A Year with Jesus: 'Be Astonishing'

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Note from Jesus

Dear Child of God,

If you were a shepherd in the time when I was born, you would never have expected anyone to be astonished at anything you could ever say or do. You would have been "just" a lowly and despised shepherd. Most shepherds (like those who celebrated my birth) were quite young and most often ignored. Like all good shepherds, they smelled like sheep — they were not the kind of folks you invite into your house for a long conversation or a dinner party. Shepherds, in general, were not considered intellectually astute. Most people felt that shepherds would have little to say that was important.

Then came My birth. Look at what God made of these shepherds. They were the first to share the good news of My birth. They were the first "missionaries" sent to tell the story of God coming down to live with people. These shepherds were told this good news by angels sent from the glory of heaven.

People were astonished. They were astonished that God would use shepherds. They were astonished at what the shepherds told them about the angels. They were astonished at the story the shepherds told about Who I was and where I was born.

Look at what the Father made of these shepherds. They were the first to know and to proclaim the astonishing good news of God coming to the world as a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and placed in a feed trough — the glory of the newborn King of the Jews, the Messiah of Israel, and the Savior of the world.

And what about you? Are you astonishing?

If you listen closely to the passages below, you will see that I have done something just as astonishing with you as I did with the shepherds. Because of Me, you are now "holy, blameless, and totally free of imperfection." Just like the shepherds, you have been given the opportunity to be astonishing!

Verses to Live

Simple shepherds share the astonishing news!
After seeing him [baby Jesus], the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds' story were astonished...
(Luke 2:17-18 NLT)
In the flesh, I bring you astonishing identity!
He [Jesus] is the exact image of the invisible God, the firstborn of creation, the eternal. It was by Him that everything was created: the heavens, the earth, all things within and upon them, all things seen and unseen, thrones and dominions, spiritual powers and authorities. Every detail was crafted through His design, by His own hands, and for His purposes. He has always been! It is His hand that holds everything together. He is the head of this body, the church. He is the beginning, the first of those to be reborn from the dead, so that in every aspect, at every view, in everything — He is first. God was pleased that all His fullness should forever dwell in the Son Who, as predetermined by God, bled peace into the world by His death on the cross as God's means of reconciling to Himself the whole creation — all things in heaven and all things on earth.

You were once at odds with God, wicked in your ways and evil in your minds; but now He has reconciled you in His body — in His flesh through His death — so that He can present you to God holy, blameless, and totally free of imperfection as long as you stay planted in the faith. So don't venture away from what you have heard and taken to heart: the living hope of the good news that has been announced to all creation under heaven and has captured me, Paul, as its servant.
(Colossians 1:15-23)

Response in Prayer

O Father, I place my faith in Jesus and what He did by becoming flesh and shedding His blood to make me Yours. This grace, this story, and this Jesus have captured my heart, and I offer all that I am to You, O God, in the name of Jesus and because of Your grace. Amen.

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About This Devotional

A Year with Jesus is a daily devotional written to help us all reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives.

'A Year with Jesus' is written by Phil Ware.

All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.