This week's focus: Prepared
"In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock at night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood near them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened" (Luke 2:8-9, emphasis added).
I can’t think of any other way for a mighty angel, surrounded by the glory of the Lord, to make an entrance other than suddenly—let alone an army of angels!
When the heavenly host made their appearance, the frightened shepherds must have been very grateful they came with a friendly greeting. The angel of the Lord brought good news, which means the gospel was preached to the surprised shepherds when they least expected it.
I love that God chose to share this miraculous moment with those regarded as social outcasts, living in fields and working the graveyard shift. Also, as shepherds in Bethlehem, the flock they watched over may have included the lambs used for temple sacrifices. How beautiful that God chose shepherds to be the first to see Jesus as He lay in a manger—the Lamb of God, who is the perfect and ultimate sacrifice for sin.
Jesus entered our world quietly, in humility and love as the Lamb of God. He is coming back, but the next time will be in power and great glory as the Lion of Judah. With that in mind, we must be ready for “suddenly.” 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 warns us that “the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly...and they will not escape.”
When we receive the gift of forgiveness Jesus offers, we can joyously look forward to the unexpected moment He returns. However, if the gift He sacrificed His life for is rejected, what more can He have done? He will return to render justice which is “a joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers” (Proverbs 21:15).
If we wisely choose to follow Him now, we won’t have to wonder if His second coming will bring a friendly greeting or judgment.
Suddenly, our eternal destinations will be before us, so please don’t wait a moment longer to joyfully accept and receive the best Christmas present ever given.
by: Jennifer McAlister, Communications, My Faith Votes
"Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect."
Pray: Heavenly Father, Thank you for your indescribable gift! We adore You and praise You for loving us so much that You sent your only Son so that all who believe in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Think: "In reading our newspapers today, we can see how God is setting the table, getting everything in order, preparing the way for Christ to return." - David Jeremiah
Act: From all of us at My Faith Votes, we pray you have a blessed time with family and friends this week as we celebrate the birth of our King. Merry Christmas!
We want to see God honored in America, and we pray for an unprecedented spiritual awakening.
This devotion was produced in partnership with Every Home for Christ.
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