Are You Bethlehem?

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I was challenged the other morning as I was reading Isaiah by a thought about being born again: Isa 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. ESV

Jesus was born “into” this world, not “from” this world; He came from the outside. We refer to His birth as an advent; the arrival of an important person. And we all hold a picture of His virgin birth in a manger in Bethlehem. But we have a much deeper connection than viewing His birth like the shepherds, which begs the question … “Are You Bethlehem?”

Jesus came into history from the “outside” and He must come into us from the outside. Have we allowed ourselves to become a “Bethlehem” for Him; the Son of God? As the bride of Christ, we have done that, and like it was for Jesus, it is for us … a beginning.

Jesus began His earthly life during which He demonstrated the life that God originally intended for man; and so it is for us. We have been given a new life, reborn with the Life of Christ in the Holy Spirit. We are to yield ourselves to the work of the Holy Spirit as He forms the Life of Christ in us. It begins the moment Jesus’ life is formed in us as His nature begins to work through us. It is, if you will, the beginning of living the sanctified life, living the life-long process of being “conformed” into the “character” of Jesus (Rom 8:29). 

Jesus was God “manifest” in the flesh the moment He was born in Bethlehem, and because of the life He lived and the sacrifice He made for our redemption; it is made possible for us to “manifest” God in the flesh. What an incredible reality … God manifested to the world in us!

That was God’s plan from the beginning, and it all begins for us the moment He is born in us. As we yield to and are obedient to the work of the Holy Spirit, the Life of Christ is manifested (revealed) to the world around us as we live our life in Him here on earth. Growing closer to Him, reflecting more of Him in our character (His image) … one day at a time.

What an incredible fact … We are Bethlehem and He is born in us! Lord, help us to live your life.

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