Monday, November 08, 2010

Only Shepherds

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with 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.” 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 among those with whom he is pleased!” 
15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
Luke 2:8-20, English Standard Version
Only Shepherds

There are so many Bible characters that we do not often think about--this is certainly true of the shepherds in Luke 2. Who were they? Did they have any premonition that something extraordinary was going to happen that night in the skies near Bethlehem. I doubt that they did; after all, they were only shepherds.

How do we view our lives before God; do we think of ourselves as only shepherds. Well, we would not call ourselves shepherds, but what do we say? Do we think of ourselves as just nobodies--only housewives, or fast food employees, or secretaries, or clerks, etc.? Even if we are professionals, do we view ourselves a nobodies before God?

I have a great deal of respect for the people God has called to leave their families and go out into the world as pastors, missionaries, and other "full-time" Christian workers. Sometimes I even envy them, because they are so sure of their calling before God. But, before I bask too much in self pity, let us stop a moment and think about this.

Do we have a God-given purpose for being here? Is that purpose less important because we don't have the distinction of being called into full-time Christian service? As a matter of fact, does that mean we are only part-time Christian servants? Is there any such category? 

All Christians are full-time Christian servants! What a bold statement to make! Look at how God used these shepherds to spread the world of Christ's birth. Had they been any other place than out among their sheep, they would not have had the joy of hearing and seeing the angels.

Do not think of yourself as a lesser person, because you do not seem to have any glorious ministry for the Lord. You do have a ministry before the Lord; it is exactly the ministry that God has planned for you, and is unique to you alone.

So, what are you doing to prepare for your ministry? Pray that God would help you to study His Word and develop a close walk with the Lord, so that you may be ready always to give an answer for the hope that lies within you.

Are we only shepherds? Then let us be faithful and valiant shepherds for the Lord.

God Bless You,

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