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Wednesday, December 28, 2016
"The Shepherd's Message"
Message summary: Today we will consider the shepherd's message.
Note: Podcast not prepared for this message due to busyness
"And when they (the shepherds) saw it (the original manger scene), they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them" (Luke 2:17,18,20)
Manger scenes are popular Christmas decorations, an attempt to visually recreate the events described in Luke 2 at the birth of Christ. Many of us have them in our homes, our churches and even in public places. We served a church in Taunton Massachusetts in the nineties. Taunton was famous for the holiday decorations on the town green which still includes a manger scene. Thus far the rabid secularists seeking to eradicate religion from the public square have been unable to have it removed. Our choir had the opportunity to share selections from our Christmas musical as part of the large community "Lighting of the Green" festival.
The manger scenes tend to be a composite of what the Bible teaches us about Christ's birth and usually includes the wise men. But in Luke's account the manger scene would only include Mary, Joseph, the infant Jesus and the shepherds.
The first evangelists were some pretty smelly, sun parched shepherds. They had witnessed the infant Jesus lying in a manger and heard the Gospel from a heavenly choir. They had gone to witness the scene. Now they spread the word.
At the time of Christ's birth the Bible clearly states that after the shepherds had seen Jesus "they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child." That "saying" is the heart of the Christmas Gospel, "good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." They made that saying known and thus became the first evangelists leading all who heard to wonder at what the shepherds told them.
Spreading the word has been the mission of believers ever since, commanded in the Great Commission and demonstrated in the Book of Acts. Jesus said, "I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." He's still building His church and all believers are a part of that building process.
The shepherds left the scene "glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them." We have no additional Biblical information concerning these men after that eventful night.
Like so many at that time, through the ages of the Church and in our own day, they likely had to overcome some deep hurts and losses as they lived out the rest of their lives on this earth. It's always been that way.
The shepherds were the first evangelists at the birth of Christ and we are all called to follow their example in spreading the word. All over the world, including your town and mine, this Gospel is bearing fruit and growing today. Our mission is to make known the Gospel. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, follow the shepherd's example and look for opportunities to spread the word.
Go tell it on the mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere,
Go tell it on the mountain,
Our Jesus Christ is born.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, all over the world Your Spirit is moving. And You move through people such as the shepherds who told all they knew concerning the Christ Child. Two thousand years later we have so much more knowledge and experiences to share with those around us because we have the Word of God that shows Your divine character and tells us of Your great and miraculous deeds. Your choice to enter this earth in such a lowly and timely manner is a story that not only the shepherds were commissioned to go out and tell, but it is the commission of all believers to spread this amazing story. It's not just for the people of Jerusalem or simply a segment of our society or a select period of time in history. Instead Christ's coming affects people of all tongues, tribes, and nations, from the north to the south, from the east to west - all who will call upon the Lord Jesus to be saved. Help us to be bold and unwavering in our quest to reach the lost and dying world in which we live. Amen.
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Stephen & Brooksyne
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Go Tell It On The Mountain" Video MercyMe
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We want to thank all who financially support our ministry. We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support but if the Lord would lead you we surely need and appreciate the financial support from our readers and listeners. Our ministry labor is comprised of half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies for which we receive a fee (of course this percentage of time varies week by week). Each of these ministries essentially is the same as a part-time job (20+ hours weekly) for each of us. Our goal for many years is that each phase would provide half of our ministry expenses and income. If you would like to make a donation to our ministry see here for more information. Donations through my chaplaincy endorsing ministry are tax deductible and will be receipted directly by them. Thank you!
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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