Ein Kerem—Waiting on God’s Promise a Long Time

God has something special planned for you.

When we think of the Bible’s Christmas couple, of course we picture Joseph and Mary. But there’s another couple in the Christmas narrative. In fact, they appear even before Jesus’ parents do.

Ein Kerem terraces

(Photo: Tradition places the home of Zacharias and Elizabeth at Ein Kerem. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

God had been silent for 400 years. No additional Scripture. No more prophecy. No visions. Just waiting for the Messiah. 400 years! Then, God spoke to an old man in Jerusalem. God had been silent to Zacharias and Elizabeth as well. They were elderly and had no children. They prayed for years. But nothing.

God’s Word makes the point that they were righteous in God’s sight—blameless in God’s Law. In other words, their childless home wasn’t because of their unfaithfulness.

Times of waiting on God can even come to a point of what seems impossible. Most times of lack are like that.

Waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. (Rom. 8:24, The Message)

God had something special planned for them. And for you.

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Video 3: Continue Your Virtual Tour through the Places of Jesus’ Birth

See where the first Christmas happened in the Holy Land

The third episode releases today in my new virtual tour of the places of Jesus’ birth. I love this episode, because we have examples in the biblical Christmas story of how to follow God when His leading makes no sense. Click here to watch.

I had a blast filming these videos. One reason? I love going to the Holy Land and seeing the places where the Bible occurred.

But not everybody can go to Israel.

In fact, there are several very good reasons people don’t go.

If you’ve never been to Israel, I’m pretty sure it’s because of one of these 3 reasons. I’ll share the reasons with you in this video. But more importantly, I’ll also show you a fantastic solution to the hurdles.

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Video 2: Continue Your Virtual Tour through the Places of Jesus’ Birth

See where the first Christmas happened in the Holy Land

Today Episode 2 releases in my new video series giving a virtual tour through the places of Jesus’ birth. You can click here to watch it now (as well as Episode 1).

 

The response has been tremendous, and I’m so grateful to you who have given a comment on Facebook, Twitter, or another social media outlet. Here’s one about Episode 1 that really meant a lot to me:

sue says

What Sue said is precisely why I’m doing this series. I want those who can’t go to Israel—and those who want to relive their experience there—to have a way to enjoy the places where the Bible happened.

The first Christmas was a fulfillment of God’s promise in the Old Testament. In fact, it’s “the promise that changed the world.”

It can also change your life.

Please Share the Video! 

Please share this video with others by clicking the Facebook and Twitter buttons below. Or you can copy and share this URL: walkingthebiblelands.waynestiles.com/christmasvideos/

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Watch Video 1: A Virtual Tour through the Places of the Birth of Christ

See where the first Christmas happened in the Holy Land

I am so excited to release my new video series on the Birth of Jesus, called “The Promise that Changed the World.” If you want to skip to the nitty-gritty, and just watch the video, here it is. Just click.

WATCH VIDEO 1: A JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIRTH OF CHRIST

Not everybody can go to the Holy Land where the first Christmas occurred.

That’s frustrated me for years, because I know firsthand the benefits of including the land of the Bible in the study of the Scriptures. Leaving it out leaves out a LOT. I couldn’t imagine not knowing the Bible lands and trying to understand Scripture.

I don’t want you to miss out as well.

This is Just the First of 3  Videos

This video series will give you a virtual tour to the biblical sites of Christmas. But experiencing the Bible lands not just about pointing to a pile of rocks. It’s about connecting the Bible and its lands to life.

This first video looks at the places and promises of God that led up the birth of Jesus. The following two episodes release next week—on Monday and Wednesday—and reveals the places of Jesus’ birth and what happened afterwards– including the Wise Men.

Please Share These Videos

I have prayed for many months that these videos would encourage you, inspire you, and even make you say, “Wow.”

Please share this video with others by clicking the Facebook and Twitter buttons below. Or you can copy and share this URL: walkingthebiblelands.waynestiles.com/christmasvideos/

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New Christmas Video Series Releases Friday!

See the teaser video below...

How do we keep going when it seems God is doing nothing? How do we trust God when what we need is impossible? How do we follow God when His leading makes no sense? Christmas gives us the answer.

Beginning Friday, I’m releasing my brand new FREE Christmas series of videos, which I just filmed in Israel and Jordan in October. Watch a teaser video below that gives an introduction. 

Sign up below, and you’ll be the first to know when Episode 1 releases on Friday—as well as the other two episodes next week. 

Jesus’ birth is “The Promise that Changed the World”! 

And I can’t wait to show you where it first happened in the Holy Land. 

How to Follow God When His Plan Seems Strange

We want God's plan so we can trust the plan. God hides the plan so we will trust Him.

God’s leading is often strange. That’s because He doesn’t share the plan. He keeps it a secret. We want God’s plan so we can trust the plan. God hides the plan so we will trust Him.

How to Follow When God's Plan is Strange

(Photo by Tom Butler, courtesy of oomf.com)

Genesis began with God blessing all He created. But the fall of man, Abel’s murder, the rebellion at Babel, and the global flood gave cause to doubt that there would be any recovery of that blessing. Genesis 3–11 sketches more than 4,000 years of suffering that people experienced under the curse of sin.

But God’s plan chose one man through whom He would resurrect His blessing for all mankind.

Your life may seem in chaos as well. But God has a good plan He is hiding.

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Free Black Friday Download for You

This weekend only: "How to Forgive When Forgiveness is Really Tough"

To counter the madness of BLACK FRIDAY, I want to give you something free. As my way of saying thanks, you can download a free copy of my audio resource: “How to Forgive When Forgiveness is Really Tough.” 

How to Forgive When Forgiveness is Really Tough

This message retails for $5 but you can get it FREE this weekend only. Here’s how:

  1. Go to the audio resource page
  2. Add the item to your cart (and go to the cart)
  3. Enter the coupon code: forgiven (coupon expires Sunday night) 
  4. Complete the checkout process, and the download page appears for you! 

I believe you’ll be encouraged by this resource. Forgiveness is tough because the debt is real. How can we forgive when doing so feels like we’re sacrificing even more?

In this intensely practical message from the book of Philemon, I’ll show you how God provides wisdom and help to move past your past into the freedom of forgiveness when it’s really tough to forgive someone. 

Grab your free download now—with no strings attached—as my gift to you. (This offer expires Sunday night!) 

How to Deal with Difficult People Who Refuse to Change

God shows you how to move forward in a room of fog.

Several years ago I found myself at odds with someone. This individual had spoken severely to our daughter, and I confronted this person with the truth—but in anger, and I failed to speak truth in love.

How to Deal with Difficult People Who Refuse to Change

(Photo by Photodune)

Later, I tried to get together and talk it through. I knew I needed to ask for forgiveness for how I said what I said. But those in authority asked me to leave it alone until later. Although I tried to comply at first, I felt miserable keeping quiet. I came to realize I needed to ask forgiveness, no matter what.

The only way I felt I could honor both the Lord and those in authority came by writing a letter and asking for forgiveness. I never heard back from the individual, nor did I expect to or need to. But I needed to do my part. I needed to reach out.

But it was tough.

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2 Ways to Find Balance in the Christian Life

Only when we know what to say yes to can we say no to everything else.

One of our greatest challenges is finding balance in the Christian life. Think of a person on a tightrope. There’s never a point where they just stroll across effortlessly. Balance requires continual effort.

2 Ways to Find Balance in the Christian Life

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

Have you ever noticed that somehow Jesus balanced it all? The demands of His work and ministry left Him exhausted at times, of course—yet somehow He found time to get it all done.

Jesus perfectly balanced the demands of life—with the same 24 hours we have.

Here’s how.

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What to Do When God Fails Your Expectations

Jesus' words to John the Baptist at Machaerus are God's words to us.

We don’t say it out loud, but often we expect that if we believe and live correctly, we’ll have great marriages, healthy bank balances, well-balanced children, and freedom from major problems.

Macherus is where John the Baptist was imprisoned

(Photo: Machaerus is where John the Baptist was imprisoned. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Of course, we know better—but we still lean on the side of expecting blessing for obedience.

The truth is, we have expectations of God. And sometimes, honestly, He fails those expectations.

Here’s why.

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