Summary: The Shepherds had an encounter with Jesus, we all need continual meetings with Jesus, so we can be those full of the Word and full of praise.
Shepherds (Luke 2:8-20)
God invited them to meet with Jesus
These shepherds were those who watched over the temple sheep destined for the passover sacrifice. They were Rabinically unclean and could not actually to to temple worship.
These were those who were the lowest class of society. They did not go home at night, but slept in the fields day in and out.
They were not necessarily looking, but God, Himself, came on the scene of their lives, and gave them a Divine invitation to go and meet with the Messiah, the Savior of the world.
God invites us.
Mt. 11:28—come unto me you who are weary and heavy laden (things, religion’s rules, oppressed, depressed, cares)
Mark 8:34—whosoever will come…deny…take up cross and choose to press through.
Rev. 22:17—God is stil calling at the end of Revelation.
They had to choose to seek God out.
Whenever you make a decision to follow God, there will be some obstacle, some difficulty, something you must press through to get to your goal of a real relationship with God.
But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. (Deuteronomy 4:29, KJV).
And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13, KJV).
I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. (Proverbs 8:17, KJV).
They did not know the stable, there were lots of stables in Bethlehem. What about the sheep? They made a decision to meet with the Lord and to take the steps necessary to do that.
Mark 5:25—the woman pressed thru the crowd. At times it may be crowded schedules, crowded priorities, it may be the opinions of others, it will be a whole variety of obstacles to try to hinder you from following the Lord, obeying him, and worshiping Him.
Matthew 7:7—ask (and keep on asking) seek, (and keep on seeking), knock (and keep on knocking).
They met with Jesus.
We need frequent, regular encounters with Jesus Christ. When was the last time you had a real encounter? What is hindering you?
Seen in Early church
Luke 24:49, Stay in Jerusalem until the promise of the Father comes, the Holy Spirit clothes you with power. Jesus knew that they needed Divine encounters.
Acts 1:4-8, When you recieve HS’s power you will be witnesses. It was very important, and is of utmost importance that we have regular encounters with the spirit of God.
Acts 2—They met with God
Acts 3—going to the temple to pray (meet with God)
Acts 4:31—they prayed and all were filled with the Holy Spirit.
Two Results of Meetings with God.
1. Spreading the Word
Luke 2:17—Shepherds were the first to tell others of Jesus.
Mt. 28:19—This comes out of a close walk withGod, where we constantly press through and meet with the Lord.
Acts 2:14, 3:12ff, 4:31, 6:7, 12:24, 13:49, 19:20
2. Worship and praise.
An evidence of someone with encounters withGod is a lifestyle of worship and praise.
Acts 2:47, 3:8, 16:25
How do you respond when God invites you to meet with Him?
Is the timing of dinner to important. Is that project you are working on first priority? Is what others think so important?
Many cannot spread the word and are not filled with joy, peace, worship, and praise because they have allowed things other than God to fill their heart
Mt 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Cares of this world (Mt. 13:22) and deceitfulness of riches.