(bolded emphasis have been added for this devo)
15When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 16They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. 17After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. 18All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished NLT
I love the story of the shepherds! It has to be one of my favourite parts of the Christmas story. To be simply going about your everyday and all the sudden have an encounter with angels that terrifies you, amazes you, and then makes you drop everything to go check it out! You can’t tell me these men were not forever changed. I bet they said to someone more than once “Well believe what you want, but I know what I saw and I know what I heard! I’ve seen the Saviour- The Messiah!”.
This year as I read this scripture 2 things stood out to me.
1- The shepherds heard the message from God - that a King had been born, the Saviour they had been waiting for and they did something - They moved! They ran to Bethlehem to go see! Are there times that I sense God is trying to tell me something but then I stay and wait - hoping He drops it in my lap. Maybe He’s not going to. Maybe He wants me to move, to step into the promises and words over my life like they are true before I see them. Maybe He wants us running into the good things He has for us before we actually see them instead of waiting until we see proof of the good thing. Maybe.
2- Simply by recounting their story - people were amazed, astonished, changed. The shepherds didn’t go to bible college (in fact they were likely highly uneducated!). They didn’t get discipled, trained in how to speak or share the gospel. The shepherds simply shared their God encounter. Through the shepherds' simple recount of their own God experience - through their own testimony - other people were amazed. People had their thoughts and assumptions challenged and their hopes stirred for the Good News that God had promised. Am I simply sharing my God moments with others?
Prayer: God, we want to step into the good things you have for us this season. We want Hope to arise in us. We want to hear the angels say FEAR NOT to our own hearts and minds and then boldly and courageously step into your good plans. God we open ourselves up to you. We want to be amazed by you so that we can’t help but tell others about our encounters with you. Give us opportunities to astonish and amaze people with the simple testimonies of you in our lives. Amen!
Shared by Kelly Beitz