Why would YOU travel to see the New Born King?

In yesterday’s passage from Luke 2:8-13 we saw the bucolic scene with shepherds tending their flock by night. Their calm evening was interrupted by an angelic host of angels who arrived with news of the new born king, the Messiah. The angel announced this baby’s birth to the amazed shepherds. “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” After this startling announcement, the angelic host burst into praises to the glory of God and proclaimed what this newly arrived king would bring. He was to bring peace if His favor rests upon you. God’s favor is His grace which is undeserved, unearned and a gift from Him. To receive this promised grace, one just needs to believe in His Son, Jesus.

Luke 2:14-15 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 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.”

Obviously the shepherds’ interest was piqued and they wanted to go and see the baby for themselves. They believed that traversing to Bethlehem would bring them face to face with this marvelous child, their long awaited Messiah. So immediately after the angelic hosts departed they decided to go and see for themselves.

What about God piques your interest? Are you curious and seek to know Him more fully and understand His ways better? Are you just interested in answered prayers or daily comfort? Do you love fellowshipping with believers and want to serve Him with others? Are you looking for answers to the problems of life and relief from worry and pain? Are you looking for promises to claim in your life? There are so many aspects to faith and a daily walk with the Lord. All of the above may be of interest to you but I pray your major motivation towards God is LOVE. He loved you and me enough to send Jesus to die to restore our relationship with Him. He desires that we fellowship with Him for eternity. John 3:16 reveals God’s motivation towards us. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” He loved us while we were still sinners according to Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” What a gracious and loving God!

I pray that you can catch a glimpse of the love God has for you and me in the Christmas story. May it show you God’s love in a new way and motivate you to a renewed faith and commitment now and in the New Year.

Linda

A Sunday to Celebrate Joy, Advent’s 3rd Sunday

Today is the lighting of the third candle in the Advent wreath. It is called the Shepherd’s candle and represents joy. During the lighting the story is told of the angels appearing to the shepherds announcing the birth of the Christ child and where He could be found. Joy is contagious and once the arrival of the Messiah was proclaimed the shepherds wanted to find the child and worship Him. May you feel that same joy today and may it draw you closer to the Savior.

This next week we will be diving deep into Elizabeth and Mary’s parting, John’s Birth, Zechariah’s Song of praise after being muted for 9+ months, and Joseph’s story. Here are some words of JOY for today as we worship.

Psalm 5:11 “But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
    let them ever sing for joy,
and spread your protection over them,
    that those who love your name may exult in you.”

Psalm 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life;
    in your presence there is fullness of joy;
    at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

Luke 2:10 “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.”

Romans 10:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

May we be filled with the joy of the Lord today as we continue to anticipate the coming of the Christ child who brought freedom from bondage to sin through His life, death and resurrection.

Linda

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