Why do you think God chose to reveal Jesus to shepherds first?
God has always used the weak things of this world to confound the wise.
1 Corinthians 1:27 (NIV) But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
* God picked the lowly to reveal His Son and the most humble of places to do it.
Philippians 2:5-7 (NIV) In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
* He came to earth born into poor circumstances, to insignificant parents in the most un orthodox way, born in a feeding trough, to invite us into relationship Him.
God wants to reach the lost, hurting and outcast.
Mark 2:7 (NIV) On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
* The shepherds are a picture of who God wants to reach.
* We don’t have it all together, we need Jesus more than ever! Will you make room for Him?
Jesus is Gods answer to a crazy fallen world. He is Savior and Lord.
Luke 2:10-14 (NIV) But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
* God came at the perfect time, at a time of political unrest to the lowest group in Jewish society.
* The angels announce God’s plan, the good news that leads to great joy, if we let it.
* They proclaim this baby is the Savior and Lord
* In God’s good pleasure, He offers us the gift of peace, wholeness, and rest through Jesus.
Will you make room for His peace?
Luke 2:15-16 (NIV) When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s
go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.
Believe the promise for peace
Hebrews 11:6 (NIV) And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
* Earnestly seeking Him means we have made room in our lives where He is priority.
John 16:33 (ESV) I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
* Don’t confuse the absence of conflict with true peace, which is not what God promised.
* Lasting peace is only found in the person of Christ, not in our circumstances.
Respond to the promise.
Luke 2:17 (NIV) 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
* The shepherds went and told everyone they ran into. It wasn’t just a one-time event.
* They returned to their same simple lives with joy, because they were known by God and invited to be a part of His plan.
* God didn’t change their circumstances, just their hearts!
Philippians 4: 4-7 (NIV) Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
* God’s peace comes from what I know (His promises), not from what I feel (fear, worry, anxiety).
Colossians 3:15 (NIV) Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
ï Peace is to rule our hearts. This means it is to act as an umpire, to arbitrate in our hearts.
ï What does being at peace and thankful look like this Christmas?
Tangible ways to live in Christ’s peace this season:
Life Group Questions
1. Read Philippians 4:6-8; Isaiah 26:3. How do you make room for God’s peace in your thinking and responses to the situations you are a part of? What promises from or truth about God bring you peace?
2. If you were to share peace and good news about Jesus with people in your life what would that look like for you and them? Think about your home, your neighborhood, your work, and your community. You might choose one or two places to specifically think through.
3. As you consider the coming year what do you think you will need when it comes to making room for God’s peace? (You might look at Matthew 11:28-30; Isaiah 54:10)