God goes to extreme lengths to include you in His plan of salvation.
Luke 2: 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.
Out of all the well-qualified people God could have appeared to, God chose to appear to a few uneducated and unassuming shepherds in a time and place that would bring little attention from anyone.
The very fact that God appeared and included the lowest of people is evidence that He wants to include to all people. If He had only appeared to the priest, it might have implied that you had to be a priest in order to be included in salvation. If He only appeared to the wealthy people someone might’ve thought that God was only interested in those of great means. If He only appeared to the talented, someone may have thought that they needed to work up to some standard before God would choose them. But if God includes shepherds, then that means He includes everyone. That even includes you!
God goes to extreme lengths to include people in His plan of salvation. Christmas is evidence of that very fact. Think about these three things.
Think of the different ways that God appears to people in His Word. In the Bible, God appeared to people through angels, through divine encounters with people, through healing, and sometimes through a still small voice to let them know He was present. He is always willing to go to extreme lengths to let people know they are included in His plan. He still does that today.
Think of the lengths God used to come to you. God had to jump across and pierce a very religious and critical spirit to get to me. I grew up in church so I knew exactly how things were supposed to be and how I was supposed to respond. There was season when I was very critical about people, preachers, and the church. Not realizing I was actually being critical of myself because I was part of the church. But He came to me. He came to me through parents who were really in love Jesus. He came to me through a caring church family. He came to me through pastors who really stood for truth. He came to me repeatedly through His Holy Spirit drawing me and transforming me from the inside out. He is not finished. He is still working that process out in me today.
Think about how far He would want you to go to reach others. When I realize how far God went to include these shepherds, how far Jesus went to include me, I have to ask myself, “How far does Jesus want me to go to include others?” Knowing God goes to extreme lengths to reach out to people means that we cannot discredit someone. You cannot say that a person is too far for God to reach.
That person is too lost. That person is too far-gone. That person is too hard, too bitter.
The angels in a field, a cross on a hill, and an empty tomb in a cemetery are all signs that Jesus did and will go to extreme lengths to include each and every person.
Today’s Challenge: Spend some time thanking God for the extreme lengths He went to appear to you. Pray that God will open your eyes to those around you who you can be used to reach.