Monday, December 21, 2015

When You Find What You're NOT Looking For

Monday, December 21, 2015

Devotion VIDEO here

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep.  Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them.  They were terrified, but the angel reassured them.  “Don’t be afraid!” he said.  “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.  The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!  And you will recognize him by this sign:  You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”  Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”  When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”  They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph.  And there was the baby, lying in the manger.  After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child.  All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.  The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.    Luke 2:8-20(NLT)
The details are known by anyone who has ever participated in a Christmas play.  The shepherds returned to their fields, but they went back as changed people, different than they'd been; they went back rejoicing over the astonishing news they'd witnessed.  And the primary difference was in that they shared the story, probably quite often. 

A beggar who finds bread tells other beggars!

What change can the witness of a child in a manger make?  For these shepherds we see that their lives were transformed. 

Bret Harte, one of American literature's great authors wrote about life on the American frontier.  One of his most famous stories is about the baby of Roaring Camp mine, about 80 miles out of Sacramento.  A woman of questionable reputation named Cherokee Sal lived in the camp, and she died, leaving a newborn baby.  The rough and hard men said: We have to do something with this baby

They had a wooden crate for a bed, but one of the men decided that it wasn't fit for a baby; so he sent to Sacramento for a rosewood cradle.  The cradle was wonderful, but it highlighted the dirty clothes they'd dressed him in; so, back to Sacramento for some nice clothes.  Then they saw that the floor was dirty, and they cleaned it; then the walls, windows, and the ceiling. 

And the baby had to have some rest, so the carousing, partying and drinking ceased; they said:  the baby's asleep, be quiet

When spring came, they took the child outside and up to the mine where they worked.  But it was so bare, and dirty.  So they began to clean up the litter, and one planted flowers to beautify it. 

Some of the men began to shave regularly, and even wash up.  In short, the presence of one tiny baby transformed that old rough and wicked mining camp into a beautiful place of changed people.[2]

This is what happens when Jesus comes to a life. 

When we give ourselves to Him, that He might be Lord and Savior there is a change to life.  We begin to live differently, and the changes are seen.  Our lives are different, because He makes a difference. 

For You Today

In a lot of ways our world can be a Roaring Camp, dark, noisy, dangerous, and hopeless. But the GREATEST NEWS is brought by a child that can change everything! 

Christmas means you can be born again....He can come into your heart....and change your world.  We can say, "For unto ME a Savior is born..."

You chew on that out on the Rocky Road today…and have a joy-filled and blessed day!

[1] Title image:  By Photo: L. C. McClure [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
[2] The Luck of Roaring Camp, Francis Bret Harte, The Harvard Classics Shelf of Fiction, Vol. X, Part 4. © 2001, Inc.

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