Growing with God: A daily devotion with Tonia Slimm.
Luke 2:20 (NIV)
The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
Luke 2:20 (MSG)
The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they’d been told!
“The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as it had been told them.” -AMPLIFIED
The shepherds, that small band of uneducated, dirty, simple-living men, where the first to receive the message of the arrival and birth of the Messiah. Their response after seeing this new-born child was one of great joy and extreme delight.
The Message Version paints a picture of this group for us. It is one that is quite telling; the shepherds letting “loose”, praising and glorifying God. They were not piously standing, with their hands folded, heads bowed, praying and praising quietly. These guys were ecstatic! I can see them jumping up and down, shouting, excited; for everything that they had been told had happened exactly as they were told it would be! Hallelujah!
“…they glorified God on account of the birth of the Messiah; and praised him, wondering at his grace, and the high honor put upon them, that they should be acquainted with it; and that there was such an exact agreement between the things they had seen, and the angel’s account of them.” -Gill’s Exposition
The shepherds returned to the fields, but they would never be the same. For life could not go on as usual. They had an experience and encounter that would forever change the way they looked at things. Yes, they would still care for their sheep; yes, they would still live out in the fields, but now they had a story to tell, they had a first-hand experience that they could joyfully share with others. They would never be the same!
These guys were filled with joy and happiness. Nothing was going to quench that. Henry J. van Dyke wrote these words which fittingly portray what I feel these shepherds must have been feeling.
“Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee,
God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee,
Op’ning to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day!”
May the joy of Christmas, Jesus Christ, Himself, fill your hearts and minds. Never live life as it was, remember what Jesus has done for you, how He has changed you and let that joy permeate your life.
Lord, fill my life with your joy. I want to be reminded and reminded often, of the wonders and joy you have brought to my life. You changed me and I will never be the same. I praise you and give you glory. You made all of this possible. You stepped down from Heaven and became a Man so that I could see Love exemplified. God, you are amazing! Joyful, joyful, I will adore you!