Saturday, December 22, 2007


Why do you think the birth of Jesus was announced first to shepherds?

In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. Luke 2:8 - 14 (NASB)

Jesus, the Son of God was called…

  • The Shepherd of Israel (Matthew 2:6)
  • The Good Shepherd (John 10:11)
  • The Great Shepherd (Hebrews 13:20)
  • The Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4)

We that call Him Lord are referred to as His sheep and only His sheep hear His voice. (John 10:3, 27)

Jesus told Peter to “shepherd my sheep.” (John 21:16)

The overseers of the church were told to “shepherd” the members (Acts 20:28)

Jesus in his humanity was called…

  • The Lamb of God (John 1:29, 36)

He alone could thoroughly identify with us and provide the sacrifice for all of our sins. God in the flesh was the First Lamb, the risen Lamb. Indeed, Jesus is our all in all.

Matthew 25:31 - 34 (NASB) 31“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32“All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. 34“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

Revelation 7:17 (NASB) 17for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”


Friday, December 21, 2007

“There’s nothing to do in this little hick town. I’m moving out and going to a big city.”

I have heard this more than once living here in this rural setting. The truth of the matter is that it doesn’t matter what size or how obscure your town. What matters is what God has done, is doing or will do in your town and, whether or not you are willing to be a part of His plan right now.

Bethlehem was a rather obscure place, being a village 5 or 6 miles to the south of Jerusalem. The Bible first mentions Bethlehem as the place where Rachel died (Genesis 48:7) and later as the place where a shepherd boy named David was born. That shepherd boy had tremendous faith in God and later became the King of Israel (1 Samuel 16:4-13).

The prophet Micah also wrote of this small village:

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,

are only a small village among all the people of Judah.

Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you,

one whose origins are from the distant past. Micah 5:2 (NLT)

That ruler was none other than Jesus Christ. His origins as we see from the Gospel of John are from the distant past. John tells us “He was in the beginning with God” (John 1:2).

Why would God bring His only Son into the world in a little village like Bethlehem? Perhaps it was to encourage those of us living in small towns to persevere and be faithful to Him.

Remember Jesus came from the family tree of King David. God had honored King David because he loved the Lord with all of his heart. We have all heard of the story of David and Goliath. David was just a boy, but he couldn’t stand to hear the giant Goliath making fun of Israel’s army. David went forward “in the name of the LORD,” killed the giant and gave all the glory to the LORD (1 Samuel 17).

Can God do something great in your little town? Absolutely! Be faithful to Him, give God the glory for your victories and be His servant no matter the circumstances. He has placed you where He wants you to be at this moment in time. Are you willing to try?

What was once an obscure little village became one of the most famous cities in the entire world. Songs are sung about it. People from far away places spend thousands of dollars to go and see it. All because of the faithfulness and devotion to God of a young shepherd boy and one of his descendants whose birthday we celebrate every December 25.


Thursday, December 20, 2007


There are only five days remaining until we celebrate the birthday of Jesus. As we continue to prepare our hearts and hopefully the hearts of others, let’s turn to the Gospel of John.

The writer of this Gospel starts with the eternal nature of Christ. He takes us to a point before time began and says there is the Messiah, the Christ. He was there in the beginning of beginnings. He was not only with God, he was God. Jesus was the instrument of Creation; for Him and by Him all things were created.

It is for all these reasons that we acknowledge Him as King of kings, Lord of lords and joyfully accept His offer of eternal life. These are the reasons that we continue to celebrate the birth of a baby, a baby that was already older than everyone who ever lived and who had the power to create life.

God had come down to earth in the form of man, His own creation, to help all mankind live a better life. The eternal Light shines forth in this dark world to guide our paths.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2. He was in the beginning with God. 3. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. 14. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. John 1:1 – 5, 14 (NASB)

And not only so we could live a better, more satisfying life here on earth, but to be able to experience life eternal with Him in heaven.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever would believe in Him, would not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16


Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Young children have been telling the Christmas story every year for as long as I can remember. The scene that most often catches our attention is when Joseph knocks on the door of the Inn. The Innkeeper answers the door and those famous words echo once again,


This taken from Luke 2:7 where the writer tells us,

And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (NASB)

That scene has been running through my mind lately. There was a preacher in the mid to late 1800’s called Dwight L. Moody. In one of his sermons entitled, “No Room for Jesus,” he makes a few thought provoking comments. One might think that he would be a little “out of date or style” but listen to a few of his points. He says there is:

  • No room for Jesus in the United States or any other nation
  • No room in the Church
  • No room in the hearts of church members

December 20, 2006 George Barna released a list of the twelve most significant findings from his research in the year 2006. The first one on the list states:

Although large majorities of the public claim to be “deeply spiritual” and say that their religious faith is “very important” in their life, only 15% of those who regularly attend a Christian church ranked their relationship with God as the top priority in their life. As alarming as that finding was, its significance was magnified by research showing that on average pastors believe that 70% of the adults in their congregation consider their relationship with God to be their highest priority in life.

It would appear that there is still no room for Jesus or, at the very least, a miniscule space in the hearts of man.

Moody made the statement towards the end of the previously mentioned sermon,

“The only room the world found for him was just on the cross.”

What about you, is there room in your heart for the Christ of Christmas this year? Is there room in your life for Him?

Don’t push him aside. Don’t give him just a little corner of your life. Give it all to him and have the best Christmas that you have ever had. Don’t let him have to say, “I came to you and found no room…”


Tuesday, December 18, 2007


What’s in a name? Remember the old saying “sticks and stones may break my bones but names can never hurt me”? Well, actually they can hurt your feelings if you think about it. Did kids ever call you “fatty”, “pudgy”, “plain Jane” or “dopey”? That didn’t make you feel too good.

The name or more properly, nickname that others call you is often how they perceive you or identify you. “Doll”, “brain”, “sweetie” or “wiz kid” may all be nicknames that someone might call you. I walked into the grocery store the other day and somebody said to me, “Aren’t you the Music Man?”

One week from today, we are going to be celebrating the birth of Jesus. The scriptures list many different names by which we know Jesus…

Matthew 1:23 quotes a passage from Isaiah 7:14 calling the child…

  • IMMANUEL (God with us)

In Luke 2:11 the child is referred to as…


Another prophecy concerning Jesus is found in Isaiah 9:6…

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

I looked up an article on the names of Jesus in Nave’s Topical Bible and it listed 261 different names with verse references! Among them are…

  • The Alpha and Omega
  • The Cornerstone
  • Bread of Life
  • Living Water

When you stop to think about it, they all describe different aspects of who Jesus is. Do a study on your own and discover the depth and majesty of the One whose birthday we shall soon celebrate.


Monday, December 17, 2007


They read about him in an old book. They had never met him, yet they brought him expensive gifts.

The Wisemen’s search was over. They had found the One they were looking for.

When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. 11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. Matthew 2:10 - 11 (KJV)

Have you found the Christ of Christmas? If not continue seeking Him. If you search for Him with all your heart, He promises that you will find Him.

If you do know the Jesus about whom I am speaking then I would ask you this,

What did you get Him for His birthday this year?

These wise men or astrologers that searched for and found Jesus brought him very expensive gifts. I’m sure that these came in handy for Mary and Joseph as the two new parents set about providing for their new little baby.

Yet those of us who have accepted Him as Savior and Lord have even more of a responsibility to give from our thankful hearts. What do we have to give?

  • We can give money to the local church that we see doing the Lord’s work.
  • We can give to missionaries or other organizations that are being faithful to His call.

Even those that didn’t really know Jesus gave Him monetary gifts. What more can we give? What more does He desire?

The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God. Psalms 51:17 (NLT)

In other words, He wants us totally sold out to Him. This Christmas, give Christ the only present He really desires…YOU

Give Him ALL of you

  • Your wants, wishes and desires
  • Your problems, fears and phobias
  • Your talents, dreams and aspirations.

There is a great song called “Surrender” by Marc James that puts it this way:

I'm giving You my heart and all that is within;

I lay it all down for the sake of You my King.

I'm giving You my dreams, I'm laying down my rights,

I'm giving up my pride for the promise of new life.


And I surrender

All to You, all to You.

And I surrender

All to You, all to You.

© 2000 Vineyard Songs (UK/Eire) (Admin. by Music Services) CCLI #2919832


Sunday, December 16, 2007


Have you ever had a chance to meet someone famous? Perhaps it was a musician, a politician, an author or a television personality. If not, maybe you have witnessed someone else meeting someone famous.

The reactions usually range from “You’re the greatest ___________ I’ve ever seen” to “I’ll never wash that hand again!” We tend to look up to celebrities. People still drive (and some fly) hundreds even thousands of miles to see the house where Elvis Presley lived.

Some foreign scholars felt it was worth it to travel a great distance to see Jesus when he was very young. Matthew 2:2 records the event:

“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”

They traveled to see someone they had only read about in the prophecies of the Old Testament scriptures. What they read told them that this child was worthy of worship.

While worship can mean many things, the word used here literally means “to bow down.” When we bow to something, though not very common in our culture today, we are saying that we are nothing and the one we are bowing to is greater than we are. They are worthy of placing ourselves in the humble position of bowing.

Can we bow in other ways than physical? How about "bowing" our wills to Jesus, our Lord? What about bowing in humility before His awesome Word and placing ourselves in submission to Him and His desires for our lives?

As you continue to prepare your heart for the birthday of Christ the King, ask Him what areas in your life are still in need of “bowing,” of being laid at His feet acknowledging that He alone has the answer, that He alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

Worship the Lord in humility and acknowledge the true Master of the Universe.