Learning from the Angels

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The angels appeared to the shepherds with a long-awaited, earth-shattering, can-it-really-be-true? message: “A Savior has been born to you.” As amazing as this announcement was, a gentle progression preceded their proclamation. Read it for yourself in Luke 2: 8-15.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

The angel arrived on the hillside with an astounding announcement, but before that, he calmed the shepherds’ fears. His first words were, “Do not be afraid.” The angel had the shepherds’ attention but needed to prepare the men to hear the message. It makes me wonder how often fear stands in the way of receiving—in the physical world and in the spiritual world.

The angel still didn’t make his announcement; he stated his purpose, “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” There was urgency to the angel’s message, but the heavenly being didn’t rush. His shepherd audience needed further preparation—they were going to hear good news, a message of joy for them and the entire world.

Finally, the announcement was made: “A Savior has been born to you.” The angel proclaimed the history-changing, life-altering, sin-solving message of hope. The proclamation was simple and straightforward, without explanation of prophecy or theology.

The angel concluded with details, which were also a teaser. “You will find a baby…lying in a manger.” He didn’t tell the shepherds what to do, but enticed them to discover the truth for themselves. Then a host of angels appeared and burst into praise, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

With little information and the inspiration of the angels’ song resounding in their hearts, the shepherds were compelled to act.

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.”

Isn’t that exactly how God is with us? He calms our fears so we’ll be in a position to listen. He gentles our spirit before speaking His message. He tells us truth, plainly and simply, with information enough to inspire us to go and see for ourselves.

And the angels sing.

Photo compliments of endoftheage.blogspot.com

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The Lord is my SHEPHERD…

SHEPHERDsaltandlighttv.org

As a shepherd who is infinitely good, boundless in love, and unlimited in mercy, the Lord supplies my needs.

My Shepherd gives me rest in green pastures and refreshes my soul beside quiet waters. He guides, protects and comforts me.

He provides for me when enemies threaten. His anointing is upon me, setting me apart for His love and service.

My Shepherd’s goodness and love follow me around—every day. I look behind me and there they are, goodness and love!

I will live in His house forever, enjoying unhindered companionship, unrestrained joy and limitless love.

“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want.” I lack nothing as I walk this earth and will be fully satisfied when I forever walk beside Him in Heaven. Oh, He is a very good Shepherd!

*Image compliments of saltandlighttv.org

The Lord is MY Shepherd…

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The Lord shepherds a large flock—sheep gathered from every tribe, nation and tongue. Yet, each one is uniquely important and loved by Him. I cherish the fact that He is not only the Good Shepherd, but the Lord is my shepherd. He leaves ninety-nine sheep to find me, to rescue me, to bind up my wounds, and love on me. This is personal.

  • The Lord chose me before He created the world and then He formed me according to His plan and pattern, creating a masterpiece.
  • He recorded every day of my life in His book and prepared good things for me to do, equipping me with the desire and ability to succeed.
  • Then He made the ultimate sacrifice and laid down His life for me so I can be eternally His.

Lord, you are my Shepherd. Please help me to have lamb-like trust, to not wander, to not argue, and to gladly, thankfully walk beside you.

*image compliments of twitter.com/mydentist_uk

The Lord IS my Shepherd..

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Not was, not will be, but is, right now, at this moment, in the present, the Lord is my Shepherd. He is always near, not catching up, not ahead of me, but with me.

Today marks thirteen years since Stacey left us to be with Him. Though time has moved on, deep loss remains, without compensation. The Lord shepherded me through the loss of our daughter, continues to do so today, and will be present every day of my future. On October 11, 2017, my Shepherd is comforting me, refreshing me, reminding me of my hope. As He is walking here beside me, Stacey is walking there beside Him.

Today, I will put a period after is—it is enough that “The Lord is.”

lighthouse*Image compliments of gmkfreelogos.com

The LORD is my Shepherd…

LORDgospelinlife.com

The Lord—ruler of all, sovereign, supreme, absolute, matchless—is my shepherd. There is none greater, wiser, or stronger… and, yet, He deems to notice and care for this poor lamb with all my foibles.

He alone knows the end from the beginning, works all things together for my blessing, protects me from harm, gives me understanding, leads and challenges and refreshes me. He is the only shepherd who is able to do all this and more. Therefore…

The Lord, loving and limitless, is my shepherd.

*Image courtesy of gospelinlife.com

THE Lord is my Shepherd…

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I don’t have a Lord as my shepherd; I have the Lord as my shepherd. How unfathomable that the one and only, all-powerful God of the universe takes notice of me and desires to shepherd me! Other shepherds vie for leadership—common sense, feelings, fears, insecurity, the need for acceptance or accomplishment, resentment, the status quo—but the Good Shepherd invited me to follow Him. And, since He’s offering, I’m taking Him up on it. I choose Him, the Lord, to be my shepherd.

*Image compliments of espressoenglish.net

My Wall of Fame

Wall2With twenty-six letters in the alphabet and eleven grandchildren, I’m fascinated that none of their first names start with the same letter. Eleven grandchildren with eleven different first initials—and their uniqueness doesn’t end there. Like your children and grandchildren, each one has different strengths, distinguishing qualities and distinctive gifts.

Always on the lookout for ways to build them up, I recently created a grandchildren’s Wall of Fame. Each of their initials is featured on the wall and written on each letter, are five strengths the child especially displays. My desire was to affirm them and show them they’re appreciated for who they are.

It was precious to watch them search for their letter and then examine the words on their initial, sometimes heartily agreeing, sometimes asking the meaning of a word. As children, they didn’t hide their pleasure at being known and appreciated. Adults may be more discreet, but it’s no less important for us to be valued than it is for my treasured eleven.

Wouldn’t it be great if we were more attentive to the qualities of others—each one created in God’s image? And wouldn’t it be even greater if we expressed our appreciation for one another?

“So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.”     1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT)

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