DIG for Monday the 31st of December…..it is the time of the year for change; listen to Holy Spirit and obey…..Luke 2 v 26 and 27

Simeon had a wonderful experience with Jesus; he had been given a promise from God that he would see the Christ before he died. This great event in the life of Simeon did indeed take place and we see it in Luke 2 v 25 onwards.

Do you know that this wonderful promise may not have come to pass?

Simeon had been given the promise but we see him listening to Holy Spirit and obeying Him before his encounter with Jesus came to pass.

We see many times great life events for people coming to pass once they listen to God and obey.

I firmly believe that it is the same for us today.

God has a plan and purpose for our lives; we have a “communal” plan that we see from scripture and we have a “personal” plan that we hear from Holy Spirit.

If we do not listen we will not hear that plan; and if we do not obey we could miss walking in that plan or purpose.

The Hebrew derivative word for Simeon means “to listen intelligently, with attention and obedience”.

We need to be like Simeon; we need to act like Simeon.

Listen to Him today; what personal plan or purpose does He have for your life; believe that He has one for you.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you lord that you have a plan and purpose for my life; and thank you that you are speaking to me about this today”.

Luke 2 v 26 and 27…..And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple:


DIG for Sunday the 30th of December…..it is the time of the year for change; listen to Him, not yourself…..Proverbs 3 v 5 and 6

One of the best pieces of advice about the change process is given in Proverbs 3 v 5 and 6.

In fact, this is simply one of the best pieces of advice full stop!

This simply says trust in the Lord and not in yourself.

Trust in what He says about you and not what you think.

Take it on trust that you have been reconciled (2 Cor 5 v 18); that you have been forgiven (Col 1 v 14); and that you have been made righteous (2 Cor 5 v 21).

Take it on trust what the Word of God says about you; this will renew your mind into the way God thinks about you and will ensure that you see positive change in your life.

Proverbs 3 v 5 and 6 say trust and acknowledge Him; the best way to know what He thinks and says is by reading His Word.

Scripture is the key to lasting positive change in your life.

The Lord of Lords and King of Kings; the Creator of the universe has your best interests at heart and has a great and mighty purpose and plan for your life.

See what His Word says and agree!

Speak this out today…..”I agree Lord with your Word; I trust and believe that I have been reconciled with You; have been forgiven and have been made righteous”.

Proverbs 3 v 5 and 6….. Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

DIG for Saturday the 29th of December…..it is the time of the year for change; use the Word…..2 Timothy 3 v 16 and 17

Positive change is normally desired by the believer; we’ve looked at this for a couple of DIG entries now.

I for one would like to be changed to allow me to be “perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works”.

The Word tells us how to achieve this aim; how to change.

It tells us that we need to use the Word; we need to use scripture.

Once again we are told that in order to change we need to use the Word in order to renew our mind.

This of course is no surprise as it is a recurring theme in scripture and it is the only process that will lead to true change.

Scripture changes how and what we think; this is mind renewal.

We start to think of and think like God; this is mind renewal.

And mind renewal leads to transformation (Romans 12 v 2).

It really is a simple process; but it is s process that means we need to study and meditate on the Word. But the effort is really worth it!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for your Word; and thank you for the power it has to change my life”.

2 Timothy 3 v 16 and 17…..All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works

DIG for Friday the 28th of December…..it is the time of the year for change; change with Jesus…..Titus 2 v 11 and 12

I do not know any “serious” Christian who does not want to live a more godly and holy life; all the believers that I know want positive change in their life.

Many go about this in the wrong way however.

This passage in Titus is a great little piece of scripture that talks to us about positive change; it is often misunderstood though.

Many will tell you have to strive for holiness by denying lusts and horrid things; then God will love you, bless you and prosper you.

This is wrong; this is so wrong!

God has blessed us, prospered us and loves us; He showed this by giving us Jesus. Jesus, (“grace on legs” as my friend Annie says), was given unto us and for us.

As we realise this fact and as we learn more and more about His love and goodness and the forgiveness and righteousness that we now have, we change through the renewal of our mind. This process allows us to “deny ungodliness and worldly lusts” and therefore “live soberly, righteously and godly”.

Can you see the difference in these two processes?

You cannot strive and try to change yourself; it will not work.

You read, meditate and “eat” the Word to learn about His grace; to learn about Jesus; this will change you for the better.

Do not try and change yourself; let Jesus do this for you.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I can live a more holy and godly life; and thank you that I can do this through Jesus”.

Titus 2 v 11 and 12…..For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world

DIG for Thursday the 27th of December…..it is the time of the year for change; but not the time for resolutions…..Romans 12 v 2

It is getting to the time of year when people look for and plan for change; yes, it is time to set your New Year resolutions.

What a waste of time!

How many times have you planned for change, started desperately to try and change, only to give up in failure?

Change is not an easy process if you rely on your own strength; it is a lot easier if you do it God’s way; it is easier if you change using God’s Word.

Romans 12 v 2 is the “classic” verse when we thing about change; be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind is the advice given in the Word.

To be transformed means to change; it is the Greek word metamorphoo.

If you want to be changed or transformed you need to renew your mind; you need to change the way you think.

You need to change your thinking to come in line with the way God thinks; you need start thinking in line with the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

And there is only one place to find the good and acceptable and perfect will of God and that is in His Word.

The Bible is to be read, meditated upon and understood, especially the truths about His love for you and about your forgiveness and righteousness through the work of Jesus.

Getting these truths into your head and starting the process of mind renewal will change things in your life for the better.

I encourage you to continue, or indeed, start this process today.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I can be successful in any change process simply by changing the way I think to come in line with your Word”.

Romans 12 v 2…..And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God

DIG for Wednesday the 26th of December…..the gift that will never break or get lost and is FREE…..John 3 v 16

So Christmas is over for another year; the gifts have been opened, the movies have been watched, the crazy jumpers have been worn and the food has been eaten.

I got some good and some weird gifts from my family; including a cookery lesson with a local chef that I am really looking forward to.

I spoke about gifts in the church message on the Sunday before Christmas; we had some gifts for the kids in the church but I first wanted to tell them about the greatest gift ever; Jesus.

Isaiah 9 v 6 says that unto us a son was given, and John 3 v 16 tells us that God gave us Jesus.

Jesus was the ultimate gift from God; a gift Who came to do what we could never do; deal with sin and reconcile us back into relationship with God.

The truly amazing thing about this gift is that it is free.

I don’t know how much money would have been spent on Christmas gifts this year; the amount of pounds, dollars and euros spent on gifts must have been huge!

Jesus was given as a free gift; the only payment required is belief in Him (Romans 10 v 9).

Jesus came to bring you back into relationship with God and bought you the “sozo” gift through His finished work on the cross.

You now have the free gift of safety, acceptance, forgiveness, healing, wholeness, joy, peace and prosperity; all you need to do is believe and accept it.

Now, isn’t that a great gift to receive?

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the free gift that is Jesus; and thank you for the gift of sozo”.

John 3 v 16…..For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life

DIG for Christmas Day…..He was THE sacrificial lamb; He came for YOU…..1 Peter 1 v 19

DIG for Tuesday the 25th of December…..He was THE sacrificial lamb; He came for YOU…..1 Peter 1 v 19

Looking at the evidence from the last couple of days could we conclude that Jesus was born at Migdal Eder (Shepherds Field) on the edge of Bethlehem and not in a stable at the inn. Scripture, prophecy and Rabbinical commentaries point to this fact.

Of course Jesus was born here!

This was the birth place of every sacrificial lamb; Jesus was THE sacrificial lamb. The birth place of Jesus is an amazing piece of typology; this birth place points to Him being our sacrificial lamb.

Luke 2 v 7  And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Luke 2 v 16  And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

Luke 2 v 17  And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

The first people to see Jesus were the shepherds. The word says they were in the same country this means close by. IS it significant that God sent angles to tell the shepherds? Is it significant that the shepherds were the first to see Jesus? Why were the shepherds first was the question I always used to ask.

I believe these were not just any shepherds. I think they were the temple shepherds, watching their flocks at Migdal Eder. They could go and see Jesus (without a dereliction of duty and leaving their sheep) because they were already there at His birth place.

The shepherds in Luke 2 were the temple shepherds. They saw Jesus after His birth at Migdal Eder. Migdal Eder; the place where all the sacrificial lambs were born.

These shepherds knew a sacrificial lamb when they saw one; they had inspected all the ones before Jesus to ensure that they were spotless, perfect and without blemish. How fitting that they should be the first to see Jesus.

Nothing in scripture is meaningless. There had to be a reason that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and was seen by shepherds. Once we know about Migdal Eder and the temple shepherds it all makes sense.

His birth is a picture of His mission and His death.

He is THE sacrificial lamb; He would deal with the sin of the whole world through HIS sacrifice on the cross. His birth points to the cross.

Of course HE was born at Migdal Eder, in the watch tower of the flock. Of course it was the temple shepherds who saw Him first. They were always the first people to see the sacrificial lambs.

Perfect lambs were used to cover the sins of the people; Jesus removed the sin of the whole world.

John 1:29  The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Jesus was the perfect sacrifice; we no longer need any more Passover lambs; Jesus was THE last sacrificial lamb.

1Peter 1:18  Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

1Peter 1:19  But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

1Peter 1:20  Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

1Peter 1:21  Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

Jesus was not born in a stable by the inn in Bethlehem; He was born in Migdal Eder, at the watch tower of the flock, by Bethlehem. The birth of Jesus is a picture of how he would die, and what he’d die for; He would die as a sacrificial lamb for the sins of the whole world…AMEN

Speak this out today…..”Thank you for Jesus; thank you for my sacrificial lamb”.

1Peter 1 v 19…..But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

DIG for Christmas Eve…..ordinary shepherds or special shepherds…..Luke 2 v 8

For the last couple of DIG we have been looking at the birth place of Jesus; please read DIG for Sat and Sun first before you read this one…….

Let me describe Migdal Eder to you; it was a tower that was used as a farm building. It was like a barn or a stable, but solely for sheep. It was made up of stalls, or different areas, where individual sheep were kept separate. Individual stalls were used for single sheep to give birth to the temple sacrificial lambs. This was written down and in the archaeological record.

Now, if you go to Bethlehem today you will be taken to an area on the edge of the town called Shepherds Field. A guide will tell you this is where the angel and heavenly host made their visit to the shepherds described in Luke 2. This is the same area shown by the archaeological record and Jewish writings where the lambs for the Passover sacrifices were raised.

At the time of Jesus all the lambs sacrificed in the temple were bred in one place on the edge of Bethlehem. Jerome, an early Saint, said that this area was “1,000 paces from Bethlehem”, so it was very close. You could say this was in or at Bethlehem, similar to the Greek meaning in Matthew 2 v 1.

At this place sacrificial lambs were born and raised for the temple by the temple shepherds. It was the job of the temple shepherds to ensure that the lambs used for the Passover were perfect and spotless.

These shepherds were the first people to see the sacrificial lambs. They knew which lambs were perfect and without blemish; they were the experts when it came to sacrificial lambs.

So we have lots of evidence saying that the sacrificial lambs were raised on the edge of Bethlehem at Migdal Eder or Shepherds Field; I believe that this is the same place.

Could the shepherds we see in Luke 2 have been the temple shepherds raising the sacrificial lambs for the temple……

…….this mini DIG series will be concluded tomorrow when we will see where Jesus was born and who saw Him first!

Luke 2 v 8…..And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

DIG for Sunday the 23rd of December…..the Kingdom shall come at the tower of the flock; Migdal Eder…..Micah 4 v 8

Yesterday we started looking at where Jesus was born; saying we cannot say for certain that He was born in a stable. We need to look at more scripture to answer the question about His birth.

Micah 5 v 2….. But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Micah 4 v 8…..And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.

Micah 5 v 2 tells us that the ruler of Israel will be born in or near Bethlehem. This will not just be any ruler but this will be the ruler from “of old, from everlasting”; this is talking about Jesus.

Micah 4 v 8 is a part of a prophecy about the Messiah, and says that He will come at a place called the “tower of the flock”. This is the words “Migdal Eder”. This verse is literally saying that the Messiah will come at the tower of the flock or, literally, Migdal Eder.

So, the Gospels say He was born at or near Bethlehem and Micah says Bethlehem and more specifically a place called Migdal Eder. So what you may be saying. Now we have to move to archaeology and history!

Where or what is Migdal Eder?

Migdal Eder is mentioned in the Tragum; this is like a commentary on the Old Testament scriptures that was written by Rabbis. There are a number of translations or paraphrases of the scriptures in the Targum.

The following is taken from the Targum, based on Micah 4 v 8 and Genesis 35…..

“He spread his tent beyond Migdal Eder, the place where the King Messiah will reveal Himself at the end of days”

So the Rabbis, well before the birth of Jesus, took their reading of scripture to mean that Jesus would be born at this place called Migdal Eder.

As well as the Targum, the Jews had a set of oral teaching called the Mishnah. Again this is a set of teachings from respected Rabbis well before the birth of Jesus. We know already that Migdal Eder literally means the “watch tower of the flock”.

The Mishnah tells us that this is the place where the ewes from the special temple flock were kept to give birth to teh Passover lambs. This is where the lambs used in the Passover sacricie were born and checked for purity. They were checked for purity by the special shepherds who were in charge of the temple flock.

You should be getting excited now in the picture that is emerging; more again tomorrow.

Micah 4 v 8…..And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.

DIG for Saturday the 22nd of December…..where was Jesus really born…..Luke 2 v 7

To most people, included non-believers, this is a really simple answer; He was born in a stable at an inn in Bethlehem.

The answer however is not as straight forward as this. Like many things in the church today the facts about the birth of Jesus have been twisted by religion and tradition, and the true meaning around His birth has been lost.

You will read today that Jesus was not born in a stable in Bethlehem. You will see that He was born near Bethlehem in a watch tower, and His birth is a wonderful picture of His work and ministry; His birth is a picture of Him being our perfect sacrificial lamb. Take the time today to read my understanding of some special scriptures and then take the time to study this out for yourself; I can assure you that it will be time well spent.

What does the Word actually say about the birth of Jesus?

Matthew 2 v 1….. Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

Luke 2 v 4 to 7…..And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Luke 2 v 11…..For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Those three verses are all that the Gospels say about the birthplace of Jesus. I agree that they say in Bethlehem, however the Greek could also mean on, at or near by. Nowhere in scripture does it say that Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem.

He was not born at the inn, but that does not automatically mean that He was born in the stable at the inn; these three scriptures do not tell us where He was born.

Luke writes that He was placed in a manger. The Greek word for manger means crib for fodder or stall; so He was placed in a container that was used to feed animals. So it could have been a stable, but then again it could have been any building used to keep domesticated animals in.

If we are honest the scriptures at the start of the Gospels do not explicitly tell us the birth place of Jesus. So are there any other scriptures to shed light on this?

More in the next DIG tomorrow…………………

Luke 2 v 7…..And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.