Week 5 - Personal Study
Recently I took a trip to Africa where for the first time in my life I met actual shepherds. They were working in the field each day herding sheep, goats, and cattle. I watched as they herded the animals through the town and down to the fields. As I watched I couldn’t help but think about the shepherds of the Bible. The job of the shepherd, whether in Africa today or in biblical times, was just a normal every day job. Though it’s a normal job, it’s a very important one; the animals can’t find food or water without the shepherd leading them. The shepherds are just regular everyday people. They are not the type of guys you would remember for doing great and amazing things; they just lead sheep and keep them safe. Though they are regular people, God still uses them to do great things.
In the Bible we learn about men who served as shepherds at one time or another: Abraham, Jacob, Moses, King David, and Amos. We may know each of these men for doing great things besides shepherding, but they were all shepherds at some time. They were willing to be used by God and to follow His plan; with God, they did great things.
When Jesus was born, there were shepherds out in the field watching their sheep. They were going about their regular lives taking care of their sheep. However, this was not just a normal night for them. God sent an angel to tell them about the birth of Jesus, and they hurried off to see Him. When they saw Him, they had to tell others about Him and that’s exactly what they did.
How does God want to use you? You may think of yourself as unimportant. Sometimes we feel our everyday life really does not make a difference for God. Did you know that throughout the Bible there are countless stories of how God uses regular people to do great things? Will you be willing to be used by God?
It wasn’t until I met the shepherds in Africa that I had a real picture of how God uses the regular person to do great things. This Christmas do not let the presents and lights keep you from seeing who God really is. Remember that you can find God in your normal, everyday life.
Week 5 - Family Discipleship Time
Lighting of the Candle - Reflect and review the previous weeks as you light this week’s candle as well as the candles from the previous four weeks.
On Christmas Eve, spend time reading the Christmas story found in Luke 2.
Pay close attention to the role the shepherds play in the Christmas story. They were faithful to follow the angel’s instructions and went to see the newborn baby. They not only saw Jesus, they shared the good news of His birth. They shared it with everyone they could tell. God used these average shepherd boys to announce that Jesus was born to be the Messiah, the Lord.
Click Here to view the #ForStarkville Christmas page to see what your family can do to further relationships within the Starkville community.
As a family, discuss ways you feel less important than others. How might God be using you in these areas for His glory?
As a family, discuss how you have seen Christ at work in your everyday lives.
Set some goals as a family that will help you remember to allow God to use you in the coming year.