Advent…What is your reaction to the Savior’s Birth?

Luke 2:14-15 is the part of the shepherd’s story that involves the reaction by both the heavenly beings and the earthly shepherds to the announcement of the birth of a Savior found in verses 10-11 “And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Their reaction was:

“Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”

The large company of heavenly angels came to praise God. Angels are heavenly beings but are not omniscient, and therefore do not know the future. They were genuine in their praises of joy at the announcement of Jesus’ birth. Their reaction was one of praise to God for fulfilling His plan and sending Jesus to bless all mankind. The shepherds reacted to the news from heaven with curiosity and a determination to find out about this child who was born that would save them. They trusted the messenger, their vision of angels and the message sent from God to be true and worthy of validation. So they acted upon this and went to seek out the child. Verse 16 begins “So they hurried off …”

My question for today is What is your reaction to the birth of the Savior? Are you filled with praises towards God for sending a way of reconciliation and restoration in Jesus? Do you praise God for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and resurrection? Do you praise and thank God for the forgiveness of your sins through His Son? That is a spiritual response of grand proportion to Jesus’ birth. In addition to praise, do you act upon the message of His birth? Do you step out in faith daily to follow and seek Him? Are you curious about who God is enough to study God’s Word for yourself? Are you determined to serve this Jesus with your life, acting with love towards others and telling them about this Savior, Christ the Lord? That is a physical response of grand proportion to Jesus’ birth.

Which is it? or Is it both? Meditate on verses 14 & 15 today, talk to God about your reaction to the birth of His Son. The outcome of your reaction will have a profound affect upon your life both today and tomorrow. I am reminded of Psalm 107:2 “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,  whom he has redeemed from trouble.” Tell others of your reaction to the birth of your Savior; it is a glorious story!

Linda

This is a photo of the hillside just outside of Bethlehem as is looks today. Can’t you just envision the shepherds on the hillside being greeted by the hosts of heaven?

Advent…Do you please God?

On the night Jesus was born Shepherds heard the news in an amazing way. Luke 2:8-14

 That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in highest heaven,
    and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

I cannot even imagine seeing a host of angels shouting and praising God. The sound must have been deafening but glorious! It is understandable that the shepherds were afraid. These were God’s warriors from heaven’s armies come to earth, visibly, to announce this amazing news. The angel, probably Michael or Gabriel or the leader of the host of angels calmed the shepherds with his words and then quickly told them of the birth of God’s son, the long awaited Messiah. Their message to the shepherds and all of us too, was one of praise to God for sending this messenger of peace for all mankind. This peace on earth is to be bestowed upon those with whom God is pleased. Our question then is how does one please God?

Scripture tells us what pleases God. Here are a few for you to meditate upon today.

Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Faith is essential to pleasing God.

Micah 6:8 “He has told you, O man, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God?
Living a life based upon His justice, love and kindness with humility pleases God.

Psalm 147:11 “but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
    in those who hope in his steadfast love.”
Our reverence, awe of Him and our trust upon His love pleases Him.

Proverbs 12:22 “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord,
    but those who act faithfully are his delight.
” Our faithful actions please God.

Jesus said in John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Our love for others shows we love Him and our obedience pleases Jesus.

May you be encouraged today as you mediate on the ways you are pleasing God and yet, challenged to do even more.

Linda