Matthew 2:1-12

Matthew 2:1-12

New Living Translation (NLT)

Visitors from the East

2 Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men[a] from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose,[b] and we have come to worship him.”

King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem. He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?”

“In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote:

‘And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah,
are not least among the ruling cities[c] of Judah,
for a ruler will come from you
who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.’[d]

Then Herod called for a private meeting with the wise men, and he learned from them the time when the star first appeared. Then he told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!”

After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! 11 They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

12 When it was time to leave, they returned to their own country by another route, for God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.


  1. 2:1 Or royal astrologers; Greek reads magi; also in 2:7, 16.
  2. 2:2 Or star in the east.
  3. 2:6a Greek the rulers.
  4. 2:6b Mic 5:2; 2 Sam 5:2.

Prayer Focus for Nauru – Sunday, December 29, 2013

Challenges for Prayer

Spiritual awareness grows as the economy shrinks. Materialism’s decline is faith’s gain. Church life is reawakening and evangelical numbers are growing. The Nauru Independent Church is the largest evangelical group, but there are believers in the other denominations as well. The JESUS film has been seen by almost the entire population.



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Revelation 22:1-5

Revelation 22:1-5

New International Version (NIV)

Eden Restored

22 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.

Prayer Focus for Namibia – Sunday, December 22, 2013





































































































































Challenges for Prayer

German and Finnish Lutheran and then Anglican missionaries gave birth to large denominations in the 19th Century. Liberal theology and syncretistic Afro-Spiritism eroded that spiritual heritage, and now many self-styled Christians are either nominal or incorporate unbiblical practices into their faith. Reformation is greatly needed, but first there needs to be an opening of hearts to the Spirit. Pray for a biblical faith to be restored throughout Namibia’s many churches.



God’s New City – Revelation 21:9-27

New-York-City-Wallpaper     This past Sunday we learned that God intends to renew all things, including society, through the work of Jesus Christ. Sometimes salvation is presented as “spiritual” as opposed to “physical” and so we envision our ultimate salvation as a non-physical and non-social reality to come. But that is not the case. The visions that God gave to the Apostle John indicate not only that there will be a new creation but also that those who believe in Jesus will be resurrected from the dead and part of a new society within a renewed creation.

To illustrate the difference between the hopes and dreams that are centered on temporary and passing cities and the ultimate city to come, the City of God (or New Jerusalem) I rewrote “New York, New York”. I include the old version plus my new version “God’s New City” [patent pending] below.


Start spreading the news
I’m leaving today
I want to be a part of it
New York, New York

These vagabond shoes
They’re longing to stray
Right through the very heart of it
New York, New York

I want to wake up in that city
That never sleeps
And find I’m king of the hill
Top of the heap

These little town blues
Are melting away
I’m gonna make a brand new start of it
In old New York

If I can make it there
I’ll make it anywhere
It’s up to you
New York, New York


Start spreading the news
We’re  here to stay
We want to be a part of it

These vagabond shoes
They’re longing to stray
Right through the very heart of it

I want to wake up in that city
That never sleeps
And find Christ is King of the hill
Top of the heap

Our little town too
Is going to play
An important part of it
In New Zion!

Since Christ has made it there
We’ll make it anywhere
It’s up to Christ



Prayer Focus for Myanmar – Sunday, December 15, 2013








Myanmar, Asia: The suffering and poverty of the Burmese is an increasing challenge in the light of the devastation of cyclone Nargis. When it ripped through the country in May 2008, around 140,000 people lost their lives from the storm itself and the disease and deprivation that followed. About $10 billion (US) in damage was done. The destruction was exacerbated by the government’s slow response, the regime’s refusal to allow foreign aid groups to enter affected areas with relief and aid, and corruption which saw the best of the aid siphoned off to the army. For more information go to

Revelation 21:1-8

Revelation 21:1-8

English Standard Version (ESV)

The New Heaven and the New Earth

21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place[a] of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people,[b] and God himself will be with them as their God.[c] He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”


  1. Revelation 21:3 Or tabernacle
  2. Revelation 21:3 Some manuscripts peoples
  3. Revelation 21:3 Some manuscripts omit as their God

14th Day Ladies will Meet on December 19th

On Thursday, December 19th our 14th Days Ladies will meet at 7:00p.m. at the home of Linda Neice, 15027 Holleyside Dr. in Dumfries.

Please bring a Christmas photo that has a special memory that you can share. Please also bring a plate of Christmas finger foods, Savory or sweet.

We look forward to sharing a fun and festive evening with you.

Prayer Focus For Mozambique – December 8, 2013









Spiritual responsiveness is one result of the suffering and deprivation endured. Congregations of indigenous Christians mushroomed all across the country. Evangelicals were 3.5% of the population in 1975 and grew to 12% by 2005. Natural disasters in 2000/01 and 2006/07 stimulated much Christian assistance, and churches were planted in refugee camps. Isolation, due to past anti-Christian governments and poverty, means that much of Mozambican church practice is genuinely indigenous. But massive growth also presents proportionally huge challenges: ignorance of biblical teaching and standards, syncretism and legalism. Fortunately, the church is also characterized by an eagerness to learn. Pray for growth in maturity and truth that matches growth in numbers – without forsaking cultural authenticity.