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Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

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We only teach and preach from the King James Version.



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The Journey of the Shepherds

Luke 2:8-20
Introduction . . .
Christmas is about journeys. There was the journey of:
• The Shepherds – from the fields to the stable
• The Wise Men – from distant lands – following a star
• Mary & Joseph – from Nazareth to Bethlehem
• Jesus – from His home in Heaven to a bed in a barn
We often journey at Christmas today:
• To parties and social events
• To grandma’s house
• To see family and friends
• To malls and stores – chasing the stars we call bargains
• To the scales to measure our weight gain
• To the bank to measure our financial loss

Luke 2:8-20

Shepherds were common, ordinary folk. They did not view themselves as God’s gift to society. They were not the socially elite. They were just common, everyday sort of folk.

Most likely these shepherds were tending their sheep just outside of Bethlehem and these were probably sheep being prepared for the temple sacrifices. Their job was to guard these sheep from human and animal predators.

It was not uncommon for a Shepherd to have to pay for a lost sheep out of his own salary.

The Shepherds would have taken turns on watch during the night. Most likely the watch was three hours in length. It was sometime during the evening that the angels appear.

We don’t know what time of night it was. Were some of the Shepherds already asleep or were they sitting around the campfire telling stories and singing Kum-Ba-Yah? We don’t know. We have no record of the Shepherds saying anything to the angels. All we know is that they were sacred. Wouldn’t you be?

Here we have a story of life’s routine being interrupted by God’s messengers, who brought a word from the Lord. What do you do with a word from the Lord?

So, the shepherds were out in the field. And the word of the Lord came to them.

Notice: The Word of the Lord was a word of…
• Courage – v.10 – do not be afraid – The Word of the Lord gives courage to the fearful; it gives courage to the discouraged!
• Good news – v.10 – The Word is good news.
• Joy – v.10 – The Word of the Lord gives joy to those who are sad and grieving
• Hope – v.11 – a Savior (Roman Tyranny – they needed a savior; Sin – they really needed a Savior) – The Word gives hope of a better tomorrow. Eternity

I. God still speaks to us today. We still get a word from the Lord today.
Many people doubt this story because they don’t believe God speaks any more … but they are wrong. The problem for many is that they are looking for bright lights and angel messengers. They are looking for bells and whistles. But, God is speaking to their hearts.

God speaks to us,
• through the living words of the Bible . . . .it’s a love letter written to us that we can read again and again.
• He speaks through the experiences of life. Sometimes we learn the most about God from the things that happen to us. Often the circumstances of our lives are designed to wake us up … take us deeper…& let us see how God is working in our lives.
• God speaks through His Spirit.
Illustration: Young child struggling in school
The story is told about a young child who was having trouble keeping up in school. He worked really hard to keep up with the others in his classroom, but because of his unique challenges, he kept falling behind. As a result, his backpack was crammed full with homework every night. There was no letup. He no longer could play outside with his friends after school. By the time he had made a swipe at all his schoolwork, it was time for bed. The parents consulted with the elementary school guidance counselor and decided that their son needed to be placed with a class of slower learners. It quickly became apparent that the right decision had been made. The third grader got his childhood back, complete with after-school play; a more positive outlook, and grades that matched the front end of the alphabet.
After several weeks of asking his dad if they could play together after dinner, he grew weary of the same response: "I’m sorry, buddy, I have a briefcase full of work I have to do." One day he simply said, "Well, Dad, can’t they just put you in a slower class too?"

If we are going to keep from missing Christmas . . . we are going to have to get into a slower class. Someone has tragically observed that our generation worships our work, works at our play, and plays at our worship. Is it any wonder then that our lives are often spiritually empty? We’re not hearing a word from the Lord – one that brings courage, joy, & hope.

We find time for recreation, for shopping, for other things we want to do . . . . we must be intentional about making time for God. God still speaks but we have to stop long enough to hear Him.

The journey of the shepherds began with a step of faith. They said, “Let’s go.” And they “hurried off.”

That’s the right way to respond to a word from the Lord – take action – take the step of faith.

II. The shepherds’ faith led them to…
• Find Jesus (v.16-17) – The first names in the guest book in the stable were the ordinary folks – the shepherds, who came straight from work.
• Tell others (v.17) -- It was a wonder so great that they couldn’t help telling everyone they saw. These shy, backward, smelly shepherds were stopping strangers on the street to tell them about the baby they saw in the manger. Maybe many or most of the people thought they were nuts . . . but they weren’t.
• Return to their situations in life, but with a changed life -- When they responded appropriately to that message, they discovered a wonder that changed their lives.

Invitation to come to Christ – be honest with yourself. It’s not a long journey, but it is a life-changing journey. Admit, Believe, Confess.
For others, God may be calling you to something different.



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First Baptist Church of Barberville 137 East Broad St. PO Box 97, Barberville, FL 32112 * 386-749-3928