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 of great joy that will be for all the people.
11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.
17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,
18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
God speaks to those who have the time to listen. Are you too caught up in work, schedule, family, or leisure that you are not hearing what God wants to say to you? Maybe it's time to slow down and listen.
2. Let your joy show.
Can others tell that you are a joyful believer in Christ? Do your actions or language testify to what you believe?
3. Know what to look for.
Are you waiting for the proverbial "burning bush" in order to confirm your faith, or determine your belief? God typically speaks through less-flashy means: in mangers, in the lives of the poor and needy, in the mundane tasks of daily life. Don't overlook God.
4. Make Jesus the Master of your life.
Do you allow Him to rule your life, or are you ruled by your boss, your spouse, your children, or the almighty dollar?
5. Believe what you hear.
The shepherds believed what the angels had told them - and acted upon it. Do you believe what you read in God's Word? Do you believe His promises for your life?
Over your lifetime, and over this past year, have you moved closer to Christ in your understanding and love? It's time to move toward Christ. What will you do this coming year to become closer to your Savior?
7. Tell others.
The shepherds could not keep silent about the Messiah. They shared the Good News and others were impressed - not by their eloquence or delivery, but by the truth. Have you shared the Good News?