The kids wake up, there's the excitement of all of the gifts, new toys and gadgets, seeing family and friends, visiting grandparents, great food... Before you know it, it's evening and everyone is wiped out and you didn't take time together as a family to remember Jesus and to really celebrate His birth or what it means for us.
I want to encourage you to carve out just 5 minutes to celebrate the real reason that we celebrate this day with your family. Join us in this simple family devotion today and I hope it starts a habit of growing together in your faith this year. You'll be glad you did.
Bro. Vernon Hughes
Christmas Day can get crazy!
for Christmas Day
8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 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. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
Have you ever wanted to do something, but weren’t allowed to for some reason? Maybe you were too young to watch a movie you wanted to watch, or maybe you were too old to play on the playground like your younger siblings, or maybe you just weren't tall enough to ride a roller coaster. We’ve all been told “NO” to things for one reason or another and its definitely not fun.
In Luke chapter 2, God has an announcement for the world - Not just any announcement.
God wants the world to know that their long-awaited Savior is finally here. This is the biggest, most important message ever proclaimed, and who do you think were the first people to hear that message? Kings and Queens? The priest at the temple? Some of the religious leaders? None of the above.
The first people that God chose to tell this news to were lowly shepherds. Shepherds? In that culture shepherds were definitely at the bottom of the pecking order of importance. In fact the only people that would have been beneath them were lepers [people who had a terrible skin disease]. Because of the job of working with dirty animals shepherds were considered unworthy to even enter the temple.
I don’t think that it was an accident that God wanted the shepherds (and all of us unworthy people) to know that this wonderful gift, His one and only Son, and His plan to save the lost was for everyone, especially the humble and dirty and needy. God’s plan to save the world from sin, the plan that He first mentions back in Genesis 3 is coming to fruition.
You may feel like those shepherds, that you are unworthy, and that you are too dirty and sinful to have a relationship with Jesus as your Savior.
“Fear not, for I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”
This gift, this Savior that the angel is announcing, is for everyone. That’s why the shepherds were given this message and that Savior is for you and me too.
Now when you get news like that, there really is only one logical reaction
Look at the reaction of the shepherds. According to verse 16, when the angels departed the shepherds “went with haste” to go see for themselves. [That means they ran.] They were overjoyed to see what they had just been told about.
That joy that we talk and sing about during the Christmas holidays, is a joy that comes from knowing that the gift that was even for the shepherds on the first Christmas night is for you and me today. It's a joy that comes from knowing that there isn’t anything that makes you too dirty or unclean to experience salvation and know Jesus as your Savior. That is something to be overjoyed about all year long!
If you do know Jesus as the Savior the angels were proclaiming, then take a lesson from the shepherds and bask in that joy - tell others about Him. And if you feel like a shepherd, separated because you are dirty and unclean, then know that Savior is for you as well and you can experience that joy too.
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
SING HARK THE HERALD ANGELS SING
Thank You for showing how much You love us by sending Your Son Jesus. Thank You that each of us can have a relationship with You, our heavenly Father, through Your Son Jesus. Thank you for the things we’ll get to do today, the friends and family that we’ll get to see, the yummy food we’ll get to eat, and the presents we’ll receive, but through all of that, help us to remember that the best gift we’ve been given is the one You gave us when You sent Jesus.
In Christ's Name - AMEN