DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-12-25
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS
BIBLE REFERENCE: Revelation 19:9-10
TRANSLATION: The Passion Translation (TPT)
BIBLE TEXT: 9 Then the angel said to me, “Write these words: Wonderfully blessed are those who are invited to feast at the wedding celebration of the Lamb!” And then he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”
10 At this I fell facedown at the angel’s feet to worship him, but he stopped me and said, “Don’t do this! For I am only a fellow servant with you and one of your brothers and sisters who cling to what Jesus testifies. Worship God. The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”[e]
OBSERVATION: As I read this passage I believe that God reminded me of how careful we must be in getting distracted from the Main Thing, just as John was distracted. Notice how John was ready to bow at the feet of the angel and worship him because of all the awesome things he saw and heard around him, in his dream? Now notice how, for us at this very special time of the year, such little attention is given to Jesus, whose birthday we celebrate at Christmas. Wouldn’t You think that perhaps an angel should stop us in our rush and haste to spend our very last dollar on gifts that has nothing at all to do with Jesus, and remind us of where our attention should be centered?
APPLICATION: What if, in the middle of your shopping this Christmas, an angel tapped you on the shoulder and insisted that you return home and stop worrying about what the world promotes around Christmas time? Do doubt over recent weeks you have been frantic in shopping for the best deals, worrying about what you will give this family member or that particular friend who most people find it impossible to please. You probably fought the crowds to purchase food enough for several families, as you think about Christmas dinner for your own family, and you may have even worried about when you might have a small party in these days of social distancing and COVID spread, so that you might look at least equally as good as your friend, who always have great parties at Christmas. But in the middle of one of these activities, suppose you heard a message from God that reminded you of this being the birthday of a King – The King of all kings. You might be reminded that the Shepherds left their sheep and went as they were, with all that they had while tending sheep, and traveled a long distance at the beckon of a star, to worship this newborn and to recognize the gift that God sent to us that first Christmas. It is at that point that you become real confused, as if an angel stood before you and asked you to explain how, what you are doing correlates with what the Shepherds did. They didn’t worship the host of heavenly angels, because they knew it was about the One whom the angels sang about. They didn’t praise the star for taking them in the right direction, because it took them to the bedside of the newborn King. They didn’t go off course to see if any stores were opened, because they knew that giving of themselves was way more important than anything artificial or bought, that they could take in their hands. The angel stopped John from paying homage to him, because he was like John, a worshipper and a servant. If the angel stopped us and redirected our thoughts towards the reason for the season, Jesus Christ, what do you suppose he might suggest that we do? Perhaps like the Shepherds, give ourselves completely to our Lord? The Shepherds also worshipped the newborn King, perhaps the angel might suggest that we consider putting everything else aside and concentrate on Jesus, worship Him as our King and devote the day to Him? Perhaps our Christmas should revolve around giving of ourselves, and not the things that we purchase to demonstrate how much we care. John was told by the angel that Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. I believe the angel would remind us this holiday season that Jesus is the spirit of Christmas!
PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for sending Your Son as a baby, so that we might ultimately have a Savior who would save us of our sin, and redeem us, fit for heaven for all eternity. This may have been a year filled with signs and wonders, but Lord, we need to hear from You again, much like Your messenger spoke to John in our Scripture today. Please help us to keep our eyes fixed on You as we celebrate Your birth. In spite of our sacrifices for gifts that may or may not be of value to those we love, I pray that You will help us to keep our hearts and minds fixed on You, the greatest gift ever given by Your Father to mankind. Happy Birthday Jesus! Please accept my humble gift of myself as a token of my love for my Savior and King. May the hearts of my readers also be touched by You this Christmas, so that You may be lifted up and praised like never before. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!