January 16, 2023 — Just like the Shepherds

“Right before Christmas a few weeks ago,” Stan commented one morning, “I was looking at Luke’s gospel account of the birth of Jesus. I saw in the story of the shepherds that I’m to be just like them.”

“Just like them in what way?” I asked.

“Let’s do a quick review of what happened with them,” Stan replied, “and what they did that I think I’m supposed to do.”

Continuing, he added, “The shepherds were in a field near Bethlehem doing what shepherds do, watching over and herding sheep. An angel of the Lord showed up and told them that Jesus had been born. They went to take a look, came back, and then it happened.”

“What happened?”

“It says that they glorified and praised God for all they had seen and heard,” Stan replied. “And that’s what I’m supposed to do.”

“Praise and glorify God for what He shows and tells you about Jesus being born?”

“Not just that,” Stan replied. “Not just about Jesus’s birth, but about His life, His death, His resurrection, His everything. I am to glorify and praise God about everything He shows and tells me, but there’s something that has to happen before I can do that?”

“What?”

“I have to be open to seeing and hearing all that He has to show and tell me,” Stan replied with a smile. “If I’m not open to seeing and hearing all, and I really mean every single thing that He has for me, it’s not going to happen.”

“Oh,” I said, “only as I see and hear what God has to show and tell me, only then will I be able to praise and glorify Him for that. Right?”

“That’s it,” Stan replied. “Be just like the shepherds!”

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Bible verses to consider:

And the shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had seen and heard. Luke 2:20.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:8.

And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou has sent. John 17:3.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for the birth of Jesus. Thank you for giving your only begotten Son so that all who believe can spend eternity in your presence when it’s time. Thank you, too, for  the eternal life of knowing you and Jesus in an ever-deepening relationship on this side of eternity. You gave us the example of the shepherds who praised and glorified you for all you showed and told them. I confess that too often I don’t praise and glorify you for what you show and tell me because I don’t see or hear what you have for me. Please forgive that foolishness. Please help me to follow every step of your lead so I do, in fact, see and hear all you have to show and tell me, and then take the next step of praising and glorifying you for what you have shown and told me. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: Have you accepted what God has to show and tell you about Him so you know you will spend eternity in His presence when it’s time? If no, why? Is it because you haven’t seen and heard — or is it because you have not accepted it? Think about how long eternity will be. Do you really want to be separated from God for that long? If you are a Christian with the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing with seeing and hearing all that God has to show and tell you? How are you doing with praising and glorifying Him for what He shows and tells you? If you sense the need for change, how is that change going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

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