You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘shepherds’ tag.


Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:13-14

It’s important to remember that angels, while possessing some supernatural powers, aren’t omniscient or all powerful, as the Father God is. While we know little about them, we do know that they exist simply to be God’s messengers, God stewards. They, like us can’t see into the future like the Father can so they rely on the signs and wonders of God in the same way that we do.

Some believe that God created the Heavens and the earth, then angels. But something was missing. He saw the earth, he saw the universe, he saw all the life he’d created and still longed for one thing to make his world complete. That’s why he came up with the idea of man. Once Man was created he realized that man needed a partner, someone he too could love. So he created woman. A beautiful union of love, respect and teamwork came from that marvelous creation…until the fall damaged it with sin of course.

Can you imagine what the angels were doing all through history? They saw Adam’s power, courage and valor. They marveled at Eve’s beauty, quiet strength, devotion and compassion. No doubt they shuttered when the couple chose to willfully disobey their master. After all, they saw his power, his majesty and his love better than mortal man could.

Then there was Jesus. Our mortal minds can’t wrap around Jesus. He was there of course, all through the Old Testament years. He was God’s son. I wonder if they called him Junior? Okay, maybe a stretch, but it’s important to realize that the angels knew Jesus long before he became a baby in the manger. They knew him their creator. They saw his power and majesty as all throughout the history of the world he tended to the affairs of God’s kingdom.  He was God’s son. He was deity, he was the King!

The Angels most likely knew from the start that God had a plan to bring mankind back into the relationship he’d had in the garden. They’d seen him walk with Adam and Eve. Perhaps he even told them something like, “When I’m walking with them I don’t want to be disturbed.” The Angels learned about God’s extreme love by watching his relationship with mankind.

It’s no wonder then that the angels burst into praise and wonderment when they saw Jesus in the manger. We saw a baby, a tiny helpless, dependent infant. The angels saw an almighty, all powerful Creator God taking on human flesh. Now that he was there the angels knew things would be different. They praised God not only for this plan, but for the adventure that lay ahead for mankind.

PRAYER: All praise and honor to you almighty Father! The reality that you became mere man so that we could learn to love you is beyond my comprehension. Thank you for loving me enough to stoop to my level so I can rise in your strength. Amen.

 

 


Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11

The Angels did much more than take away the fear of the Shepherds. They went a step further and offered hope. That’s important because too many times the answers society offers promise to take away our fear, but offer nothing in return.

It’s easy to sit around the coffee cup and redefine the problems and discuss possible solutions, or ‘if only’s’ but once the coffee is gone and we walk back out into the world, nothing has changed. In fact, they can sometimes be worse.

While the answers the world gives offer no lasting solutions, God not only takes away our fear, he replaces it with hope! The Angels announced two things to the shepherds that night on the hillside. One was consolation (Fear not) the other hope (a Savior is born). Their song created consolation in the midst of fear and hope in the midst of darkness.

Look up the meaning of Savior to see the hope that was offered through the babe in the manger.  The Savior, Jesus Christ offers us:

  • Safety: not safety from trails because he promised us there would be trials, but safety in the midst of trials!
  • Deliverance: We are delivered from the power of sin in our lives, the guilt of our past; the enemy of our soul.
  • Preservation: Closely tied to safety, we are preserved in the trials of life. Jesus refers to us as the ‘salt of the earth.’ Salt not only adds flavor, it preserves against the elements.
  • New Life: The old is gone, the new has come. Jesus didn’t come to remodel us; he came to change us completely, to make us new creations.
  • Escape: The enemy of our soul doesn’t mind if we are spiritual as long as he can keep us bound to our past and failures. Jesus broke the bonds. Just as Peter walked out of prison a free man, we can repent and walk away from the bondage of our past through the Savior.
  • Someone to confide in: Each of us has skeletons in the closet. Those fears, worries, doubts, hateful feelings that hide in the inner corners of our hearts, waiting to attack us in our weakness. When there is no one else to talk to we can come to Jesus. He listens without judgment and accepts us without condition.
  • Hope: That’s really all the above in a nutshell. The tantalizing things of this world (relationships, money, status and power) can’t offer us the one thing we all long for. Hope for tomorrow.

To the shepherds the song of hope came through the angels. To us it comes through forgiveness, the cross, the Word and the family of God.

PRAYER: Father God, thank you for the Angel Song of Hope in the midst of our darkness. Thank you for Jesus who goes beyond all our fears to offer us unending hope. In the name of our Savior, Amen.


“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, John 10:14 (NLT)

I’m not a farmer. I enjoy the country. I have several friends who are farmers. I live in great farm country. But I’m not a farmer. So I may be about to show some of my naivety but to me, all sheep look alike. I know, I know. I’ve been on farms where the sheep are named, some of the chickens are named, the cows are named. But to me they all look pretty much alike. Especially sheep.

Tradition says that in Jesus’ day shepherds would take their flocks into the hills to eat. At some times of the year they may gather flocks together for the night. This was a great idea. Multiple shepherds could keep the sheep safer from attack, allow the shepherds to take turns standing guard, and give them opportunity for company. Being alone in the hills can be mighty lonely.

In the morning the sheep were divided up. The shepherd knew his sheep (how I don’t know) and the sheep knew their shepherd (even more amazing to me since sheep aren’t known for their intelligence).

Imagine what it must have been like for a sheep to get up in the morning and try to figure out which one of the shepherds to follow. Their lives depended on the decision after all. The shepherd made sure they were fed well, led to quiet pastures, protected from thieves, natural calamity and wild animals. Shepherds that didn’t own the animals weren’t likely to take care of them very well.

When you think about it, life is a lot like that today. We have all sorts of voices telling us to follow this cause or that cause. Politicians telling us we need more programs and more taxes or less programs and less taxes. Religionists telling us we need to stand firm in our beliefs or that we need to be more tolerant of all beliefs. Back and forth it goes. Voices calling out to your heart to go this way or that way to find the relief you are looking for.

Jesus calls himself the Good Shepherd. What does a Good Shepherd look like?

  • A Good Shepherd will never compromise the wishes of the owner. He’ll not lead you in a way that is contrary to what God’s Word says. There are no ‘new revelations’ Does God still speak? Yes. But his words will never compromise the Holy Scriptures we already have.
  • A Good Shepherd will never compromise the safety of the sheep. There may be times when we go through dangerous times. Times when the enemy will be lurking, waiting to attack. But our Good Shepherd will never lead us there and leave us there. His protection lasts forever.
  • A Good Shepherd will never ask the sheep to compromise their Holiness. We are referred to as the sheep of his pasture. Temptations will come our way. There will be times when those things put before us seem like God’s leading, but are directly opposed to scripture. Holiness is based on God’s sinless plan for our lives. We will never be sinless this side of heaven, but we should always strive to do so.

 

Perhaps one of the most stunning things about our Good Shepherd is that he will go to extraordinary measures to draw us to himself. I heard a story once. I haven’t been able to verify it, but it goes something like this. If a lamb continued to stray from the flock, as a last resort the shepherd would gently break the leg of the wayward lamb and then set it. As the leg healed the lamb was carried by the Shepherd. The result? The healing of the lamb’s leg also caused a bond to the shepherd’s heart. That lamb, once healed, would never stray again.

The word picture is an amazing reminder that Jesus will do whatever needs to be done to draw us to his close, loving, gracious and merciful arms.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I thank you that during these uncertain times I can know you will lead me in paths for my own good and God’s glory. Give me wisdom to discern your voice and strength to follow. Amen.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,715 other followers

RSS Podcasts from Zion

  • You Can Trust the Bible
    From our series, 40 Days in the Word. Knowing ABOUT the Bible isn’t the same as making it the one and only authority in your life. Living the Bible is more important that telling others about the Bible.
  • RESET your life when you’ve been forgiven
    From our series “RESET Your Life. God knows we can never love him the way he loves us but calls us to follow him in spite of our weakness.
  • RESET Your Life When You Doubt
    From our series, “Reset your Life”. Jesus understands the struggle we have between head belief and heart belief.
  • RESET Your Life When all is Hopeless
    From our series “RESET Your Life.” Never give up hope. Jesus knows where you are and what your need is. Hopelessness; John 5:1-15;
  • Reset your Life When You’re Grieving
    From our series ‘Reset Your Life”. Sometimes RESET comes from outside sources. Jesus shows us the way through grief.

LinkedIn

Candle Lighter Award

Built With Grace

Twitter Updates

Archives

September 2019
S M T W T F S
« Aug    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930  
Follow Built with Grace on WordPress.com
%d bloggers like this: