IT CAME UPON THE MIDNIGHT CLEAR

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And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”  When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”  So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.  When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child…  – Luke 2:8-17

Every time I read this passage, I ask myself, “What if the angels had shown up, made the amazing proclamation, then left – and the shepherds had NOT gone to Bethlehem?”

We can get messages till the cows come home…  but if we don’t get up off our behinds and exercise our faith and take action…  what good does it do?  In Christian circles, that’s referred to as “putting FEET to your FAITH” – and it’s important to do that on a regular basis.

one-bright-night-in-bethlehemThe shepherds made a decision – a choice – to go to Bethlehem.  Of course, God knew they would, but you know ultimately God has given each of us a free will to embrace or ignore His message.  In other words, the proverbial ball is in your court, my friend.

If you read God’s Word and want to embrace it, God is sure ready to give you a brand new life through His Son, Christ Jesus.  I hope you will do that today.  It’s really simple to accept God’s wonderful gift, His Son, Jesus, into your heart and life.

Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Guide my life and help me to do Your will. In Your name, Amen.”

Have a wonderful and blessed day.  Start flexing those faith muscles.  🙂

 

WHILE SHEPHERDS WATCHED THEIR FLOCK BY NIGHT

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And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  – Luke 2:8

The lyrics to this familiar carol are attributed to Irish hymnist and poet Laureate Nahum Tate.  It first appeared in print in 1702 and was paired with a tune called “Winchester Old”, a 16th century tune by William H. Monk in the United Kingdom.  Until 1782, it was the only Christmas carol officially sanctioned by the Church of England.  The tune we sing in the United States is a variation on a Handel aria arranged by Lowell Mason in 1821.

Can you imagine going to work as a shepherd, which, by any standard is not the most classy job in the world – and you go about your tasks thinking you’re going to have a similar day to the day before…  then BOOM – a light blinds you and a heavenly host appears before you?  A bunch of angels announce that Christ is born!  Well, I’d say that’s no ordinary day.  Who says tending sheep is boring?  It sure wasn’t boring on that day!

the-view-from-the-innAs we all know, the shepherds went to see the Baby King.  There they found Him along with heavenly hosts giving Him praise.  I’m so glad God sent the angels to the shepherds, and the shepherds got to be a part of the most important event in history!  You never know what God’s got in mind for your life – even if you are on the low end of the totem pole, my friend.

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I hope this little post has encouraged your spirit today.  If you’ve enjoyed it, I hope you’ll leave some love here in the comments.  Have a wonderful day – full of wonder.  🙂

 

 

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS

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Despite the fact that humans on the earth made the birth of the Savior of the world one that was lowly and meager at best, His Father in heaven worked around all that as only He can do! He used the heavenly creatures called Angels. They are God’s messengers and have fascinated people for centuries. I am fascinated with angels. I believe in them. I believe every person has a guardian angel. I believe they know more than human beings, but no one knows more than God. They take their marching orders from God and God alone.

Angels were instrumental throughout the Christmas story. In Matthew 1:18-25, an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream to tell him that it was alright to go ahead and take Mary for his wife. It is thought that the angel was Gabriel, God’s chief messenger angel, but the scripture does not tell us the name of the angel.

In the first chapter of Luke, verses 26-38 God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth to tell Mary that she is highly favored. That is also when she learned that her much older relative, Elizabeth, was already six months pregnant. Of course that baby would be John the Baptist, born to “prepare the way”.

The second chapter of Luke has plenty of angel action going on. The Bible tells us that a heavenly host appeared before shepherds in a field to announce the birth of Jesus. A whole host of angels! Just imagine a quiet night, like many before. You’re just doing your job, minding the sheep. You feel peaceful and serene with nothing but the sound of bleating sheep. In my mind’s eye, I imagine that one of the shepherds dropped a sandwich he was getting ready to take a bite from onto the ground, he was so shaken by the sudden appearance of an entire host of angels!

Have you ever wondered why God would choose to have the news announced to the most lowly of men – the shepherds? In my opinion, God sent that host of angels to lowly sheep farmers because He wants us to know he loves us all, no matter what we do for a living! God’s love is for everyone! His good news is for the whole world! From day one of Jesus’ ministry on this earth, He has been the encourager of the underdog. He actually lets us know that the rich will have a difficult time entering His Father’s kingdom. Lest we forget the story of the camel going through the eye of a needle. God loves everyone! He looks on our hearts, not our pocketbooks.

God’s heavenly messengers, angels, are mentioned 300 times throughout the Holy Bible. They appear in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. I am thankful to God for His angels and I’m glad I have a guardian angel. He is not finished using His angels, for when this same Jesus comes back to earth to take His own to heaven, His angels will be with Him. 🙂

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CHRISTMAS CROSS
I believe in the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Separate, yet One. No, I don’t understand it, but God is God and I am not. Christmas is the time of year we pay homage to the second part of the blessed Trinity – God’s One and only begotten Son, Jesus. He was born of a virgin and walked on this earth for 33 years. If it had not been for the event we refer to as Christmas, the event we refer to as Easter, celebrating Christ’s resurrection from the dead, could not have taken place. Christmas is a big deal in the life of a Christian.

You are busy now, wrapping presents and hanging lights on your Christmas tree, but stop what you are doing now – just stop all the business of Christmas for a moment. Meditate on this one concept for a moment – then you can get back to trimming your Christmas tree (you know those lights are not all going to light up anyhow – they never do!) Turn on the video and keep the volume low so you can meditate.

Christ was born in BETHLEHEM Did you know that the word BETHLEHEM means “house of bread”? It is our Christ Who later proclaimed that He is the “Bread of Life”. I once heard that a coincidence is when God chooses to remain silent, so I would suspect that it is no coincidence that Christ was born in Bethlehem. The shepherds saw and heard everything first hand and were very anxious to give God glory and praise for His great gift and His great plan of salvation. None of us were actually there, but we need to take a little time each day to meditate on one Christmas fact. Find one truth to ponder in our hearts.

Jesus is the Bread of Life and deserves nothing less than our constant love, praise and service. Then you can go back to decorating your Christmas tree. 😉