“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of heavenly host praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’”
Luke 2:13-14 (KJV)
How are you? I hope you all had a blessed Christmas. Last week, I spoke and pondered about Mary. This week, I will talk and ponder about the message that the angel of the Lord said to the shepherds.
Can you imagine being in the place of the shepherds? One day you are quietly tending your sheep, as usual. The next day, the angel of the Lord comes to you and tells you a savior is born and you should go visit. Then, as if you aren’t freaked out enough by the angel, all of a sudden, heavenly hosts start praising God with the angel.
How would you feel? Would you be fearful, joyful, confused, hesitant, disbelieving, worried, humbled, or what? Would you want to start praising God with the heavenly hosts? Would you want to hide or celebrate? Would you feel honored that the angel came to you with a message?
The shepherds go to see Jesus, so we can guess that they either believed everything they were told or they were curious. Would you drop everything and go see your Lord and Savior? Would you believe or at least be curious?
I can’t even imagine being those shepherds. It must have been a magnificent, humbling, and joyous experience, once they got over their fear. It is difficult enough to imagine being visited by an angel of the Lord. I wonder what a multitude of heavenly hosts praising God would look like. It must be beautiful though.
Were they angel and heavenly hosts sent by God so that the shepherds would believe that Jesus was their Savior? Was it so the shepherds would understand the magnitude of Jesus’ birth and purpose on earth? I don’t know. Do we understand the magnitude of Jesus’ birth and purpose on earth? Do we show it? Do we live it? Do we share it with others? I can imagine that we will experience something like this in heaven some day. I wonder if the shepherds felt a little bit of heaven in those moments on earth.
Let’s ponder the message of the heavenly hosts, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Was this a foreshadowing of how Jesus would spend His time on earth? Was it a message and example of how we should act? I wonder if the shepherds understood it. Do we give glory to God? Do we act with peace and good will towards others?
Thank you for the gift of your Son, Jesus! Thank you for the message through your holy Word. Help us to join with the heavenly hosts in praising you, giving glory to you, and giving peace on earth and good will towards others. Help us to appreciate and acknowledge the message you gave to the shepherds that day long ago. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Luke 2:13-14 (KJV):
*What does Luke 2:13-14 mean to me?
*Do I appreciate the message of the angel of the Lord and the heavenly
*How would I feel if I received that message on that day so long ago?
*Do I understand and appreciate the magnitude of Jesus’ birth and purpose
*What is the lesson God has for me in Luke 2:13-14?
*How can I better live the message of Luke 2:13-14?
*What can I do differently to better appreciate and live the words of Luke
Now, it is your turn.
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“(A Psalm of praise.) Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.”
Psalms 100:1 KJV
How are you this week? As it is November and November is a month of thanksgiving, I thought I would do a series on a psalm that calls people to worship the Lord with song and thanksgiving, Psalms 100. I came across this psalm kind of accidently as I was searching verses about thankfulness. I don’t mean that I have never read it before. I mean that I have never noticed its beauty before.
I don’t know about you, but I have kind of nonchalantly referenced some of the words in Psalms 100:1 when talking about my singing ability. I might say something like, “Well, I don’t know if I can sing, but I can make a joyful noise.” However, I think the words in Psalms 100:1 don’t really have anything to do with singing ability, but have a deeper meaning. I think the verse sets the tone for the entire psalm.
In Matthew 12:30 (KJV),Jesus gives us these words: "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment."
It occurs to me that if we follow these words of Jesus, this verse and Psalms 100 will be like a summary of our behavior in life. So, how do we do that? What does that look like?
In Psalms 100:1, we are all called to make a joyful noise. As with many other things in life, God doesn’t tell us exactly what to say or how to do it. He just says to “make a joyful noise unto the Lord….” I don’t know God’s intentions for sure here, but as for me, I think a joyful noise can be anything thing from laughter, to humming, to singing, to praising, to complimenting, to thanking, to glorifying God. What do you think?
In Matthew 7:20 (KJV) Jesus says, “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” And, in Galatians 5:22, one of the fruits of the Spirit is joy. So, this sums up the reason why we are called to make a joyful noise. If we know God and love God, it is often so easy to make a joyful noise. When our heart is full of love and thankfulness, we want to sing out or praise God spontaneously. If God lives within us, we will be joyful and people as well as God will know that we are His.
At the end of Psalms 100:1, we are reminded that everyone in all the lands are called to be joyful and make a joyful noise unto the Lord. I am glad. It is nice to see others happy and it is even catching, just as a smile is apt to provoke a smile in return or a compliment is apt to provoke a compliment in return. Songs are like that too sometimes. We might hear someone singing a song and we just want to join in and sing along.
Part of me wonders if the last part of the verse doesn’t just refer to people, but to all God’s creations. I feel joyful when I hear waves crashing against the shore, leaves rustling in a gentle breeze, hummingbirds humming and fluttering about, the gurgle of a babbling brook, or a crackling of a campfire. To me, they are all “singing out” and testifying of God’s glory and greatness. If they can do it, can’t we do it all the more?
Thank you for being our Creator and Heavenly Father. Thank you for calling us to be joyful. Help us to fulfill this calling not only when we are getting our way, but during all times to show others that we are yours. Help us to us to get close you and to “sing out” and testify of your glory and greatness. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Psalms 100:1 (KJV):
*What does Psalms 100:1 mean to me?
*Why do I think we are called to “make a joyful noise unto the Lord”?
*Do I “make a joyful noise unto the Lord”?
*What can I do to better fulfill the calling in Psalms 100:1?
Now, it is your turn.
What are your thoughts? Please, leave me a comment. I enjoy reading your thoughts and comments. I am so thankful that you are here. I pray the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations blesses someone. If you find value in these words, please share them with your friends and family. Consider making an announcement at church that the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations is here. I pray before each post and pray that I write down God's message and His words for the blog and not my own. You may even want to sign up to get the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations and other faith content in your inbox. Also, if you have a prayer request, idea, suggestion, question, or topic request, please feel free to contact me. Thank you. God bless.
This is Jodi. I am so glad you are here! I am a Christian and life-long learner. I enjoy sharing and encouraging others. I pray you are blessed by this blog. Thank you for being here.