The Shepherds

December 12, 2020
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Luke 2:8-12 – That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly an angel appeared among them, and the landscape shone bright with the glory of the Lord. They were badly frightened, but the angel reassured them. "Don't be afraid!" he said. "I bring you the most joyous news ever announced, and it is for everyone! The Savior — yes, the Messiah, the Lord — has been born tonight in Bethlehem! How will you recognize him? You will find a baby wrapped in a blanket, lying in a manger!" (TLB)

Sometimes, things happen in our lives that we remember forever. All of us have such memories and stories, and they are often ones that we repeat to others throughout our lifetime. I expect that that was what it was like for the shepherds so long ago on the night that the Saviour was born.

At first, they were badly frightened by the appearance of the angels, but then, they received peace within when they understood who they were and from whom they had come. Then, after talking among themselves, they ran to find out if what the angels had told them was true. And it was.

Later, as they returned to their flocks, they told everyone they met what had happened to them. And somehow, I think that those shepherds kept talking about what had happened to them and whom they had seen with their own eyes, throughout their lifetime.

Likewise, each one of us has a story about how we met Jesus. For most of us, it is not about angels or seeing Him in the flesh, but it is about something within our hearts that occurred when we heard the gospel message and were moved by God's Spirit of truth to accept it for our very own: to believe it and to turn ourselves over to the forgiveness, grace, mercy, and the lordship of Jesus Christ through faith and obedience. Through this act, our lives have been changed for the better for eternity.

God has done great things for each of us, things that have been etched into our memories, just as what happened to the shepherds was engraved within theirs.

Therefore, when things happen in life that devastate us and threaten our faith to the depths of its core, we must take time to remember. We must recall whom we have believed and cling to what we knew in our hearts the very first time we placed our faith in the truth of God's Son. We must ask the Holy Spirit to bring to mind all the times and ways in which God has been our help in times of trouble and to remind us of what we know in our hearts to be true, even when circumstances around us want us to believe otherwise.

We must keep telling our story of faith, even if it is only to ourselves. For as we do so, our hearts will be strengthened to keep trusting in the One in whom we have believed, the One the angels sang about and announced to the shepherds so long ago, the One who has said, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." (Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV)

Prayer: Father God, thank You for the truth that has been engraved on our hearts and in our minds concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, Saviour, Messiah, and Lord. Strengthen us and encourage us to remember and cling to this truth, that we may not fear even if the world blows up and the mountains crumble into the sea, for You and You alone are in control, Lord, and You always have our best interests at heart, for which we praise You. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.


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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <lynnephipps@hotmail.com>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen, Lynne.


    So true Lynne, thanks, and blessings!


    Thank you, Lynne, for a fresh look out the shepherd’s story.


    Good afternoon Lynne,
    Thank you for your good words in today’s devotional.
    Blessings.


    God’s blessings to you! What a wonderful message! Thank you. Have a blessed Christmas and a safe and healthy new year.


    Morning, Lynne,
    I have the hardest time putting my arms around where people do not people put their faith if not in Jesus Christ. I cannot imagine life without knowing that God is in control. Thanks for your devotional today. You have a wonderful gift of expressing your thoughts.


    Oh Lynne – another excellent reminder to keep on remembering that He is in control – even during COVID!! Someday, I’m going to meet you in heaven, and wrap my arms around you and tell you how much I’ve appreciated all your shared wisdom and encouragement and teaching. God bless you in the meantime.


    Loved “even if it’s only to ourselves”!
    That’s me today “restore to me the joy of my salvation”. The joy, seems forced, I’m not functioning on Spirit power.
    In that space right now, but this has helped.
    Bless you Lynne, for blessing me!
    (BC)


    Dear Lynne
    How wonderfully put. It truly touches one’s heart and spirit as I read your devotional. I felt the anointing of the Holy Spirit on what you wrote today. May our Lord Jesus Christ bless you more abundantly than you can even imagine or contemplate now and always.
    Blessings.


    Merry Christmas Lynne
    Wow, this is a very timely devotional. Beautiful and encouraging, thanks for sharing it and we do have to remind ourselves and others that God is in control no matter what is going on!
    May you have a very special Christmas and all the best in 2021.
    God bless.


    Dear Lynne,
    Thank you: what a message of encouragement. It has brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart! It is indeed a wonderful truth: no one and nothing can take away from us our actual experience of God’s grace, love, and mercy in our lives. It is such a personal moment to recall and reflect upon.
    God bless and keep you now, this Christmas, and in the New Year.


    Good Morning Lynne,
    Thank you for another very thoughtful devotional. Yes, though we may face circumstances in life that may be frightful and unexpected, knowing our Lord is overseeing our every situation gives us comfort knowing His plans will have the best results. We have great reassurance in His word that “He will not forsake us.”
    I always appreciate your writings. May you and your family enjoy a blessed time in celebrating Christ’s birth.
    (B.C.)


    Good Morning, Lynne.
    I enjoy every devotion you write. Today’s message struck my heart more vibrantly, and I must respond with gratitude! Thank you!
    Memories and stories come flooding back as I read and reread your devotion; scriptural verses, certain mentors, and happenings that made an impact at certain points of my life – blessed assurance that the Spirit is active during these troubling pandemic times, too!
    Thank you, and may good health and strength be yours today, this Christmas season, and in the New Year!
    (Ontario)


    Yes, Lynne, may we candidly share the Christ child message! Blessings.


    Lynne, thanks so much. Great message!
    Blessings.


    Good morning Lynne,
    Yes, our memories and our story help us to get through those difficult times and they help others as we share them to also strengthen their belief in Jesus. God has been there many times in our lives when we needed his strength to get us through. Thank you for sharing your story over the years with us. May joy fill your spirit as you enjoy your day.


    I was not brought up in the church. So, when considering church membership, I was still not sure if I believed.
    I knew God and had experiences of Him. But Jesus was relatively new to me at that point.
    Then the Holy Spirit showed me a mental picture of snowdrop flowers pushing their way up through the snow.
    Then I knew, for sure, and joined the church.
    Your devotional brought that memory back sol clearly.
    Thank you.


    Wonderful message and one I needed today. God bless.

 



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