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Previous Day January 18th Next Day

BELIEVE THE WORD


Matthew 2:1, "Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the
king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem."
MATTHEW 2:1-12

How could this be? The greatest event in the history of God's dealings with mankind was
taking place and the leaders of God's people didn't even know about it. Foreigners who were
unfamiliar with the covenants of God perceived what God was doing more than His own
chosen people! (Eph. 2:12)

The apparent answer to this is that these Persian wise men were more in tune to the prophecies
of scripture than the Jews were. Daniel had been promoted to be the head of all the wise men of
Babylon (Dan. 2:48). While in Babylon, Daniel had come through the lions' den victoriously
and had no doubt gained the reputation as the greatest wise man of all (Dan. 6).

It was during this time that Daniel wrote the prophecy of Dan. 9:24-27, which pinpointed the
time of the Messiah's birth. This no doubt provided the inspiration for these wise men. The star
simply served as a sign that the prophesied event had come and directed them towards where
the king was born.

The Jews had these same prophecies. They just weren't waiting in anticipation for the birth of
the Messiah. The Word of God only profits us if we believe it (Heb. 4:2). Let's not make the
same mistake. Mix the truths that you know from God's Word with faith.






One Year With Jesus - January 19


Previous Day January 19th Next Day
HEROD'S FOLLY
Mt. 2:13, "...for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him."
MATTHEW 2:13-15

Herod had ruled over Judaea for nearly forty three years at the time of these events. He had
the title of King conferred on him by the Roman senate at the recommendation of Antony
and Octavius. His accomplishments included the building of the temple in Jerusalem which
was one of the most magnificent structures in the world. Most people would have thought
that Herod had it "made".

However, history reveals that Herod was extremely paranoid. He actually killed his wife and
one of his sons because he feared they would take the kingdom from him. All his power and

fame couldn't buy him the peace that the angels proclaimed (Lk. 2:8-14). His paranoia led
him to kill the innocent children in Bethlehem. His insecurity was evident. He had
everything and yet he had nothing.

In contrast, the King that Herod was trying to dispose of came humbly, not exalting
Himself. He gained the acclaim of others by serving them, not oppressing them. The scepter
of Jesus was righteousness; not tyranny. Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice; Himself, because
of His great love for people.

Today, Herod's only claim to fame is that he was the man who tried in vain to kill the King
of Kings. Remember, it is worth nothing if you gain the whole world and lose your own soul
(Mt. 16:26). Make today count for God.



The Power of a Half Hour
Posted by Joel Osteen on 1/10/2014
Time is the currency of this dimension. In the spiritual realm, we exchange faith for what we are
afterthe promises of God. In the natural realm, we exchange time for the things we are after. If
you want better relationships, you have to invest time with people. If you want to change your
body, you have to invest time exercising. If you want to advance in your career, you spend time
working towards that goal. You probably have a list of New Year's resolutions that you're
working on and in order to see them come to pass, you have to invest time for those things, too.

As my friend, Tommy Barnett shares in his new book, "The Power of a Half Hour" thirty
minutes can wreck or redeem a life. Think about all you can do in thirty minutes; have lunch,
watch television, check Facebook, or work on your goals and dreams, get ahead, build a
relationship, or grow with God. The time passes anyway. You decide if that time is used to help
you get ahead or not.

Tommy says in his book, "We take a lot of things for granted in our lives, such as gravity, air,
daylightand time. Yet time is one of God's most precious gifts to us. It is the most significant
nonrenewable resource at our disposal. We have less of it remaining with each passing day.
When God gave this gift, He intended for us to use it carefully, intentionally, wisely, and
productively.

If your life is a gift from God (and it is) and time is the organizational foundation of that life,
then you are honoring His plan and blessing Him with the fruit of your life when you use your
time well. When you serve another person, you are honoring that person with the unique
outcome of your irreplaceable existence. Your time is invaluable. You will never get lost time
backand nobody can eliminate the results of time well-invested. A wise person will try to use
his time for the highest purpose."

Today, I just want to encourage you to evaluate how you are using your time day in and day out.
We are all given the same 24 hours, it's what we do with it that makes a life. There's no better
time to start making changes then right now, at the first part of the new year. Why don't you pick
up a copy of "The Power of a Half Hour" and follow the Personal Action Plans that will help you
keep your day on track. Turn your fleeting minutes into defining moments and boldly embrace
the destiny God has in store for you!

"Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most