One of the traditions that many churches celebrate from time to time is that of the lighting of the Advent Candles, reminding us for five weeks before Christmas, of another aspect of God becoming man in the Person of Jesus Christ.
We have recently looked at a€?Prophecya€? a€“ the predictive emphasis of the first candle, unique to the Judeo-Christian Bible and, the following week, a€?Bethlehema€?, the lowly place to exemplify the Humility of Christ, for the second candle.
8A And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
It was to these shepherds in the fields on the outskirts of Bethlehem, watching their flocks by night that God chose to proclaim the most important announcement in the history of the world! Anda€¦why does the occupation of a€?Shepherdinga€? permeate the history of Goda€™s Chosen People? When Joseph, as governor of Egypt, brought his father, brothers and family into Egypt, they were introduced to Pharaoh as shepherds. David was a shepherd before he became King of Israel, and then he became a€?shepherda€? over Israel. 71A from following the nursing ewes he brought him to shepherd Jacob his people, Israel his inheritance.
5A Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, a€?Behold, we are your bone and flesh. We normally do not see many shepherds guiding their flocks through the streets and pathways in North America, so we who may have never seen a living shepherd might equate them as a truly a€?outdoora€? person a€“ maybe someone similar to our image of a cowboy a€“ spending nights around a campfire, being ever attuned to the wild environment around his flock or herd. Why did God choose shepherds for this amazing announcement and for a continuing pattern of leadership for His Body? If there were one attitude depicting responsible leadership and personal care that God wanted to reinforce on the hearts of His people a€“ it would be the humble, responsible care evidenced by shepherds.
12A Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? Who taught him the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding? 15A Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust.
God wants Leadership under His Authority to Exemplify His Characteristics of being Good Shepherds!
A true Shepherda€™s attitude epitomizes who God is and how He wants His servants to respond to those under their care and responsibility. Did God reveal the message of Christa€™s Birth to those shepherds in the Judean fields beside Bethlehem, to point out the qualities of Responsible Carea€¦as qualities He wants Children of His Kingdom to replicate? Why did God choose shepherds for this amazing announcement by His angels and for a continuing pattern of leadership for His Body? Dads, moms, older brothers and sisters, those who care for those who are less fortunate, those who care for any in the Family of God, leaders in the Church, mature Christians a€“ a Shepherda€™s attitude is an example for us all!


God also wants us to be aware that He has Special and Powerful Spiritual Angelic Representatives who interact in the lives of those on earth and are Attentive to His Will.
May we serve God faithfully with the humble responsible care in the attitude of Shepherds and may we realize that God has many angels and powerful means to fulfill His will! 9A And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear.
17A And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 2A In times past, when Saul was king over us, it was you who led out and brought in Israel.
17A All the nations are as nothing before him, they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness. 27, 2015, will share Amber’s secrets on how to be successful, covering love, beauty, fashion, finances and a career, as well as advice for confidence and self-acceptance. 12A He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. We carried it proudly all the way back to one of their houses and proceeded to patch the hole with a piece of plywood and tar.
20A And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
I know my own and my own know me, 15A just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. One of the boys found a canoe paddle in the weeds and we three got into the boat and started to paddle out. We feverishly paddled with that one oar and bailed out the water with our hands and an old can.
Barely we made it to shore and got out just before the boat sank below the water and headed downstream. Wet, cold and shaking the three of us headed home knowing we would never tell our parents of this stupid adventure. We were lucky to be alive and it was only by Goda€™s grace that I can live to tell about it. Sometimes that other road will bring you back to your original path and sometimes it will take you farther away from it. But God used him to gather and lead his people out of Pharaoha€™s slavery and split the Red Sea in two.A  Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers and was cast into prison but became the second most powerful person inEgypt. Or, maybe just maybe a smile or a kind word from you to a stranger may just prevent them from going home and ending their own life and their grandson will some day save the world. He will bring to light things that are now hidden in darkness, and will make known the secret purposes of people's hearts.


Throw your troubled waters out of your boat and paddle on down that river of life with Him at your side. You have ears, but you don't really listen.Psalm 13:2 -- How long must I worry and feel sad in my heart all day? I have been praying for something to happen for 4A? years now and what I prayed for was not granted. Leta€™s speak of reality a€“ He is God and He can do what He wants to or not do what He doesna€™t want to. We cannot command the Lord to do anything whether we do it in pleading, tears, anger, or desperation. If God has the will, He may answer our prayers about life but nothing says that He absolutely has to. All we have is the hope that he will hear us, see what we are going through, and grant us a little drop of His mercy in this life.
He will cure a cancer, heal the deaf, grow an arm back or bring someone back to life but that does not mean He will do it all the time. He has given us guidance through His word (the Bible) and occasionally gives us a nudge or lesson to learn from but basically kicks us out of the nest like the mother bird does to face the challenges of life. I get so frustrated at times that my prayers are not answered and I have to keep reminding myself that this is my life and I need to deal with it on my own sometimes. Their job is to preach the message to inspire, encourage, and give hope to their congregations. If we are to be an example of His mercy to others, it can only be done with people of lesser stature than us.
He wants us to spread the Gospel and not make up stories of what He has done for us personally in life. Just show others how you believe in His salvation and forgiveness and tell them of His Word. He has promised everything in His kingdom of Heaven to those who accept His Son as Lord and Savior.
Life here is just a temporary setback, trial and test to see if we are worthy of everlasting life sharing in His love -- or without it in a very dark place. So accept His Son as your Lord and claim the only real promise that He made to us --- Forgiveness and Salvation.



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