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)
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!
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!
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!