Explore God's Word Daily

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Joy to the world (Luke 2 v 8-14)

Merry Christmas!

We’ve seen God turning expectations upside down in the way His Christ comes into the world. He chose an anonymous teenager as Jesus’ mother; His Son’s birth took place quietly and without ceremony; now the announcement of His arrival takes place on a hillside and to shepherds, whose job made them ritually unclean.

Read Luke 2:8

An understandable reaction

• What accompanied “the angel of the Lord” (v 9)?
• How did the shepherds respond (v 9)?

It’s not a surprising feeling—heaven is touching earth! And remember that these men know that they’re unclean: certainly not ready to stand being in God’s glory.

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TIME OUT… Read Isaiah 6:1
• How does Isaiah feel about being in the presence of God in His glory (v 5)?
• What does a seraph (an angel) say to him (v 6-7)?
Meeting the perfect God should result in death for imperfect people—even for a prophet like Isaiah. But in Isaiah’s case, it doesn’t: an angel brings him a wonderful message of good news—that he has been saved from death.
And the shepherds were about to hear something wonderful too…
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A wonderful message

• What kind of message did the angel bring (v 10)?
• What four details did the angel give about the baby who “has been born to you” (v 11)?
• How does each detail show that this birth is “good news”?

The gospel message prompts “great joy”. Joy is the right response to God acting to fulfil His promises. John had “leaped for
joy” in his mother’s womb (1 v 44), and Mary had rejoiced (1 v 47). Now these seemingly randomly-chosen shepherds
are also told to share the joy of knowing that the Ruler and Rescuer of the world has been born.

Ultimately, He’s the one who saves people from death: who turns the prospect of meeting the glorious God from one of terror to one of joy: who brings peace between God and men who recognize His Christ and know Him as their Saviour
(v 14). Happy Christmas!

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APPLY
• Have you paused from today’s events to remember and appreciate the events of that day?
• Is your greatest joy today coming not from seeing family, eating food or being on holiday, but the fact that Christ the Lord has come?
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This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from the good book company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.

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About Explore God's Word Daily

Explore God's Word Daily helps you open up the Bible to be refreshed and encouraged in your walk with God. "Explore" is the daily Bible-reading devotional from The Good Book Company (www.thegoodbook.com). Contributors include: Dr Timothy Keller, Senior Pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York; Mike McKinley, Senior pastor of Guilford Baptist Church; Tim Chester, author and pastor of Crowded House, Sheffield, UK; Mark Meynell, Senior Associate Minister at All Soul’s Langham Place, London, UK. Editors: Tim Thornborough and Carl Laferton.

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