Good News Makes You Different: Three Lessons from the Shepherds


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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Author: Debbie Putman

I am a child of God, seeking to trust Him in every joy and sorrow. Sharing my walk is my husband, Van. God blessed me with two beautiful daughters and three delightful grandchildren. I teach seventh grade English and History, love to read and bake cookies, watch the birds in my backyard, and the ocean.

26 thoughts on “Good News Makes You Different: Three Lessons from the Shepherds”

  1. These lessons are not bound by the Christmas season, either. They can be applied every day of the year. I especially like the reminder to let the joy and peace of the good news shine through hectic times.

  2. Let’s not get caught up in the hectic part of Christmas by spreading His joy and peace. I love that idea. We are doing a little shopping with the kids tonight – I am going to encourage them to look for ways to do that tonight as I am sure we will encounter people who need some joy and peace tonight.

    Thanks for linking up with Grace and Truth.

    1. Aimee, How did the shopping go? What an important thing to do with and for your kids, teaching them practical ways to show God’s love in the everyday tasks of life. Happy New Year.

  3. ” 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.”

    I have struggled with this in these past weeks, but God is so good. He is making this possible. He is making me different, showing me that my peace and joy are always with me because He, Emmanuel, is always with me. And like the shepherds I am in awe of Him once again. Thank you for sharing this. Heather

    1. Heather, I hope your Christmas was filled with peace and joy in the midst of hectic. Praying Emmanuel continues to help you be different as you seek Him in 2018. Happy New Year.

  4. Such profound things we can learn when we don’t overlook all of the people God deliberately records in His word! I love that He chose to tell the shepherds first-they were not exactly respected in their day. He’s so amazing!

    1. “The people God deliberately records in His Word.” That is an important thing to remember. God often worked with those that society didn’t respect and they stepped forward to do amazing things.

  5. This really struck me: “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 lived in isolation and then completely upturned their lives to go out into the towns and talk to strangers to tell about what they saw. How disorienting and scary that must have been! I like my comforts. I cannot imagine walking into the unknown and feeling vulnerable and exposed like that. This is such proof that God can win you over and transform your life.

    1. I’m with you, Jamie. Doing what the shepherds did in leaving everything familiar would be so far outside my comfort zone, I don’t know if I would do it. But I’ve seen God transform me into a much more compassionate person, willing to talk to strangers and pray with them when they are in the hospital. That is something I would never have been able to do if not for His working in my life. Praying you know His love as you step out in faith in 2018.

  6. This is just the words I need: “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.” I’ve been about ready to give up on Christmas because I feel so behind, but that’s the wrong attitude. May I let joy and peace rule over haste and stress. Thanks, Debbie! Merry Christmas to you and yours.

    1. Lisa, I hope you were able to enjoy Christmas. I spent mine in California with my daughter and grandchildren; it was wonderful! I’m just now getting back into the swing of daily life. And today I have to take down Christmas which will take the entire day. Maybe by Thursday things will be back to normal. Happy New Year!

  7. That night must have been so different from anything the shepherds could ever have imagined and I’m sure a lot of things were different from them from that point on. I like the lessons you draw from their story.

  8. True words you share here Debbie. I thank God every day for the difference He has made in my life. I also thank Him for allowing me to survive the strike 7 years ago, and I want my life brings glory to Him. I hope you and yours have a fantastic weekend and a blessed Christmas season.. #Grace&Truth

  9. So much we can learn from the account in Luke! I love your words– “In the middle of a hectic time be different. Let the joy and peace of the good news shine.” Tweeted. Have a blessed and peace filled weekend.

Thank you for joining me on my journey with God in uncharted water. Please let me know how He is working in your life.