Time Alone With God daily devotional

Friday, December 16

Time Alone With God daily devotional

Written by Pastor Phil Stout, JAXNAZ Church

Read: Luke 2:8-20

Luke 2:8-20

New International Version (NIV)

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “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.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “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.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

 

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Consider: We are so grateful to Luke for giving us the account of the shepherds who were tending their sheep outside of Bethlehem—the first ones to hear the good news of Jesus’ birth. Shepherds were not the elite of society. They were among the poor, those who struggled for their daily bread. This is an account, among many passages in the Bible, which signifies God’s special concern for the poor. (Again, take note of Mary’s song in Luke 1:46-55.)

The Old Testament prophets spoke about justice. But remember, the term “justice” was used in the scriptures in a different manner than we usually use it today. Today people often talk about punitive justice. But our Bible—our God—teaches restorative justice. Justice that brings mercy and grace to our world. Justice that treats everyone—particularly the disadvantaged—to the blessings and prosperity God wants for his people.

One of the great justice passages from the Old Testament is found in Amos 5:24…

“Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!”

The coming of the Messiah signified salvation, peace and justice. The night that changed the world was heralded to the poor of this world. And it was brought to us in the One who became poor for us. That message continues to transform the world. We can recognize it if we have eyes to see and ears to hear.

Pray: Thank God that the message is for everyone. Thank him that the message was proclaimed to ordinary shepherds like you and me. Ask him to use you to be his good news to the ordinary and the poor that you will encounter today.

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