The season of Christmas is officially upon us. The story of Christmas may be one of the most recognizable stories read. The message of Christmas is one of hope, love, joy, and peace.
Not only is the message significant, but the delivery of the message speaks volumes about the nature and character of God. Knowing His character enables us to predict His future behavior.
If you’ve questioned God’s faithfulness or if He is going to come through for you like He has for others, I’ve got good news for you! God is predictable!
“Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever,” Hebrews 13:8.
God’s character does not change based on your behavior. “if we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.” 2 Timothy 2:13 Christmas is a reminder that God is with us and not against us.
In Luke 2:8-14 we read about the announcement of Jesus’ birth to shepherds tending to their flocks. This announcement broke 400 years of silence. From the end of the Old Testament, until the time of Jesus’ birth and life, God was silent.
Have you ever gone through an extended time when it felt like 400 years since you last heard from God? Those moments can be painfully excruciating!
What you do when God is silent set’s you up for your future.
When God is silent, remain faithful. God is not ignoring you, nor distant from you. These times require you to live by faith, not by sight. His silence was not a lack of activity. God was preparing civilization for the arrival of the promised Savior!
Prior to this moment, God’s M.O. in communicating to His people was through prophets. Prophets were individuals who lived set apart and chosen by God. They were distinguished from society and validated by God.
Yet, God’s first announcement in 400-years was to a group of shepherds!
Shepherds, at this point in history, were not held in high regard. They were known as drunks, thieves, untrustworthy, spiritually unclean, foul-mouthed, ill-mannered, the kind of person you didn’t want your daughter to bring home for dinner.
They were in the same like-able category as tax-collectors. In the Talmud, a collection of ancient rabbinical writings, shepherds were prohibited from testifying in court as a witness because their testimony was considered unreliable.
So why would God deliver such an important message to a group of shepherds who were despised by the culture they were in? Because God was deconstructing the human standards for value.
God sees value in people we don’t.
We tend to place value on people based on educational, professional, economical, and cultural standards. We prefer people who have it “all together.”
How I see people affects how I perceive them and treat them. I favor those who meet my standards and dismiss those who don’t. This mindset is destructive and counterintuitive to the life of a follower of Jesus.
Human nature often allows differences to divide when we should seek common ground. Yet, the more broken humanity is, the closer God gets to them.
18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18
That neighbor, co-worker, or family member, who annoys you, is possibly a person who has experienced significant hardship in life and whom God is near.
It’s not that God is distant from those who are not brokenhearted, but He is quick to rescue those who call out to Him.
With this announcement, God was introducing a new standard of value by giving value to those who were alienated from society. I don’t know how you see yourself, but God sees tremendous value in you!
If you feel your past disqualifies you, or that you don’t measure up the world’s standards, or that you are not good enough, God says you are valuable to Me. Your value comes from the fact that you are made in His image.
God saw more in the shepherds than what society or even they saw in themselves and Christmas reminds us that you are priceless to God.
Your value is not based on what others say about you, or by what you have done or can do but, on the fact, that you are made in God’s image and He declares, you’re priceless!