Luke 2:8-20 New King James Version (NKJV)
Glory in the Highest
8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.
10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.
11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”
16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.
17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.
18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.
20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.
Hear the angels, "Glory to God in the highest; and, on earth peace, goodwill toward men."
--God's glory came to earth, that holy night of Jesus' birth, bringing life and light to a dark world!
--When God came to earth. To get us into heaven.
--Born of a woman, a virgin, so we be born of God.
--God humbled Himself, so we may be lifted up.
--He denied Himself, so we could receive all things.
--It is time to give God glory .. glory He is due!
What is glory? A wonderful word of many meanings.
--Of magnificence, splendor, of worship, and praise.
--Why all this jubilee? "a Savior is born to you this day in the city of David, Who is Christ the Lord."
--A long-awaited, prophecied Messiah. All need.
--Able to forgive, and save! Restore what sin lost.
--To "dwell among us," and "in us, hope of glory."
--What a message! Miracle! What a Gift, and God!
--In our thoughts, words, prayers, give God glory!
It is glorious this message came to common people, and to all people. To humble shepherds. To "wise men."
--A message of "good tidings, news, of great joy."
--A message of "peace on earth," the world needs.
--A message of "goodwill to men," to our neighbors.
--A message to "all people." No one to be excluded!
--A message of "A Savior!" What all the world needs!
--A message not so much of Christmas, but of Christ!
--To remember, He is the reason .. for the season.
He is history's greatest birth! Life! Savior!
--Awaited hundreds of years, hundreds of prophecies.
--Awaited by millions of old, now come, with His joy!
Micah 5:2 tells where He to be born, "Bethlehem."
--Isaiah 7:14 tells how He'd be born, "of a virgin."
--Isaiah 9:6 says, ".. the government will be upon His shoulder. His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace." He is our Immanuel - "God with us."
--Hosea 11:1, foretells the flight "to Egypt."
--Jeremiah, 31:15, of the massacre of babes by Herod.
--So many make it clear, Jesus is Messiah all right.
The world needs to know that no other Savior or religious leader has all the credentials Jesus has.
--In all history, no other was sinless.
--No other has shown such love. Worked the miracles.
--Has given such life-changing messages, of godliness.
--No other by His own power, arose from a sealed tomb!
--Or ascended up to heaven, bodily, visibly, as Jesus!
--A reading of the Gospels will convince any doubter!
Therefore, all the world should believe and follow Him.
--Jesus called people, "Follow Me," and they did.
--Many, most faithfully. Even willing to die for Him.
--The Bible says, "every knee should bow before Him."
--So let's do as the Psalmist said, "Give unto the Lord the glory due unto Him" (Psalm 29:2 and many times).
--That's what the angels do. Showed us how to do.
--That's what I want to do .. more and more.
Exodus 16:7 says, "You shall see the glory of the Lord."
--My friend, we see it "in the face of Jesus Christ."
--As Jesus said, ".. that they may behold My glory," I read in John 17:24, in this prayer of our Lord.
Paul tells us, "Whatever we do, do all to the glory of God" (I Cor. 10:31).
--Why? That God may get the glory .. not we.
In our daily lives, how do we glorify God?
--One of the best ways is to obey Him .. His will.
--To follow Jesus. Christ's life-style. Commands.
--As we live the Christ-like life, we glorify God.
--The One, True, Living God - Father, Son, Holy Spirit.
--To do less, is to take away, from His glory.
I like to think of it simply of reading God's Word, of coming to worship, of praying, witnessing, or serving.
--As we do, we are glorifying, giving glory to God.
In II Corinthians 3:18 Paul writes, "beholding .. the glory of the Lord, (we) are being transformed .. into the same image from glory to glory as by the Spirit of the Lord." What is this saying?
--The more we picture Jesus in our mind, the more that we are like Him; and "partakers of His nature."
--Pastor Ralph Cushman has a familiar poem I like.
"Let not our hearts be busy inns
That have no room for Thee.
But cradles for the living Christ
And His Nativity.
Yet, hunger dwells within these walls,
These shining walls so bright;
And blindness, groping here and there
Without a ray of light.
Oh, lest we starve, and lest we die
In our stupidity,
Come, Holy Child, within .. and share
As I studied Luke 2 of Jesus' birth, I thought of this poem, and my heart was saddened as I read, "there was nc room for them in the inn," so Jesus was born in a stable. Among cattle, sheer, and other animals.
--And I thought, here is the Lord! God, the Son!
--The One from all eternity! Even as an Infant Holy.
--And yet, when He came to earth, was given leftovers!
I ask myself, am I giving my Lord, only leftovers?
--My God and Savior who gave His best, deserves ours.
Some say, I am young, and there's so much to do.
--Others, with marriage, family, and their jobs earning a living, might say, "I have so little time."
--0, we all have good intentions .. some day, to worship more, and read God's Word, and pray_ more. Be saved..
--Until, for those in the sunset years, strength fails.
What is the answer? Each one must make "room for Jesus..
--Else theirs will be "no room" or very little at all.
--It doesn't come easy. It must be intentional.
--Programmed into our daily agenda.
This Advent and Christmas Season, let's join with "wise men and shepherds," and countless others to give glory.
--Praises, to God, that is due His name, as our gift!
--Angels did it., Many others. Let's join them.
Most people long for a personal relationship with God.
--It is available, gloriously, for every individual.
--For one of the kindest things God could do was to become a Man and show us what God is really like.
Remember, Jesus is both God and Man; for as a Baby He did not lose His deity .. His Godhood.
--But laid His glory aside, as Philippians 2 tells us.
Some stumble in unbelief, saying Jesus is ungodlike.
--It is ungodlike, to become like we are - a man.
--To be conceived, out of wedlock.
--But it is Godlike, to be born of a "virgin."
--It is ungodlike, to be born in a "manger," with all the animals, and no sanitary, hospital bed.
--But it is Godlike to have angels herald His birth!
--It is ungodlike, to have to flee to Egypt as refuge.
--But it is Godlike, to have wise men come from afar.
--Not only to worship and give glory, but their gifts!
An amazing thing, Jesus, willing to be like us!
--To come, redeem, show love, so we may be like Him!
Jesus faced all such criticisms in His day, but He so wondrously, silently, in Love, refuted them with a life, death and resurrection that is incomparable.
--0 give God glory, dear friend!
Not to the elite, but humble shepherds, angels came.
--To see "the glory of God in the face of Jesus ..."
--This word, glory, occurs several hundred times.
--I was surprised. Causes me to give God glory more!
--As John the Baptist said of Jesus, "He must increase I must decrease" (John 3:30). That's my desire.
Isn't it wonderful we may come to Him "just as we are."
--It is like fishing, first you catch them .. then you clean them." Only, in our case, He cleans us up.
Dear friend, have you come to Christ in a decision?
--If not, why not now? If already, give Him glory!
--To have, and share, "peace on earth, goodwill to men.
--To know in our life the reality of God's love.
--To show and share His love with all we meet.
--To listen often to angels, and give glory to God.
It will make a better you and me. A better world.
--The simplicity is that and every one may come.
--I'm so glad I did.
Wilbert D. Gough, ThD., DD. 902