Our Christmas Surprise: God’s Way Up is Down [Podcast]

Luke 2:1-20; Philippians 2:3-11

The humble birth of Jesus Christ reveals a truth that, frankly, is shocking. In fact, it’s as surprising today as it was in the day Mary gave birth to Jesus in a Bethlehem barn.

In this episode of Live the Bible, we take a special look at Christmas and its surprising truth. What truth? The pursuits of our lives and passions can easily get misplaced. Jesus shows us that the way up is down. The way to true greatness in the eyes of God is to be a servant to Him—and to others—just like Jesus was from the day He was born.

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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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A Tomb with a View Towards You [Podcast]

Mark 15:40-16:8

One event, more than any other event, reminds us that personal failure does not remove us from God’s plan. In fact, this event shows us that the success of God’s plan does not depend on our performance.

In this episode of Live the Bible, we look at the essence of what makes Christianity true. Remove this, and we’re just another insignificant religion putting our hope in wishful thinking. But with this event, our faith is rooted in history. And it has huge implications for our lives— and even for our failures in life.

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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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Living Well to the Very End [Podcast]

Mark 15:1-39

How can we Live our lives well to the very end? Especially when we are falsely accused, rejected by those closest to us, and perhaps even abandoned, betrayed, or denied. Turns out, all of these were true of Jesus — and yet He finished well. What a model is our Lord.

In this episode of Live the Bible, we look at Jesus’ example of living well to the very end. From the time Jesus was born in Bethlehem to the time of His death at Jerusalem, He was faithful to the end. Jesus committed Himself to the Father—even when questioning why His Father would allow what He did.

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What to Do When You Remember Your Failure [Podcast]

Mark 14:53-72

What can you do when you remember your failure? You know what I mean. Something triggers a memory, and we have a flashback of a failure we did yesterday—or maybe even years ago.

In this episode of Live the Bible, Jesus Christ reminds us that those memories don’t have to haunt us. Instead they can become a memory of something far better than our failure—God’s grace. This is an episode so essential for us to hear again and again.

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When Your Want-To is Willing, But Your Can-Do Is Weak, Part 2 [Podcast]

Mark 14:12-52

How can we be faithful and follow God, but we’re just not strong enough to do it? In this second part of our two-part episode of Live the Bible, where Jesus gives us the practical application of what to do when we want to obey God—but we’re not strong enough to do it.

This is where the rubber meets the road in our Christian lives. Jesus takes us to Gethsemane, and models how to rely on God for strength in moments of vulnerability.

The peace we long for in life lies on the other side of one decision we can make today.

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When Your Want-To Is Willing, But Your Can-Do is Weak, Part 1 [Podcast]

Mark 14:12-52

We desperately want to be faithful and follow God, but we’re just not strong enough to do it. How do we do it when we can’t? In this episode of Live the Bible, Jesus reminds us we have a traitor in the gates we have to watch out for.

This intensely practical two-part episode shows us Jesus’ example of what to do when our want-to is willing but our can-do is weak.

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4 Promises of God to Give You Hope & Security

In a world that disappoints us, we need to cling to the One who never will.

There’s not much we can be sure of today. We live in a world of broken promises, broken families, backstabbing friends, and personal failures. And that’s just at church. The church Paul wrote to in Rome felt the same.

Roman Forum

(Photo: Roman Forum. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

The Roman Christians needed to base their lives on truth rather than on circumstances that seemed to challenge truth.

We’re the same aren’t we? After a lifetime of disillusions, we’ve come to expect little else. We often hope for nothing in hopes we won’t be disappointed. It’s easy to get sucked into the black hole of hopelessness. It happens because we live in an a culture that keeps God at arm’s length, one that claims His name but declines His Lordship.

God is a package deal. And when we refuse all of God then we miss all of what He has to offer.

In refusing all of God we’re forced to fill those gaps with substitutes that disappoint and fail us. But the Sovereign Lord, the Creator of the universe, offers true hope—and here’s why: He is the only one able to make good on His promises.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome and shared 4 promises of God that also give you hope when you need it most.

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She Did What She Could – And So Can You [Podcast]

Mark 14:1-11

Jesus held up a particular woman as an example to follow. In fact, more Scripture is devoted to her than to ten of the twelve disciples!

In this episode of Live the Bible, we meet a disciple of Jesus who didn’t write any scripture, didn’t preach any messages, wasn’t one of the twelve disciples, and she never performed any miracles. Why is she so significant for us to know?

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