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Advent Adventure, Part 9

“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.”  Luke 2:17-18 (NLT)

What do you like to do when you hear really good news?  If you’re like me, you want to share it with your family and friends.  Everyone loves good news!  The news that the shepherds heard was good news of great joy for all people!  After personally seeing Christ in the manger, they were compelled to tell everyone what had happened!  Look at the progression in their story:

First, they received the message of Christ’s birth and where to find Him.

“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.” Luke 2:10-12 (NLT) Continue reading “Advent Adventure, Part 9” »

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Advent Adventure, Part 8

This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:12 (NIV)

 The Shepherds were given a sign, a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.  Later, the wise men from the East were given a sign.  They followed a star that led them to Bethlehem and rested over the place where Jesus was staying.  What’s your sign?  What has God used in your life to get your attention?  How has He guided you to His Son?  God speaks in many ways.  The question is, “Are we listening?”  Do you recognize the signs that God has used in your life to speak to you?  God longs to reveal Himself to us.  That’s why He became flesh and came to our world.  Imagine how amazed the angels must have been when they saw the Creator born as a creature, the Word coming as a speechless baby.  What a wonder it must have been for the shepherds to see the Christ child in a poor stable.  Continue reading “Advent Adventure, Part 8” »

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Advent Adventure, Part 7

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.…’” Luke 2:8-10 (NIV)

It was a night like no other. At first, it all appeared normal, with shepherds living out in the fields watching over their flocks. That’s when it happened! Suddenly, out of nowhere, Luke tells us that an angel appeared! I don’t know about you but, if I was one of those shepherds, I think it would have scared me out of my skin! You can always tell when it’s an angel because the first thing he tells them is, “Don’t be afraid.” Right! It must be predictable and humorous from the angels’ standpoints. I can almost hear them telling their angelic host, “I just got the assignment to speak to the shepherds and announce the birth of Jesus! This is going to be fun! It’s going to freak them out!” However, it all works; we’re told that not only did these angels appear to the Shepherds, but the glory of the Lord shone around them! Continue reading “Advent Adventure, Part 7” »

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Advent Adventure, Part 6

“For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served but to serve others, and to give My life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 (NIV)

You can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving.  Love involves a double vision of both giving and serving.  When Christ came, He came to serve, not to be served.  Would others say that of you?  Do you expect others to serve you or to wait on you?  Think about it – the God of the Universe humbled Himself and became a servant.  Isaiah describes Jesus as the suffering servant in Isaiah 53. “He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on Him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.”  Isaiah 53:3 (NLT)  Jesus served others throughout His ministry.  He fed the multitudes and healed the sick; He even washed His disciples’ feet and told them, “And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet.  I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.” John 13:14-17 (NLT)  This is the secret to a blessed life!  There are two building blocks to a life of blessing.  The first is to build a life of serviceContinue reading “Advent Adventure, Part 6” »

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Advent Adventure, Part 5

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” John 3:16-17 (NIV)

The first candle on the Advent Wreath represents hope – the hope of a coming Messiah, a Savior who would save us from our sins, prophesied by the prophets of old.  It’s been referred to as the “prophecy” candle.  The next purple candle on the wreath represents love.  Some traditions call this the “Bethlehem Candle”.  God’s promise to Abraham was fulfilled in Bethlehem! Continue reading “Advent Adventure, Part 5” »