"So Who Will Share the Good News?" — A Year with Jesus for 12/15/2017
Note from Jesus
Dear Friend of God,
Today, I AM asking you to do something important. I know you are busy with all your Christmas plans, but there is one important gift I'd like you to give to someone. I want you to share the good news story of My birth with that person. The person could be a man or woman, adult or child, old or young, rich or poor, but no matter who that person is, all people need to be reminded that I came to earth from heaven for them.
Please share that story with a couple of people who are special to you.
Verses to Live
An angel first told the story of God's good news of My coming to Joseph and Mary. While it was unbelievable good news, it was also news that would change their world, and yours, forever:
n Nazareth, a city in the rural province of Galilee, the heavenly messenger Gabriel made another appearance. This time the messenger was sent by God to meet with a virgin named Mary, who was engaged to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David himself. The messenger entered her home.
Greetings! You are favored, and the Lord is with you! Among all women on the earth, you have been blessed.
The heavenly messenger's words baffled Mary, and she wondered what type of greeting this was.
Mary, don't be afraid. You have found favor with God. Listen, you are going to become pregnant. You will have a son, and you must name Him "Savior," or Jesus. Jesus will become the greatest among men. He will be known as the Son of the Highest God. God will give Him the throne of His ancestor David, and He will reign over the covenant family of Jacob forever.
Mary was engaged to marry Joseph, son of David. They hadn't married. And yet, some time well before their wedding date, Mary learned that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Joseph, because he was kind and upstanding and honorable, wanted to spare Mary shame. He did not wish to cause her more embarrassment than necessary.
Now when Joseph had decided to act on his instincts, a messenger of the Lord came to him in a dream.
Messenger of the Lord:
Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to wed Mary and bring her into your home and family as your wife. She did not sneak off and sleep with someone else — rather, she conceived the baby she now carries through the miraculous wonderworking of the Holy Spirit. She will have a son, and you will name Him Jesus, which means "the Lord saves," because this Jesus is the person Who will save all of His people from sin.
Angels (heavenly messengers) also announced the good news to a group of shepherds out in the fields tending their flocks. It was such good news for them that they had to go to see if it was really true and then tell others about this good news they had seen!
Nearby, in the fields outside of Bethlehem, a group of shepherds were guarding their flocks from predators in the darkness of night. Suddenly a messenger of the Lord stood in front of them, and the darkness was replaced by a glorious light — the shining light of God's glory. They were terrified!
Don't be afraid! Listen! I bring good news, news of great joy, news that will affect all people everywhere. Today, in the city of David, a Liberator has been born for you! He is the promised Anointed One, the Supreme Authority! You will know you have found Him when you see a baby, wrapped in a blanket, lying in a feeding trough.
At that moment, the first heavenly messenger was joined by thousands of other messengers — a vast heavenly choir. They praised God.
To the highest heights of the universe, glory to God!
And on earth, peace among all people who bring pleasure to God!
As soon as the heavenly messengers disappeared into heaven, the shepherds were buzzing with conversation.
Let's rush down to Bethlehem right now! Let's see what's happening! Let's experience what the Lord has told us about!
The Father even used a star to announce the good news of My birth to foreigners, wise men from the East, who came to worship Me because of this good news.
The wise men left Herod's chambers and went on their way. The star they had first seen in the East reappeared — a miracle that, of course, overjoyed and enraptured the wise men. The star led them to the house where Jesus lay; and as soon as the wise men arrived, they saw Him with His mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped Him. They unpacked their satchels and gave Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
This is the beginning of the good news of Jesus, the Anointed One, the Liberating King, the Son of God.
Isaiah the prophet told us what would happen before He came:
Watch, I will send My messenger in front of You
to prepare Your way and make it clear and straight.
You'll hear him, a voice crying in the wilderness,
"Prepare the way of the Eternal One,
a straight way in the wandering desert, a highway for our God."
That messenger was John the Baptist, who appeared in the desert near the Jordan River preaching that people should be ritually
cleansed through baptism with water as a sign of both their changed hearts and God's forgiveness of their sins.
If angels, stars, and shepherds can find a way to sing, shine, and share the good news of My birth, won't you?
Response in Prayer
O Father in heaven and the One True and Living God, open my eyes to see the people You have placed around me who need to hear the good news of Jesus' birth in the middle of their busy Christmas season. In the name of my Savior, I pray. Amen.
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May God bless you and keep you safe this day!