PrayerConnect for December 1, 2015

Ahead to Beth…lehem and Back to Beth…el

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).
As we approach the Christmas season, let us be cognizant that we not only see the “Christ” in “Christ…mas,” but also in the word “Christ…ian” as we endeavor to seek and serve Him always.
As we ponder upon the story in Luke, Chapter 2, regarding Joseph and Mary’s journey to Bethlehem, we discover that this would be their road to Jesus─where Christ was to be born. The Hebrew rendition of “Bethlehem” translated into English means “House of Bread.”
What road will you travel? Are you hungry for more of…the Bread of Life? As like Mary and Joseph, in the path of life, we should seek an encounter where our journey’s end leads to Jesus─the place where a promise blessing is to be born. For it is here…you will find a new beginning!
And/or perhaps you may find yourself in a place where you need to backtrack. Do you remember when you met God? I am reminded of a place called “Bethel,” which means the “House of God.” Among other places, Bethel is notably mentioned in Genesis 28, when Jacob dreams of a ladder stretching between Heaven and Earth and thronged with angels; with God appearing, declaring His promises. Jacob anoints the stone with oil that he had slept upon, and named the place “Bethel.” Jacob remembered and returned to God, he removed excess baggage, rebuilt an altar and regained what was lost. He went forward rejoicing in and retaining his life-changing experience. In Genesis 35, it was here where Jacob wrestles with the Angel of the Lord, Who changes his name to Israel (a prince having power with God). After Jacob heard and heeded the voice of God, his life took a new direction and God honored him!
If applicable, why not return to your Bethel? Living in this era, we do not need to return to a specific site, building, or locality, but we can have a Back-to-Bethel experience anywhere! God is calling us back to that original place of prayer and fellowship. You had a good beginning with God, but somewhere along the way, you may have lost your footing, and now find yourself in a place that you never envisioned. Well, God is calling you back to Bethel today, for He is a God of second chances. He allows U-turns. If YOU turn back to Him, He is there to meet you, in spite of where you are!
Whether you find yourself spiritually this Christmas season moving ahead to Beth…lehem or going back to Beth…el, it matters not, as long as you reach the Christ! And each one of us may have different starting points, but what matters most is the final destination…in the presence of Jesus─God with us─a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord!
Flo Shaw
International Coordinator
World Network of Prayer