Monday, December 19, 2011
"THE SPREADING OF GOOD TIDINGS"
Good Evening to All!
CHRIST IS BORN
(8) Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night. (9) And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them and they were greatly afraid. (10) Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold,l I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. (11) For there is born to you this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (12) And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manager." (13) And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: (14) "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"
THE SHEPHERDS VISIT JESUS
(15) So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, "Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us." (16) and they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. (17) Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. (18) And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. (19) But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. (20) Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.
I NEVER get tired of hearing or reading these passages from the Bible. I remember hearing them read when I was a very small child in Sunday school, loving this story then and I still love hearing it. Before I was in "awe" because of the baby, and the animals and that sort of thing, I'm sure, because I was too young to completely understand, but the older I grew and the more I understood the more "in awe" I became with the different aspects, such as the "star of Bethlehem", the fact that angels came to earth and talked to humans just like me, and the hardships that Mary, Joseph and Jesus had to endure for His birth and even after His birth to keep Him safe from Herod. This is just from the "human aspect".
Don't you know that they had to be leery of who to talk to and who to trust for fear that
Herod had spies out looking for Jesus? After all, he had deceived the Wise Men from the East making it sound like he wanted to worship Him, when in reality that was not the case. I can't help but wonder if Herod had those three convinced, he could have had more people looking for Jesus and His family as well.
When I think of the BIGGER PICTURE of Him being God and coming to earth to sacrifice Himself by shedding His human flesh and blood for my sins, that even places me More in awe, because in my human mind, I cannot understand someone loving me that much. I mean if it was "back then and we knew each other like Jesus knew His disciples, or Lazarus then I could get my mind around it, but to die for someone a thousand or two years before I'm born just leaves me awestruck.
I am so thankful that He cared enough for us to come to earth and walk among our descendants, and I'm even more thankful that He is still with us today in Spirit and in Truth.
I'm not very good at expressing myself. I always think of things I should have said, or a better way I could have expressed myself after I have already published, but the Whole Idea of God and what He has done for me just baffles my mind.
Of course I know that God protected them all the while. It makes me realize that not only did God protect Jesus, Mary and Joseph, back then but He protects me as well today.
I wonder if they had the same "background noises" when they were hearing God speak to them. Did they hear God say, "Flee to Egypt and I will tell you when it's safe to come back", and have to discuss it among themselves, or did they automatically get up, pack and head out? I'm sure today, a lot of us (me included) would sit there and try to decide if it is God we are hearing in our spirit, or it is just us trying to make up our minds what we should do?
I can't help but wonder how many opportunities I've missed to help someone, to do God's will, or even blessings missed offered by God because I was "busy" trying to decide if it is God wanting me to do this or that or my own ideas.
I am surely glad that Mary and Joseph listened to God, and I hope that I will become more in tuned to God's "still, small voice, so that I don't have to wonder. I think what it comes down to is increasing my faith.
The Answers to last night's Bible Challenge " Go Where I Send Thee" are as follows:
1. c) 400 (Genesis 15:13, Exodus 12:40, Acts 7:6)
2. forty (Numbers 32:13)
3. b) Moab ( Numbers22-24)
4. b) Nineveh (Jonah 2:1-2)
5. a) Jonah's (Jonah 1:12)
7. c) prayed (Jonah 2)
8. d) because it was in Judea that a mob had tried to stone Jesus (John 11:8)
9. b) Gentiles (Acts 26:16-18)
10. d) he appealed to Caesar, as was his right as a roman citizen (Acts 25:10-12)
Good Night to All, May God Bless!