What a different night, the shepherds thought. A host of angels sang to us, “Glory to God in the highest heaven and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” And that message!
Whispering at first, they talked about what the angel said,
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. (Luke 2:11-12)
“The Savior, born to us,” one shepherd marveled. “We will find a baby in a manger. That’s different, why a manger?”
Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. (Luke 2:15-18).
From the shepherds’ response, we learn three ways we should be different.
A Different Attitude
The shepherds immediately left the fields to go to Bethlehem. As soon as the angels delivered the glorious news, the shepherds dropped everything.
They didn’t tell God they needed to think about it or go when their shift ended, or wait until a more convenient time. There were no excuses about being too busy or tired. Nothing could keep them from God.
From their response, we learn the importance of putting God first in our lives. God’s plan should take precedence over everything else, no matter what. Nothing is more important than seeking God and following Him. Do not let the urgent tasks and pulls of family, friends, work, and society, in general, dictate your pace. Stop and spend time following where God leads you.
A Different Agenda
The shepherds shared the good news. Normally isolated from the people who lived in town, the shepherds couldn’t keep God’s message to themselves. They knew who this Baby was, the Messiah, because the angels told them. Everything was exactly the way the angel described it.
Like the shepherds, we need to share the good news. Share with others the good things God does in your life. Encourage others with the ways God works and the difference He makes.
A Different Heart
The shepherds returned to their fields and responsibilities, but their hearts were filled with the joy the angels sang about. They knew first hand the peace of God. Now they spent their time glorifying and praising God as they cared for the sheep.
God’s favor and peace rest on us. Throughout the routine tasks we do each day, we should praise and glorify Him. Others should see His light shining in us because He lives in us.
Christmas is ten days from today. In the middle of a hectic time scrambling to get things done, be different. Let the joy and peace that comes from the good news shine. It will make a difference in your life and in the lives of everyone you meet.
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