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Friday, December 17, 2010

12/18/10 Luke 2:16-20 Praising God for Finding Him

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

(Adoration of the Shepherds- El Greco)
Thoughts: The joy of Christmas is not to be kept to ourselves.  Years ago Campus Crusade for Christ had a world-wide campaign with the theme, "I Found It!"  This is kind of what the shepherds expressed- they had found him- the babe the angels talked about.  The shepherds glorified and praised God- they were deeply moved and changed by these events.  Who wouldn't be?  Alas, there are too many who experience God but later they forget their experience and turn away.  Then there are others who have a remarkable experience of God but keep that to themselves.  When God gives us hope or help, we should seek to praise God.
Prayer: Thank you God, for finding me.  May I express my joy at having found you as the shepherds did.

John Calvin Abridged: The shepherds could have been shocked that the King of kings would be in such a humble, poverty-stricken state.  But the glory of God and reverence for his word was so much their focus that their faith overcame Christ's humble state.  We should learn to focus on God and not on our circumstances.  That God would use such lowly men to publish the news humbles the pride of the flesh and tries the obedience of faith.  These men were kind of secondary angels delivering the message.  Mary's pondering tells us 1) that she remembered until it was time to recount it; and 2) to follow her example of thinking on the works of God that motivate our faith. 

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