Number 13 Christmas devotion of twenty-five Christmas countdown on-the-go, active,
object lesson devotions with Bible verses to help us keep our focus on the true
reason for the season! Each day
snap a photo of each item for a visual and use as a photo challenge on Social
Media, or with your family, small group, friends or just for yourself. It’s a fun way to enjoy the presence of
Christ each and every day as we look towards celebrating His birthday!
I was so excited that last week I was able to visit a petting zoo and take a photo of a real sheep for this photo Christmas devotion!
I'm sure somewhere in a sermon or Bible lesson you may have heard how "dumb" sheep are, but it isn't their intelligence that lacks, it's more of their stubbornness for independence that is strong. Even at birth they are able to stand very quickly on their own.
I believe this may be why God refers to us as sheep in the verse above. Our human nature and pride cause us to strive for independence - doing things our own way.
When we think we know better than God and choose what we want instead of obeying Him, the Bible calls this sin. It says we have ALL done this. (Romans 3:10,23)
The focus of the verse is not really on the stubborn sheep though, it is on the Good Shepherd that stands in the gap protecting the sheep. That is what Jesus did.
Here are a few more interesting facts about sheep:
The Bible refers to us as blind before knowing Jesus as our shepherd. Jesus does say however we will hear and know His voice.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand." John 10:27-28
Today take time to listen and hear the voice of Jesus calling and leading. The circumstances we see around us in this world with our human eyes can cause confusion and fear, but if we will shut our eyes to the world and allow Jesus to open the eyes of our heart and hear His voice, we will be found and be safe. (Ephesians 1:18-19)
So many times we think of God's Word as a
bunch of do's and don'ts to spoil our "fun". God is our Good Shepherd
wanting to protect us like a parent; He desires to be our Heavenly
Father and protect us from evil and our own lost way. A good parent doesn't tell their child to not touch the burner on the stove to steal their fun, but because they know it will harm them. God's Word gives us truth to protect and lead us to God's best for us.
I love the lyrics of the old hymn - "Trust and obey, for there's no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey." There is such truth to that! When we trust God (become dependent upon Him), there is such freedom found in which we can safely live.
Satan wants us to think that independence and separation from God is freedom, when actually it is the exact opposite. When we know the boundaries in which we are safe, there is complete freedom.
Isn't this true of our human nature too? We tend to follow the crowd. We want to be a part and belong, but following the wrong crowd can be dangerous.
God has provided a place for us in His family - the Church. It is our choice of where and with whom we "huddle" and follow. Joy, peace, purpose, grace, mercy, and all of God's other riches are found only when we follow the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. In Him, there is freedom and safety.
So today as we see sheep in manger scenes or Christmas cards, let them remind us of this Christmas devotion and our Good Shepherd Who - "has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him."
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