Our dog escaped from the backyard last week. I was moving leaf bags to the front so they could be picked up. With that opening in the gate, he bolted past me.


I chased him for 40 minutes until my son and a helpful neighbor backed him into a corner. I was concerned he would either attack another neighbor’s chickens or get hit by a speeding car. No matter how many times (and there were many) I called his name and said the magic word “here,” he only darted the other way.


He ran across the street and back multiple times, into neighbors’ yards and then just simply ran 30mph down the street.


That experience was not supposed to be a part of my day.


He was once trained, but little by little, he began to ignore the rules. I, of course, was only trying to protect the guy from harm. What he doesn’t understand is that small acts of obedience pave the way to bigger and better things.


Acts of obedience

Two thousand years ago, a group of shepherds acted on the guidance of an angel of the Lord. They were rewarded big for it. In a surreal display of magnificence, the angel announced the Savior of the World’s birth and told them how to find Him. They could have marveled at the spectacle before them and praised God for the angels’ appearance. They could have reminisced about that experience the rest of their lives.


But they didn’t stay. Following the angel’s instructions, they left their flocks and went seeking the Christ Child.


The shepherds heard. They obeyed. They expected to see great things.


They definitely saw bigger and better. Because they obeyed, they were likely the first to see the Savior of the World. Because they obeyed, they couldn’t keep this great news to themselves. Scripture goes on to say they shared with the others what the angels had revealed about Jesus.


The greatest news ever known

My friend, we have been given the greatest news ever known to man. Jesus Christ came to earth in the form of a baby. God with human skin. But let’s not miss the second part of this greatest news. Jesus came so he could make the ultimate sacrifice to save the world.


Most of us have heard this good news. How have we responded? Are we full of wonder at what was done for us? Do we enjoy God’s blessing of people, experiences and things we’ve been gifted, only to go back to our daily routine?


Or do we respond and obey? Like the shepherds, do we share the good news? Do we go to where the Holy Spirit leads us? For me, I have found that I need to be obedient to what God already has said before He reveals something new. I believe that one step of obedience at a time opens the door for God to speak more.


Step by step

I think we can learn from the shepherds.

  • They stopped what they were doing, obeyed and went to see Jesus.
  • They returned to their fields glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen.

Today, we too can act upon the word of God.

  • Stop what we’re doing and recognize the splendor of that event 2000 years ago. Keep the awe and reverence of that moment in our hearts and minds and glorify Him.
  • Recognize the gifts He gives us every day.
  • Follow in obedience — one simple step at a time.

When we obey and seek Jesus, we can’t help but return glorifying and praising Him.

And the shepherds returned glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. Luke 2:20 (ESV)


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