by Jill Lienemann, Kesher International Missions | ©2010
“And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.’” Luke 2:9-12 (NKJV)
Not many of us have an angel proclaiming a message from God stand before us like the shepherds did. More than likely, we received a Word from the Lord through our time in prayer or reading the Bible. However, when our spirit recognizes God’s glory, our hearts quicken and our flesh can become fearful at the magnitude of the news. “I bring good tidings” in Greek literally means “I evangelize you.” God is letting us know the time is NOW (this day) for the plan of salvation to be revealed to ALL people. What greater joy could a person experience than being reconciled to his/her heavenly Father! Powerful! And God is choosing us (you) to deliver the message. Amazing!
Something else is happening in this passage. As He reveals the details of the initial step in His salvation strategy, the birth of Jesus, God also gives the shepherds a commission … “you will find.” In order to find something, you have to “go” search for it. It’s not enough to just receive the message. God is telling us we have an obligation to take action BECAUSE of the message. He goes even further by confirming the mandate with a sign so that we cannot misinterpret the Truth. God knows us so well! He’s sealed the deal even before we can raise any objections.
KESHER TIP: Why did you come here?
I remember the first time I was asked this question by the people I was ministering to on my first mission trip. I was not prepared to give an answer. The Bible tells us in Timothy that we should be “ready in season and out of season” to preach, or share, the Word. Before you go on your mission trip, take time to write down your answer to this question. You might want to include a Scripture verse. Meditate, memorize and practice your reply even if it is simply one or two sentences. This will allow the words to come quickly to your lips from your mind and heart so you won’t be caught off guard.
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