Daily Devotions from The Word Of God… From the heart of Ed Algreen

Posts tagged ‘Shepherds’

An Event For Everyone!

Post Date:

Tuesday, 2017-12-12
SCRIPTURE

From:

Luke 2:8-11 (MSG)

Text:

 There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master.
OBSERVATION:
In the preceding verses before those above, we were told about the miracles surrounding the birth of a King; But to an ordinary girl – who was not married yet; However, the prophets of old had foretold about the event; additionally, God sent angels to tell sheep-herders about the main event (the birth)? Seems a little ‘strange’, wouldn’t you say? Shepherds? But let’s look closer at the phrase that I have in bold print in our Scripture….
APPLICATION:
When a Head of State is coming to a town in our country today, there might be invitations sent out to government leaders; large business owners; popular social group leaders; and possibly the affluent of the communities in which the person will speak at special functions. I come from a country where the British once ruled, and when the Queen visited, invitations went out in similar form to what I just described. So what’s so different to our Savior? His birth was such a special event that it is still celebrated by the world today. In fact, His life story is still looked at, discussed, preached and taught about today. There are small, medium, large and mega churches that meet, teach and preach about His life. There are certain schools that concentrate heavily on the Bible, while teaching general school curriculum; also colleges and seminaries that concentrate heavily on the Word of God, with heavy concentration on the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Yet as we reflect on our Scripture today, we note that heavenly angels went and announced the birth of our Savior to a group that were often ignored by their society – shepherds. These were humble men that probably worked harder than most, walked a whole lot more than most, and were probably the least educated of their society. Yet the announcement, by the angels, was probably as awesome as it would have been for any earthly king. The decision of the shepherds were the same as the decision that we make today when we feel the tug of Jesus on our hearts. For they could have stayed in their ‘safe place’ and taken care of the safety of their sheep – their job. They could have easily shrugged off the idea of any special group appearing to them – the lowliest of the lowly, with nothing tangible to give in return. You know, similar excuses to those we use today when invited to attend a ‘God’ function at church! Friends, if you get nothing else out of this devotional today, please note the sentence in bold. I looked this up in several versions of the Bible, and they all said the same thing – that Jesus’ birth was a sign, or an event intended for EVERYONE. I believe this is a strong indication that Jesus also came into this world so that ALL may be saved and have the means, approval and authority to one day be with the Father, Son and Holy Ghost in heaven for eternity. The shepherds had to agree to follow the angels and they had to get up and move towards Bethlehem. Having been told about the same gift that is available to you friends, you also will decide whether to accept the truth, get up and, move towards Jesus, so that He may accept you and empower you with His Holy Spirit, until God calls us all home. I pray that you will make the decision to accept Jesus. Making no decision at all is the same as you saying “no thank you Jesus, I’ve got this, and I am quite satisfied to die and go to hell for eternity with Satan and his demons.” That would hurt my heart badly, and that of your family and friends.
PRAYER:
Dear God, I sincerely pray that You will anoint the hearts of all who will read this devotional today, so that they may make a good, sound, and honest decision to accept Your Precious Son Jesus, the only One who will wash away their sin and lead them to You in glory. Thank You for considering the lowliest of mankind, right on up to the mightiest in our respective countries. We are all equal at the cross – thank You Heavenly Father. May decisions be made for You today, and may You be glorified in everything that we do or say. 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 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!

Faith Like That of The Shepherds

Post Date:

Tuesday, 2017-06-20
SCRIPTURE

From:

Luke 2:8-12 (NCV)

Text:

That night, some shepherds were in the fields nearby watching their sheep. 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.”
OBSERVATION:
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.
APPLICATION:
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!
PRAYER:
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!
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 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!

The Joys and Applicability of Christmas!

To my awesome subscribers, followers and readers of this daily devotional, ‘Nuggets From God’s Word’:

May the anticipation that filled the hearts of Mary and Joseph as they learned of their involvement in Jesus’ birth, also fill your hearts today and throughout the coming year as you recognize, and agree to be used in the work of the Lord, just like Mary and Joseph did!

May you find an opportunity each and every day to rejoice, and praise God for His awesome mercy, and His choice in using even you to help in accomplishing His work, just as Mary did when she visited Elizabeth after finding that she was an instrument in God’s hand!

May you be willing and quick to obey the call on your life, and willing to go wherever instructed to go, just as the shepherds welcomed the announcement of the angels and then immediately left their posts and went on to Bethlehem to find baby Jesus to personally worship and welcome Him!

May you be reminded of the reason Jesus came, and be willing to follow His example in also being a carrier of the Good News of Jesus Christ to all those in need of a Savior! For Jesus will return again, this time to take His children home to glory with He and His Father! You will want to be ready for that day, and that could be today friend, but you will also want to ensure that all those in your realm of influence are also ready to meet Him on that day! Your involvement in their life and your reflection of Jesus Christ will either help them agree to accept Jesus, or if you are not careful to honestly live the life that you preach, you might totally confuse them and be a stumbling block for them. Seek Jesus as your Savior and allow Him to live in and through every aspect of your life, friend! Others’ lives might be depending on that!

Based on the Word of God, I believe I can safely assure you that Jesus loves you for who you are and just where you are in life right now. Trust in Him, friend, and allow Him to care for your every need! As a representative, or messenger of God, let me assure you that I love you also. Feel free to email me, and allow me to pray with you as we meditate on God’s Word through these devotionals every day, wont you?

What Happened?

Friday, 2016-12-23

Scripture

Bible Reference: Luke 2:15-17

Bible Text: 15 When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 16 They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. 17 After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child.

Bible Translation:New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

Perhaps this Christmas, as we are reminded again about the actions, excitement, awe and obedience of those involved in the story of the birth of Christ, we might ask ourselves “What Happened?”. Why is it that poor shepherds who saw nothing but stink, four-legged sheep all day and then watched over them even by night, why is that they ‘got it’, and we still look through blurred glasses and see nothing but gifts, shopping, stress, children singing and preachers bellowing, but we never stop to consider the thought of meeting or knowing the One that this whole thing of Christmas is all about? I believe that way too often we would represent the shepherds who saw and heard angels for the very first time, recognized that yes, they are directing their message towards us, but then sit back and say “oh well, that was nice. They were in tune and did a wonderful job” and then roll back on our side and go to sleep. Please stop and read the story again, the shepherds didn’t settle for hearing about this miraculous birth, they wanted to see, feel, and witness the scene, the baby, the parents and understand the whole concept of what this whole thing was about! So what do you suppose happened to you and I? We have attended, and probably still will attend church events where we hear in song and word about a God who loves us so much that He miraculously caused His Son to be born among us; lived among us and performed many miracles to prove His relation to God; humbly and obediently died between two common criminals, just to prove His love for us and to provide the means of eternal life for us. Yes friend, that’s the kind of amazing story that surrounds the One we will hear about this Christmas, but will you look deeper than the ones singing, the ones preaching and the nagging mother who tries every year to get you out to church with her, and instead commit to knowing more about the One whom this whole Christmas thing is about? If your best friend told you they were having chest pain, you would not simply smile at them and express your disappointment, most of us would start researching for ways to help that friend overcome the problem. So what happened to us that we would hear of Jesus and deflect that good news and reject the offer that still stands today – to know Him personally and accept His free gift of salvation that leads to life eternally with He and our Father! Friends, may I encourage you to know Him; know the true meaning of ‘love’ in its purest form, and know about that peace that surpasses everything we could every imagine or understand this Christmas season? This could then truly be the merriest of all Christmases for you and those you love, friend!

Prayer

Lord God, we are thankful that You gave to us in the form of Your precious Son in greatest humility back in Bethlehem many years ago. We are compelled to seek Your forgiveness for the ways that we have focused attention from Your birth and more towards the commercial aspects of Christmas that we now find ourselves caught up in. I believe that what has happened is that the evil one has found ways to distract us from Your birth and instead more towards the worldly pleasures that pull us away from You. Please restore a desire within us to know You personally and a deep commitment to serve You and share Your love with others. May we be reminded that because You gave to us of your very best, we too might give You our heart and share our love with others in ways that might draw them to You this Christmas. 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. 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 www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org 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!

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