Luke 2:8-14 ESV
“And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
What is standing out to me in this passage of Scripture today are these words: “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” And that really is the message of Jesus’ birth. It is that Jesus, who is the Christ, the promised Messiah, had come (as prophesied) to be our Savior, to free us from our bondage to sin, and to give us new lives in him. And that is bringing great joy for all people who will believe in him.
So, what exactly is this “good news”? It is not just that Jesus was born and that he lived and then he died on a cross for our sins so that we could be forgiven our sins and so we can go to heaven when we die. It is that Jesus was born, and he lived, and then he died on that cross to save us from our slavery to sin so that we will now no longer be enslaved to sin, but so we can now live as slaves of God and of his righteousness. It is so we can now live godly and holy lives in the power of God to the glory and praise of God.
And this really is the “good news” of Jesus’ birth. It is that we can now be delivered out of our slavery (addiction) to sin, and live free from the power and control of sin over our lives, and that we can walk in holiness and in righteousness, in the power of God’s Spirit now living within those of us who are walking by faith in Jesus Christ in obedience to his commands. Sin no longer has to have mastery over our lives to where we obey its desires. Now we are free to live for the Lord and to serve him the rest of our days.
But it isn’t just that. For those of us of genuine faith in Jesus Christ, Jesus is now our Savior and Lord, and he is living within us in the person of the Holy Spirit, and he is with us always because he lives inside of us. And so we are now in relationship, in fellowship with our Lord if we are walking by faith in him in obedience to his commands and if we have forsaken our lives of sin. And he is not only our Savior and Lord (Owner-Master), but he is our best friend, and our husband, and our closest and dearest companion.
And it is that he now lives inside of us guiding and directing our steps, and that he is watching over our lives, and he is showing us the way in which we are to walk, and then he is leading and empowering us in the ways in which he would have us to go. And then he is using us in other people’s lives to share with them the love of Jesus and his compassion for humankind and his gospel of salvation so that they can know him, too, and so that they can be set free from their slavery to sin and walk now in his holiness, in his power.
And now we have purpose and direction in our lives. And we have peace and joy. And we never again have any reason ever to fear anything or anyone. That doesn’t mean we will never feel fear again, but that we can conquer all fear in the power of our Lord and in the name of Jesus. And our Lord can fill us with his peace even in the midst of much conflict. And he can fill us with his joy even in the midst of great suffering and persecution. Even if everyone turns against us, we still have reason to sing His praises!
But all this is contingent upon us walking by faith in his holiness and righteousness and in obedience to his commands. For we do not have peace if we are living the opposite of what God has for us, and if we are ignoring his commands (New Covenant), and if we are going our own stubborn way, instead. For to be a true follower of Jesus Christ we must be dying daily to sin and to self and walking in obedience to his commands in holy living and no longer in sin, in deliberate and habitual sin, in practice.
So, as you think about Jesus and his birth, think about the reason for why he was born and what that has to do with you and how you are living your life today. And if you truly want to honor him and celebrate him, then surrender your life to him. Die with him to sin and now live to him and to his righteousness, in his power and strength. Walk with him daily in holiness and in godly living, doing what pleases him, and not to please yourself. Then be his witness in telling others of his love and grace and the reason for why he came, to save us from our sins and to give us new lives in Him.
[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
The First Noel
The first Noel the angel did say
was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay,
in fields where they lay keeping their sheep,
on a cold winter’s night that was so deep.
They looked up and saw a star
shining in the east beyond them far;
and to the earth it gave great light,
and so it continued both day and night.
Then let us all with one accord
sing praises to our heavenly Lord,
that hath made heaven and earth of naught,
and with his blood our life hath bought.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
born is the King of Israel.
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