virtual peek at some key biblical sites.

Google Street View of 7 Biblical Sites

There’s nothing like traveling to Israel to see the land of the Bible firsthand. Experiencing the Bible with all your senses is an unforgettable way to learn it. You’ll never be the same.

But until your first (or next) trip, you might enjoy a virtual walk through a few biblical sites via Google Street View.

I have chosen 6 biblical sites that allow you to do a little exploring.

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How to Rely on God’s Strength in Moments of Weakness

Help from Peter’s Upper Room Boast to Gethsemane’s Failure

Peter denied he knew Christ. To some folks, that’s no big deal. Compared to murder, rape, etc., giving in to fear seems like small potatoes. But to Peter, his denial of Jesus ranked right up there with Judas’ betrayal. Personal failure always feels more poignant and painful than seeing it in someone else’s life.

How to Rely on God’s Strength in Moments of Weakness

(Photo: Upper Room. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Proverbs says no one knows the grief of the heart like one’s self (Prov. 14:10). To Peter, his denial of Jesus struck to the core of his heart, because only hours earlier Peter had promised he would never deny Him. NEVER. Peter’s words were emphatic.

The bitter pill? Peter really believed he would never deny Jesus. The emotion gushed out of his mouth in a full-on promise—a vow—that Peter would stay faithful to the Master even when all others would not. His words went beyond a promise to a boast. To bolster Peter’s position and promise, he compared himself to the other apostles, whose reactions never made it into print (probably a good thing).

I doubt the other eleven would have agreed: “Yeah, Peter, you’re right. The rest of us are nowhere near as strong as you. I have to admit, when we all have turned tail and run, you’ll still be standing there with Jesus. Way to go.”

Weakness begins, ironically, by thinking we’re strong.

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Chasing the Surprising Geography of the Presence of God

How can God be somewhere and everywhere at the same time?

It’s hard to imagine an omnipresent God dwelling in one place. And yet, every December we celebrate the fact. God dwells in the confines of a human body. And He is also everywhere.

But the incarnation isn’t the first time God has localized His presence among His people.

Presence of God

(Photo: Olive groves near Bethlehem. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

God is both omnipresent and present. King Solomon summed up the seeming contradiction when he prayed:

Will God indeed dwell with mankind on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You; how much less this house which I have built. —2 Chronicles 6:18

From creation to Christmas—and from today to eternity.

Let’s take a quick geographical journey and follow movements of God’s dwelling place among us.

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2 Biblical Gardens Reveal How to Make the Best Decisions

How Eden and Gethsemane still affect you today.

Two gardens, Eden and Gethsemane, provided the settings for two choices that brought opposite results. The Bible wildly contrasts these choices. In fact, you face them today.

Olive Trees in the Garden of Gethsemane

(Photo: The Garden of Gethsemane. Notice the city walls in the distance. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

In the Garden of Eden, Adam’s choice to commit sin had the potential of bringing condemnation to everyone. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Christ’s decision to die for sins provided potential justification to everyone (Romans 5:18).

Adam never would have eaten the fruit had he known the consequences to himself and to his race. But he couldn’t see the results.

All he had was God’s Word and its warning. That’s all we have as well.

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Pools of Bethesda – God’s Amazing Kindness and Our Courageous Choices

What motivates you most isn't fear.

Very few people are drawn to God by intimidation. Instead, the Lord urges us to come to Him by revealing the kindness of His mercy. It’s a tremendous motivation.

Pools of Bethesda—God’s Kindness and Our Repentance

(Photo: Pools of Bethesda and Crusader chapel, courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Once we comprehend the depth of our imperfections, and the futility of our own efforts to remove them, we are in a position to respond to God’s kindness.

In this post, you’ll read how Jesus revealed this simple truth one day in Jerusalem with an act of mercy at the Pools of Bethesda.

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How the Pool of Siloam Helps us Connect Sukkot and the Messiah

Jesus' invitation on the Feast of Tabernacles offers life abundantly.

If you’ve ever camped, you know that camping requires we forgo a lot of conveniences. The Feast of Tabernacles required similar sacrifices. In fact, it remains a timeless reminder that everything we possess—both physically and spiritually—comes from God.

The Pool of Siloam Helps us Connect Sukkot and the Messiah

(Photo: Western Wall at Sukkot. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Of all places, an ancient pool in Jerusalem—the Pool of Siloam—helps us connect Sukkot with its ultimate fulfillment.

A statement made by Jesus—really, an invitation—makes it clear.

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You Need To Know Only One Place Of Sacrifice Remains

How a Final Sacrifice Near the Temple Mount Points Us Forward

For centuries, it was holy ground. The Dome of the Rock, the icon of modern Israel, sits atop a large, flat prominence in Jerusalem identified by Christians and Jews as the “Temple Mount.” Here Solomon built his magnificent sanctuary some 3,000 years ago.

Only One Place of Sacrifice Remains Today

(Photo: The Dome of the Rock on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

In building the Temple for God, Solomon recognized, “Who am I, that I should build a house for Him, except to burn incense before Him?” (2 Chron. 2:6). Solomon’s question gives a principle that extends to our lives.

Only one place of sacrifice remains today.

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Surrendering Your Will to God in Difficult Times

How Jesus' decision in Gethsemane is the only path to peace.

I have discovered that the most difficult battles in life simply mirror Jesus’ struggle in Gethsemane. His words to the Father remain the most challenging words we could utter:

Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done. —Luke 22:42

Surrendering Your Will to God in Difficult Times

(Photo: Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus surrendered His will. Courtesy of Pictorial Library of Bible Lands.)

Surrendering your will to God in difficult times is often harder than the trial itself.

Our greatest challenges come not from those circumstances that press in upon us, but from the internal struggle to surrender our will to God. We enter Gethsemane daily and have to drag my will to the Father in prayer.

Here’s how.

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How to Take a Tour of Jerusalem Using Google Maps

Discover the Holy City without leaving home.

Most of us use Google Maps to find directions to somewhere new or to estimate the time a trip will take. But search the Web site for Jerusalem and the advantages take on a whole new level. 

How to Take a Virtual Tour of Jerusalem Using Google Maps

(Take a Virtual Tour of Jerusalem Using Google Maps)

You can take a virtual tour of Jerusalem. Obviously, you can sight-see anywhere in the world using this method. But Jerusalem offers unique benefits for Christians.

I suggest as a starting place searching for “Temple Mount, Jerusalem” in Google Maps. When you do, you’re screen will look something like the following image. 

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The Secret to Revealing the Lies of Temptation

Learning from Jesus at the Pinnacle of the Temple

Temptation is hard. That’s because the lies of temptation sound so convincing. When Jesus stood on the pinnacle of the Temple, He faced temptation with a wisdom we also can apply.

Temple Mount southwestern corner - The Secret to Revealing the Lies of Temptation

(Photo: Temple Mount southwestern corner. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Some believe the southwestern corner of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem represents the pinnacle where Satan dangled temptation before Jesus (Luke 4:9). Satan is the best marketer in the sin business. 

A recent phone call reminded me of this. 

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