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Because Of Bethlehem Online Bible Study - Week 4 - Gabriel's Christian Book & Supply

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Max Lucado

Because of

Online Bible Study

Max Lucado

"In the manger God loves you; through the cross, God saves you."
- Max Lucado
Week Four - Every Heart A Manger

As Max points out in this week's video segment, if Hollywood were scripting the story of the Messiah coming to earth, it would have most likely unfolded quite differently. There would have been much more pomp, more notable figures in the story, and a far more elaborate setting than a manger in a stall. But perhaps one reason God wrote the story this way was to remind us all–we are loved by Him, even at those times we don't feel particularly worthy or above average...

It's a pretty simple, common story when you think about it...

A speaker once pointed out in a Christmas talk, everything present in the story of the greatest birth in history is present in any "regular" neighborhood–a young girl, a place where the animals stay at night, a bunch of common blue-collar workers, and a baby. All the elements were really pretty simple, and more or less common to the lives of us all. Perhaps that's why God chose to unveil the birth of His Son this way.

After all, even the announcement of the angels was not made in the halls of royalty, but in the fields to shepherds. In some ways, it's as if God wanted each person to discover Christ's coming on their own. Hopefully you have had that experience personally yourself, and made a place in your heart for him to rule and reign.

If so, you probably already realize that Jesus never forces himself on anyone, but rather waits to be invited in. Even once he began his public ministry some three decades after his birth, it was more characterized by his encounters with individuals, than his ministry to the masses. Jesus approaches us all–one on one; that's the way a personal relationship is always developed.

The simple intimacy of the story of that first Christmas reminds us all as Max so beautifully puts it...

"The moment Mary touched God's face is the moment God made his case; there is no place he will not go. If he is willing to be born in a barnyard, then expect him to be at work anywhere–bars, bedrooms, boardrooms and brothels. No place is too common. No person is too hardened. No distance is too far. There is no person he cannot reach. There is no limit to his love."

This may be one reason the Christmas story has such overwhelmingly universal appeal; that there is no life so far gone, no heart so hard or worn, that Christ will not come, and make himself at home in it…once he is invited in.

May you be reminded afresh this Christmas season, of his abiding presence as you celebrate making your heart a manger–all Because of Bethlehem.

If you haven't already viewed this week's video segment, Every Heart A Manger, do so now...

Reminder: Watch this video the week of Dec 16 - Dec 22
If you've not already done so...

Go to our Online Bible Study homepage and click on the Week 4 section. There, you will find all the resources you need for this week's sessions.

  • Video segment with Max for Week 4
  • Scripture for the week
  • Questions to ponder/journal, or use for discussion with others
Prayer for the Week (excerpted from Because of Bethlehem)
Like the stable in which you lay,
My heart is simple, frail as hay.
But if you would within me stay,
Make my heart your manger, I pray.
Make my world your Bethlehem,
Centerpieced with Heaven's Son.
Make this night a shepherd's sky,
Quickened bright with holy dawn.
Rush the air with cherub's wings.
Brush this earth. Let angels sing.
A glimpse of your face, a taste of your grace,
Be born in this place... I pray.

Don't forget...

Next week is "catch-up week" in case you've missed any installments. Also, if you have friends you'd like to invite to experience this study, they can enroll now, and view all segments (and videos) next week during this final week this is offered.

MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and your family!

The Daniel Prayer Resources

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About the Study Guide

The Study Guide is a useful companion to Max's best-selling book, and to this study. Contains interactive pages for journaling and recording insights, answers to questions poised, and more.

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The Because of Bethlehem hardcover book is the companion reading material (recommended, but optional) to the study. This content is not the same as the study guide.

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The Because of Bethlehem DVD not only contains the four video segments we'll share during this Christmas study, but it also features five video segments from Max's Easter-themed study, He Chose the Nails.

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