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The Essential Journey to Bethlehem

Introduction

he Essential Journey to Bethlehem provides you with one short scripture reading each day followed by a reflection question or two designed to help you see how God promised the

world a Savior and then kept that promise.

How to Use This Guide

irst, decide on a brief time and a quiet place for your daily journey. Begin each days time with prayer (you can use the suggested prayer or compose one of your own). Then, read

the passage from your Bible, ponder the reflection & application questions and end your time with a brief prayer, also (Again, you can use the suggested prayer if you wish). Thats all it takes, so when youre ready, begin your journey to Bethlehem and meet the new-born King!

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The Essential Journey to Bethlehem

His Coming Foretold


1 HisBirthForetold
Pray:

HisPeaceForetold
Pray:

HisSufferingForetold
Pray:

Lord,maythelightofYourholy WordshineinmylifetodayasI cometoreaditnow.


Read:

HeavenlyFather,Imarvelagain atYourgreatnessandgoodness insendingusYourson,Jesus.


Read:

Lord,howIpraiseYouforallYou didformeonthecrossandYour mercyeveryday!


Read:

Isaiah9:17
Reflect:

Isaiah11:110
Reflect:

Isaiah53:16
Reflect:

Whatarethespecialnamesgiven tothechildwhoistobeborn?
Apply:

Whatwillempowerthisrootof Jessetobringsuchpeaceand justicetotheworld?


Apply:

Whatwasthereasonforthis onessorrowandsuffering?
Apply:

HowisJesusaWonderful Counselor,MightyGod, EverlastingFather,Princeof Peacetoyou?Howcouldhebe evenmoreso?


Pray:

Whatcanyoudoonbehalfof peaceandjusticeinyourworld? Makeaplantostarttoday.


Pray:

HaveyoutrustedJesustotake awayyouriniquities?Confess anyknownsinnow.


Pray:

LordJesus,bealltomethatYou wanttobe.Igladlyopenmy heartandmindtoYou.

LordJesus,Helpmetoknow whatIcandotobringYourpeace andjusticetothisworldandto doit.

LordJesus,helpmetoliveeach dayinobediencetoYou.Iwant mylifetoalwayspleaseand honorYou.

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The Essential Journey to Bethlehem

His Coming Foretold


4 HisBirthplaceForetold
Pray:

HisKingshipForetold
Pray:

LordGod,teachmebyYourHoly SpiritwhatYouwantmetolearn fromYourWordtoday.


Read:

LordJesus,Ibowbeforeyouin worshiptoday.YouaremyGod andKing!


Read:

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9-6

Micah5:25
Reflect:

Zechariah9:913
Reflect:

Wheredoestheprophetsaythe promisedrulerwillbeborn?
Apply:

Whatmightsurprisesomeone aboutthedescriptionofthis King?


Apply:

Whatdoesitmeantoyouto knowJesusbirthwasplanned andforetoldbyGodlongin advance?Howmightitaffect yourlifetoday?


Pray:

IsthereanythingaboutJesusthat surprisesyou?Ifso,whatand why?


Pray:

ShowmeYourplanforme,Lord, atleastfortoday,sothatImay knowitandfollowit.

LordJesus,continuetohelpme gettoknowYoubettereachday. KeepsurprisingmewithYour loveandpower.

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The Essential Journey to Bethlehem

His Coming Prepared


6 AtTheRightTime
Pray:

BytheHolySpirit
Pray:

PrecededbyJohn
Pray:

GraciousGod,Ilookforwardto thisspecialtimewithYounow. Drawmeclose,Ipray.


Read:

HolySpirit,comeafreshintomy heart,renewmymindandlead mylifethroughoutthisday.


Read:

Speaktometoday,Lord.Imhere andreadytolistentoYourWord.
Read:

Luke1:517
Reflect:

Galatians4:47
Reflect:

Matthew1:1824
Reflect:

ForwhatreasondidGodsendhis sonattherighttime?
Apply:

Whydoyouthinkitwas importantthatthebabybe conceivedbytheHolySpirit?


Apply:

Whatdidtheangelsaywastobe Johnstaskinlife?
Apply:

RecallhowGodpreparedyoufor thecomingofhissonintoyour life.Thankhimforthat.


Pray:

LordJesus,thankYouforall Youvedoneinmylifesofar. Helpmetocooperatewithall Youhaveyettodo!

Howwouldyouhavereactedif youhadbeenJoseph?HasGod everaskedyoutodosomething quiteincredible?Howdidyou react?


Pray:

WhattasksdoesGodhavefor youthisdayorthisweek?Is theresomeonewhoselifeyou couldhelpprepareforJesusto comein?


Pray:

LordJesus,buildinmeastrong andtrustingspiritsothatIllbe willingtodowhateverYoumay callmeto.

Lord,givemeeyestoseethose aroundmewithwhomIcan shareallthatYouvedonefor me.

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The Essential Journey to Bethlehem

His Coming Prepared


9 AnnouncedbytheAngel
Pray:

10

WithGreatRejoicing!
Pray:

Graciousfather,IpraiseYoufor Yourunfailingloveandfor invitingmetospendthistime withYou.


Read:

HeavenlyFather,Irejoiceatthe thoughtthatYoulovemeso muchthatYougaveYourbeloved sonforme.


Read:

Luke1:2638
Reflect:

Luke1:3945
Reflect:

HowdidMaryfeelwhenshe heardthismomentous announcement?


Apply:

HowdidElizabethshowherjoy atMarysnews?
Apply:

The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuelwhich means, God with us.
Matthew 1:23

HowdoyoureactwhenGodcalls youtoasurprisingorfrightening task?Whatcanyoulearnfrom Mary?


Pray:

HasGoddoneanythinginor throughyouthathasmadeyou rejoicesounreservedlyasMary did?Ifso,thankhim.


Pray:

LordJesus,givemethefaithand trusttofollowwhereYoulead meanddowhatYouaskofme.

ThankYou,Lord,forYour constantpresencewithmeand forallYoudoinmylifeeachday.

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The Essential Journey to Bethlehem

The Child is Born


11 TheBirthofJesus
Pray:

12

TheAngelsGoodNews
Pray:

13

TheShepherdsFindHim
Pray:

Lord,asIreadYourWordtoday, helpmetoenterintothewonder ofthebirthoftheSavior.


Read:

AlmightyGod,howIpraiseand thankYoutodayfortheGood Newstheangelsannouncedthat firstChristmas.


Read:

Lord,Imamazedandawedby Yourmajestyandpowerandby Yourtender,lovingand compassionateheart,also.


Read:

Luke2:17
Reflect:

Luke2:814 WhydidMaryandJosephhave theirbabyinBethlehem?


Apply: Reflect:

Luke2:1520
Reflect:

AreyousurprisedthattheLord wouldbeborninsuchhumble circumstances? Howdoesthatmakeyoufeel abouthim?


Pray:

Whatimmediatelyfollowedthis momentousannouncementof goodnews?Apply:Meditateon whatthatGoodNewsmeansto you.Whocouldyousharethis goodnewswithinthenextfew days?


Pray:

Howdidpeoplereacttothe shepherdsreportaboutthe child?


Apply:

WhatisitaboutJesusthat amazesyouandpeopleyou know?Thankhimforallthe amazingthingsyourecall.


Pray:

LordJesus,remindmeagain todaythathumblecircumstances dontdetermineapersons worth;Youvealreadydonethat.

ThankYou,Lord,forthisgreat GoodNewsaboutYou.Help metoshareiteffectivelywith someonesoon.

LordJesus,continuetoamaze me.HelpmenevertotakeYou andYourloveformeforgranted.

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The Essential Journey to Bethlehem

The Child is Born


14 TheChildintheTemple
Pray:

15

TheChildsFuture
Pray:

ThankYou,lovingGod,forall thatYoupatientlyteachmeinso manywayseachday.Helpmeto learnwell.


Read:

LordGod,IpraiseYouthatYou knowmyfuture,thatYoucontrol itandthatYouintendgoodfor me.


Read:

But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
Luke 2:10-11

Luke2:2132
Reflect:

Luke2:3340
Reflect:

WhywasSimeonsomovedby seeingthisbaby?
Apply:

WhatdidSimeonandAnnasee forJesusfuture?
Apply:

ThinkaboutwhatyoupraiseGod forthisAdventseason.Then,do praisehim.


Pray:

Inwhatwaysareyou,likethe childJesus,growingand becomingstronginthegraceof God?Whatmorecouldyoudo?


Pray:

LordJesus,IthankYouthatYou grewupjustlikemeand understandmeineveryway.

LordJesus,givemethedesireto growinYourgraceandin obediencetoYoumoreeachday.

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The Essential Journey to Bethlehem

His Childhood and Youth


16 TheMagisSearch
Pray:

17

TheMagisWorship
Pray:

18

TheFlighttoEgypt
Pray:

Lord,IthankYoutodayforYour Wordandallthewisdomand richesitholds.Teachittome now.


Read:

FatherGod,Ibowinreverent worshipbeforeYounowasmy lovingcreator,sustainerand redeemer.


Read:

AsIcometoYourWordnow,I praySpeakLordforYourservant islistening(1Sam.3:9).


Read:

Matthew2:1318
Reflect:

Matthew2:16
Reflect:

Matthew2:712 Reflect:WhentheMagifinally sawthechild,whatwastheir response?


Apply:

Howdidthepriestsandteachers ofthelawknowwhereJesus wouldbeborn?Apply:Ponder whatGodsWordmeanstoyou. Howhasithelpedyouinyour searchforJesusandinyour life?


Pray:

Howwasthebabydeliveredfrom beingmurdered?
Apply:

Whatkindofgiftshaveyougiven (orareyougiving)toJesusin gratitudeforwhathesgiven you?


Pray:

InwhatwaysdoesGodspeakto andleadyou?Howhashedone sorecently?


Pray:

LordJesus,helpmetotreasure YourWordandstudyiteagerly sothatIcanknowYouandYour waysbetter.

HowverythankfulIam,Lord Jesus,forallYouvegivenme. Helpmetoalwayshavea gratefulheart.

LordJesus,sharpenmyspiritto beabletohearYouspeaktome andknowYourleading.

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The Essential Journey to Bethlehem

His Childhood and Youth


19 TheReturntoNazareth
Pray:

20

TheFathersHouse
Pray:

HeavenlyFather,IpraiseYoufor thegreatwonderthatIshouldbe calledoneofYourchildren(1 John3:1).


Read:

Lord,IwanttoknowYoumore clearly,loveYoumoredearlyand followYoumorenearlythisday.


Read:

After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.
Luke 2:46-47

Luke2:4152 Reflect:Whatwassosurprising aboutJesustimeintheTemple?


Apply:

Matthew2:1923
Reflect:

WhatwassignificantaboutJesus growingupinNazareth?
Apply:

RecallhowGodworkedinyour childhoodtomakeyouthe personyouare.Thankhimfor thatandforthespecificpeople involved.


Pray:

Doyoutreasureyourtimein corporateworshipandthestudy ofGodsword?Ifso,howisthat evident?Ifnot,whatcanyoudo aboutit?


Pray:

ThankYou,Lord,forallthose wholovemeandhavehelped makemethepersonIaminYou.

LordJesus,givemeagreaterlove forYourWordandfor worshippingtogetherwithother believers,Ipray.

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The Essential Journey to Bethlehem

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His Incarnation Explained


21 HisDivineBeing
Pray:

22

HisSuperiority
Pray:

23

HeHumbledHimself
Pray:

Lord,IpraiseYouastheCreator ofallandmySavior!MayYour namebeheldinhighestpraise everywhere!


Read:

GraciousGodandFather,show memoreaboutJesustodayasI readandstudyYourword.


Read:

HeavenlyFather,IsaywithYour peoplethroughouttimeHow greatYouare!Howwonderful andawesome!


Read:

Hebrews1:14
Reflect:

Colossians1:1520
Reflect:

Phil.2:511 WhyisJesusclearlyso superior?


Apply: Reflect:

WhatisgivenasGodspurpose andintentionforChristhere?
Apply:

HowandwhydidJesushumble himself?
Apply:

IsitevidentthatChristhasthe supremacyinyourlife?Ifso, how?Ifnot,whatmightyoudo?


Pray:

WhatisitaboutJesusforwhich youaremostthankful?Thank him.


Pray:

Inwhatwaysisithardforyouto behumble?Howcanyoushowa greaterChristlikehumilityin yourlife?


Pray:

LordJesus,mayitalwaysbeclear toeveryoneImeetthatYouare trulytheLordofmylife.

LordJesus,helpmeneverto forgetthatthereisnooneequal toYou!YoualoneareGod.

LordJesusYouknowitisnt alwayseasyforme,buthelpme tohaveYourhumilityinmylife.

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The Essential Journey to Bethlehem

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His Incarnation Explained


24 HisOfferingforSin
Pray:

25

HisGifttoUs
Pray:

HowgratefulIam,MercifulGod, thatYouhavesetmefreefrom thepowerandpenaltyofsin.


Read:

LovingLord,givemethegiftof greaterloveforYou,theonewho hasgivensomuchforme.


Read:

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
Romans 8:1-2

Romans8:14
Reflect:

Ephesians2:110
Reflect:

Whathasbeenaccomplishedfor usthroughChristscoming?
Apply:

WhatisthegiftChristgivesand howdoesonereceiveit?
Apply:

Whatdoesitmeantoyouto knowthatyouhavebeensetfree fromcondemnationbyJesus? Howdoesyourlifeshowit?


Pray:

Haveyoureceivedthegiftof God?Whatwouldyousayare someofthegoodworksGod haspreparedforyoutodo?


Pray:

LordJesus,maymylifealways reflectthepeaceandfreedom YougivetoallthosewhoYouve setfree.

LordJesus,showmewhatgood worksyouhaveformetodoso thatImaygladlydothem.

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The Essential Journey to Bethlehem

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CHRISTMAS DAY The Word Became Flesh


Pray:

HeavenlyFather,onthisjoyfulday,Iliftmyheartwithall YourpeopletopraiseandworshipYou!
Read:

John1:117
Reflect:

Whatblessingshasthewordbecomefleshbroughttous?
Apply:

ConsiderwhatyouwouldthankandpraiseGodforonthis specialdayandthendoit.Thankhimespeciallyforthegift ofJesus.


Pray:

OLord,howcanIeverthankYouenough!Maymylifebea continualactofthanksandworship.

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The Essential Journey to Bethlehem

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Congratulations on Completing a Journey to Bethlehem!


Now that youve finished your Journey to Bethlehem, we at Scripture Union hope that youll want to continue meeting God every day in the Bible and prayerall throughout the year ahead.

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