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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Worth Repeating - Lessons from The Shepherds



Cade’s Cove, Tennessee (Great Smoky Mts.)

(Originally published Feb. 2012. Edited 2024.)

Not long ago I started reading the book of Luke again. John has been my favorite Gospel for some time now, but I’ve really been enjoying Luke more this time through it.  Not that I didn’t before, but the Lord has brought different things to my attention this time. Maybe the new Bible helps since it isn’t all marked up with previous thoughts. :-)

Anyway, the thing that particularly stood out to me in Luke chapter 2 this time through was God’s revelation to the shepherds. A number of things struck me, some I’d heard and thought of before. Some seemed new, though it’s quite likely that I’d heard them at some point from someone. I know they are not really “new.”

You might want to go read this passage in your King James Bible as it is rather long to post here, or you can read it on my husband's Bible page: Luke 2:8-20.

1. These shepherds were believers, of course. They were looking for the Messiah or the Lord would not have revealed this wonderful news to them, nor would they have gone so quickly to see it for themselves. It is interesting that so often it’s the people with simple, childlike faith who understand the great things God reveals. The high and mighty scholars often stumble over the simplicity that is in Christ. Luke 10:21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.

1 Corinthians 1:26-31 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. 

2. We find the shepherds in the place where they were supposed to be, doing what they were supposed to be doing – keeping watch over their flocks. God doesn’t always reveal His great things to those who are in important places, nor to those who are doing supposedly big and important things. This is a good reminder to be faithful where you are and not despise the day of small things (Zech. 4:10).

3. God first revealed the Great Shepherd (Heb. 13:20) to shepherds. He revealed “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29) to keepers of sheep, men who cared for lambs. There is something particularly sweet and wonderful about that.

4. Because they were shepherds, they weren’t  too persnickety to go into a humble place where a messy, “unclean” event had just happened. A manger was part of their natural sphere. Maybe it was even their own manger! (Wouldn't that be interesting!) These men would have helped their ewes deliver lambs, no doubt. Remember the story of the good Samaritan and how the priest and the Levite “passed by on the other side” rather than help a man who had been attacked by robbers. Luke 10:30-33. I can only imagine the response if one of them had been told to go to a manger to view a newly born baby.

5. They were quick to act upon the amazing revelation they had received. They didn’t “sleep on it.”  They believed and went.

6. They spread the news. These men were not afraid of what people might think. People talk about women gossiping. I suspect there was a reason that God reveal this event to the shepherds. They may well have been the “news agency” of their day. In meeting other shepherds from other areas out on the pastures, the news would have had a chance to spread far and wide.

7. They knew whom to glorify. Luke 2:20  And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

There are a lot of good applications here, but I’d like to condense it into a nutshell, so to speak. We need to…
 
1. Be faithful in the “mundane” things of everyday life, and be where we are supposed to be.
2. Believe God’s revelation to us (His word) and then act upon it.
3. Spread the good news of Jesus Christ.
4. Glorify God and praise Him for the things He has revealed unto us.

1 Corinthians 2:9-10  But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Evening Song - What A Savior


2 Timothy 1:8-11 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 



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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Evening Song - A Crown to Cast at His Feet


Hebrews 12:1-3 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. 

1 Corinthians 9:25-27 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. 

1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 

Revelation 4:10-11 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. 


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Thursday, May 16, 2024

The Thousand Word Project - Wildly Blooming




Isaiah 35:1-2 The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God. 

Sunday, May 12, 2024

My Soul Finds Rest In Jesus



If you don't have a mother here on earth, or if your mother was not a good mother...
Isaiah 49:15 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. 
Isaiah 66:13 As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. 

My Soul Finds Rest In Jesus

My soul finds rest in Jesus,
I see His work is done ;
The Father hath declared Himself
Well pleased in His Son.

 I cast my care on Jesus,
For who so kind as He ?
No mother's heart has half the love
That Jesus bears to me.

I'll try to live like Jesus,
And do His Father's will;
Where'er he goes I'll follow him,
And He will keep me still.

I'll bring my friends to Jesus,
And bid them look and live;
I'll tell how free His mercy is;
How freely He'll forgive.

I sing the praise of Jesus,
It is a pleasant thing,
With grateful hearts to celebrate
The glories of our King.

I yield my all to Jesus,
And am supremely blest;
Yes! in the bosom of His love
Is my eternal rest.

from The Evangelist's Hymn Book, 1860

Hebrews 4:9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.

1 Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God,
that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he
careth for you.

Romans 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of
unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those
that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments
of righteousness unto God. 

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Evening Song - No One Ever Cared for Me Like Jesus


1 Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 

John 10:11-14 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 


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