|Luke 2:8-12 (NCV)|
|8 That night, some shepherds were in the fields nearby watching their sheep. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them. The glory of the Lord was shining around them, and they became very frightened. 10 The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I am bringing you good news that will be a great joy to all the people. 11 Today your Savior was born in the town of David. He is Christ, the Lord. 12 This is how you will know him: You will find a baby wrapped in pieces of cloth and lying in a feeding box.”|
|God had a plan in action, with the miraculous birth of His Son through a virgin named Mary. Everything went just as God had revealed to Mary, Joseph and Elizabeth. Now God was working in the lives of those that were praying for this Savior to come and save them and their country from the awful stain of sin, corruption and destruction. Let’s have a closer look at the shepherds, whom God chose to reveal Himself to, resulting in them being one of the first groups to visit the newborn infant and God’s servants, Mary and Joseph.|
|Some may assume that I am getting wrapped up in the Christmas story way early this year, and while I totally love the story of our Savior’s birth, I am merely reading through the Bible and got to this Scripture today! I believe that way too often we hear the Christmas story, and because we have always loved the story of Jesus’ birth, we remember the story vividly and therefore never stop to meditate on particular servants or scenes, because we feel like we have heard it all so many times over the years. In the case of the shepherds, they were keeping watch over their sheep to protect them from the wild animals that may have been looking for a quick way into the pasture to grab one for dinner! It seems like these were godly men who prayed for a deliverer, and probably looked into the night sky while on watch, just praying some more and imagining what it might be like if that deliverer might come during their lifetime. I believe that many Christians probably do something very similar when they look at the challenges with politics in their own country. I love the outdoors, so I have often looked into the dark skies lit only by God’s perfect candles (stars) and imagined what it would be like to witness the return of Jesus Christ when He comes to take fellow Christians and myself up to our heavenly home to live eternally with Him! What if that night silence and dark sky was broken one night and God sent His angels to come and take us home? Of course you will immediately cry out for family and friends for whose salvation you’ve been praying, but can you even imagine the joy that will fill your heart to even imagine going to live with your blessed Redeemer for whom you’ve been loving, serving and anticipating for years? In fact, this may all have crossed the minds of these shepherds as they saw something bright and glorious appear before them in the dark sky. I’m sure they were in so much shock and awe that they probably had trouble concentrating on what was being told to them, but they gathered enough from the good news that they quickly decided to go and see this child that the angels spoke of. But let’s be sure that we get this. Imagine being a part of a group considered the lowest of the lowest in society, and now you are convinced that the Almighty God sent an angel to tell you about the birth of His Son? Furthermore, you are witnessing this group dropping everything, and risking to walk a distance to see if this is for real? As part of that group, what will you tell someone along the way who may ask about your travel destination? Friends, I believe you could see that while we classify people based on our perception, God is no respecter of persons. Some of us create separations by country, by race, by political party, by church denomination, etc. But I truly believe that God looks at us as His precious children, period. Being no respecter of persons, God could give someone that we least expect, a message that He would like for us to adhere to, or be encouraged by. Are we seriously looking for a word from the Lord each day, no matter who God decides to use as His delivery boy? Are we seriously looking forward to His return? What if it was today? Are you truly ready and waiting for His return? Let’s try to be like the shepherds who, when told about Jesus, dropped what they were doing and went to worship Him!|
|Lord God, You are so awesome in every way, and I praise You for who You are to me. In being reminded today of Your willingness to minister to ALL mankind, I am humbled and reassured that I can stand boldly before the throne and worship You and bring my petitions before You. Lord, for those who will read this and doubt about their worthiness in Your sight, please reassure them of Your love for all mankind – all who were made by You, in Your image and for Your glory. The shepherds glorified the arrival of their long awaited King and Savior, because their world was so challenging and filled with hatred and crime. Sounds like a mirror of what we face today Lord, so we plead that You might hear our cry for help and send us relief that only You could imagine or make possible. We have hope in You oh Lord, please help us to remain faithful until You are ready for us in heaven, AMEN!|
|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 could 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 to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!|
Posts tagged ‘infant’
THE HOLY BIBLE ~ NLT and CEV ~ 2 Corinthians 5 ~ 11 Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others. (NLT)
17 Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new. 18 God has done it all! He sent Christ to make peace between himself and us, and he has given us the work of making peace between himself and others. (CEV)
20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. (NLT)
THOUGHTS: I want to share a gift with you on this day that is noted for gift-giving – Christmas! The gift is the wonderful Word of God! Notice in vs 11 above, where Paul said that he and his team were working hard to persuade the Corinthians about the ‘gift’ of Jesus – the One who reconciles us with God, and Paul and his team were doing this because of their fearful responsibility to God. Oops, we have a ‘responsibility’ as Christians? I believe most of us consider the ‘gift’ of Jesus as a blessing, perhaps as a privilege, or perhaps a calling from God, but I bet we rarely think about the ‘gift’ of Jesus as a responsibility. Let me explain where I believe God took me on this, to help me understand. Let’s assume for a moment that a crowd of your friends were in a large hotel room for a meeting or celebration of some sort, and you saw where a fire had started at the other end of the hotel. Would it be your privilege to know that information, or would you feel an urgent responsibility to run and tell your friends that they must leave their celebration and get far away from that hotel which may soon burn to the ground? May I suggest that our responsibility to God is very similar, for we see friends walking in the danger of eternal death every day, while we keep bottled up inside the ‘GIFT’ of Jesus Christ, that God sent to this world on that very first day – whose anniversary we celebrate as ‘Christmas’. However, this highlights how way too often we miss our God-given responsibility of sharing that reconciliation, that joy, that hope and that peace with our family and friends, who could very easily be walking into the fires of Hell, because of their lack of knowledge, lack of convincing by us, or just plain lack of concern for themselves, because they are too busy enjoying the ‘fun’ things of life. Not a fun thing for you to consider on the biggest day of gift-giving, but may I remind you that this is the greatest ‘gift’ that we have ever been given, and it is so important that we share this with others around the tree with us today! For this will give family and friends the kind of ‘gift’ mentioned in vs 17 & 18 – a new take on life; forgetting the ugliness of the past, and discovering the gift of newness in Christ so that our conscience will be clear between us and God – a brand new lease on life! For those of us who have the ‘gift’ already, remember that this is quite different to any other ‘gift’ we will receive under the tree – it is one given to us so that we might share it with others and convince them to accept the ‘Gift’ personally. We become ‘Gift’ demonstrators and imitators, not ‘Gift’ users or destroyers, because we become ambassadors for Jesus Christ – the ‘GIFT’ send to us by His Father. The ‘Gift’ that started this whole Christmas celebration. So if you are feeling down and out about the financial burdens of gift-giving this Christmas, please consider accepting the greatest ‘Gift’ ever given. What will it cost you? The total surrender of all your sins, your regrets, your past for which you may not be very proud. The ‘Gift’ of which I am referring, was totally paid for in blood, by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He paid in full, so that through His ultimate ‘Gift’ we might live with the assurance of eternal life with Him one day! Wow, what a ‘Gift’, and this can be ours today! And can by yours today also dear friend!
PRAYER: Thank you precious Father for the ‘Gift’ of Your Son that You sent as a baby in Bethlehem. An occasion that we celebrate as ‘Christmas’. As we celebrate that significant occasion today, may we reflect on the reason for the gift, the joy of the gift, the everlasting value of the gift, and the ultimate cost of that ‘Gift’ in order that His purpose would be fulfilled. Thank You for the ‘Gift’ in the manger at Bethlehem, and thank You for the ultimate cost of that ‘Gift’ so that we might one day see You in glory! Make Yourself very present today as we open our presents, and may we receive You as quickly as we receive our presents from under the tree today. Thank You Lord Jesus for touching us in such a way that we enjoy a worldwide celebration of Your birth each year – today! May we truly understand the significance of that gift, is my humble prayer that I offer up to You in total thanksgiving and praise, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will 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 blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!