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Return of the King - Advent 2016

December 19, 2016 – Finding Strength in Weakness

“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah,
From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.
His goings forth are from long ago,
From the days of eternity.”
– Micah 5:2

O Little Town of Bethlehem

Micah prophesied that the coming Messiah – the one true King of Israel – would come from the little town of Bethlehem. And what was Bethlehem? Not much. It would have made more ‘sense’ for the Messiah to have been born at Jerusalem. After all, Jerusalem was the holy city of David. It was the home of kings and priests. It was everything you could want in a messiah’s hometown.

But rather than Jerusalem, God chose the backwater town of Bethlehem as the place where God the Son would break into history. What a reversal of expectations!

God, it seems, is in the business of upending our expectations. And so, even after being born, Jesus didn’t head into the big city. He was raised and began his ministry in Nazareth of Galilee. There was nothing special about Nazareth. In fact, when Philip told Nathanael about the Messiah’s hometown, he responded, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46).

Finding Strength in Weakness

As you look at your life you may be asking the same question. Can any good thing come out of my circumstances? Can any good thing come out of my life?

If you ask yourself these questions, remember that the Son of God was born into a manger in a backwoods town called Bethlehem.

God is in the business of upending our expectations. He doesn’t need us to be the smartest or the prettiest or the richest. He doesn’t need us to have the greatest rhetorical skills. God is looking for humble hearts. He’s looking for meekness.

If you feel unable or incapable of doing much for God – you’re in good company. Moses felt that way and asked God to find someone else. Gideon did the same. David asked, “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that You have brought me this far?” (2 Samuel 7:18). Paul called himself the chief of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). And yet, God used each one of these men to accomplish awesome things.

God doesn’t need you to be the ‘best’. He simply needs you to be willing.

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