Welcome to Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study! This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity. We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!
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Kendra Graham notes from Luke 2:20
WHAT DOES IT SAY? THE FACTS ONLY PLEASE. In this step you need to list the outstanding facts of the passage. DON’T get caught up in the details, just list the facts. Do not paraphrase. Use the actual words of the passage. This is God’s Word, a lot of times this step seems tedious to some, but I urge you, as we read, and say and write God’s Word, it begins to sink deep into our hearts. If you just pick one fact out of the verse, write it down and meditate on it.
FACTS: “The Shepherds went back, praising God , all they heard and seen was just as had been told them.” – Luke 2:20
WHAT DOES IT MEAN? THE LESSONS. Look for a lesson to learn from each fact. What are the people doing that they should be doing? What are the people doing that they shouldn’t be doing?
Is there a command to follow? A promise to claim? A warning to heed? An example to follow?
I love the story of the shepherds so much. Every Christmas these shepherds settle into my heart and I am once again reminded of a faithful God who loves me and came for me. The life of a shepherd was more of a curse than a blessing. A terrible job, a stinky job (they were living in the fields). These shepherds were off the grid and far from most people’s minds, living away from their families outside of town. These shepherds drew the short straw having to work the night shift, risking their lives for a bunch a sheep against thieves and predators for a menial salary. Shepherds were outcasts of society, one step above the leper who was completely exiled from society. If you were a shepherd, someone working the worst job, with the worst pay and high danger, away from your family: what would your view of God be?
God hates me? God loves everyone else, but my life is obviously expendable and hey, God probably wants to hide me somewhere so I don’t nauseate others with my presence? The night would give someone like a shepherd a lot of time to think, not that I am a shepherd, but I have had many a conversation like that with God in the wee hours of the night when not a creature was stirring not even a mouse. You don’t have to be a shepherd to feel unimportant, forgotten and hated by God.
BUT…. this night of Luke 2…. THIS NIGHT WAS DIFFERENT! Out of everyone in the world God Almighty could have told and invited to His birthday party, it was the shepherds…those shepherds, living in the field! The outcasts… the ones not even allowed to go to the Temple to worship because of their filth! This very first Christmas, God was not asking them to get cleaned up and go to church, He was asking them to come to His bedside just as they were, immediately, right away! Heaven scrolled back the night sky, and gave those shepherds a Christmas cantata that they would not soon forget.
The Shepherds each for themselves had to decide what to do, would they go or stay? They had every reason in the world not to come to Jesus…. I mean, they cold lose their jobs, then what? Shepherding was the lowest job around, who would hire them? What about their family and their well being? What if it was a lie? Some cruel joke God was playing? What about their stench, they had some things to fix before they came to Jesus…. some habits to break…. some things to make right, they may have been only on step 6 out of 12…. but if they waited to clean up their lives and character, or waited to “Yelp” out a shepherd sitter at that time of night, they would have missed Jesus. SO… they went in haste.
The Shepherds found Jesus…. just like the angels said, in Bethlehem, in a manger, wrapped in rags. Everything was just as heaven proclaimed to them earlier. God had not lied. God truly did invite them! God had eternity to decide who to invite when He was born, and He chose them! #sobering #overwhelming #Godseesme
These shepherds went back praising God. Why? What did that baby do for them? They went back to their bad job, with bad pay, with bad hours…. they were still away from their families, they were still the lowest common denominator of society… it’s not like they got a new car, a new job, a new house, all their debts paid…. why the difference?
We cannot come to Jesus and leave the same.
Those Shepherds knew that night, that God did not hate them, they were not forgotten, they had not fallen through the cracks, they were not an embarrassment to God, they knew that they knew, because of that job, that night shift, that God Himself moved heaven and earth to tell them personally that He saw them, and loved them.
God’s Word was true even to them. God doesn’t demand behavior modification before you come to Him, or a New Years Resolution, He just asks and pleads that YOU come, in haste so you too can know that you know that you are loved by God.
Don’t miss Christmas.
I know you have every excuse in the world not to come. School systems are shutting down Christmas plays of “Charlie Brown Christmas” so that Linus will just keep his monologue under “wraps”…. so we just see trees and gifts but miss the true “Reason for the Season.”
Why would a world work so hard to keep you from knowing how loved you are by God? God loved you so much that He refused to trust you to another, so He came personally with skin on, to bring “Peace, goodwill towards men.” Peace…. the angels proclaiming what the death of Jesus would do on the night of His birth. Is it not time for true peace between you and the God who loves you and gave Himself for you? Ask Him this year to give you the song of the Shepherds, so that you too may know that you know that YOU are loved by God.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO ME NOW? APPLY IT…. TODAY. Take the lessons you learned and put them into the form of a personal question that you would ask your spouse, or a friend or your son or daughter.
As you write the questions, listen for God to communicate to you through His Word.
*Do not rush. Do not write things down just to have something on paper, this step takes more time that you may think. This is where Scripture meditation becomes real, this is where you begin to hear that still small voice speak to you, and place His finger in your life and begin to direct your paths…. this day, and the next, and the next. Do you trust Him enough to put into place that which He is moving you to?
Now, in haste will you come for a moment and praise God for His love for you? Will you ask God now to bring peace between you and Him? Your sin and my sin cost Jesus His life, will we now proclaim that story this Christmas since the lips of Linus have been sealed?
LIVE IT OUT:
This Christmas, recite Luke 2 as often as you can, sharing your own shepherd story with those you love. As the shepherds proclaimed in Luke 2:17, will you take up their mantle this Christmas and continue to make known the statement which was told them about this Child, Jesus?
#GodSeesMe #LetLinusspeak #TrueMeaningofChristmas #ComeInhaste #God’sWordIsTrue
Would you like to begin your journey to peace with God today? Click here to learn more and to pray to receive Christ in your heart.
JOIN US FOR OUR FREE WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY AT THE COVE, BEGINNING JANUARY 12, 2016.
If you can attend in-person, we’d love to see you. Click on one of the links below to register.
If you’d like to register for Kendra’s Tuesday evening study (January 12 – February 16, 2016), click here.
NOTE: If you are unable to attend in person, we will continue the online study as well, using lessons shared during the LIVE study.
Register for Kendra’s Tuesday evening study here or by calling 1-800-950-2092..