Christian Living

soultransformation 12/15/11

More Than Amazed

It’s easy for us to be amazed by Jesus. People have always been amazed by him -- until something else catches their fancy.

That’s the way it was 2,000 years ago when Jesus was born. Angels appeared in the sky to shepherds radiating with God’s glory and singing his praises. They announced that the Messiah, the Savior of the world, was born and they’d find him in the little town of Bethlehem, lying in a manger. Angels appearing to lowly shepherds?!  The Savior born in a stable?! What an amazing story!

When the shepherds found the newborn Savior “they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them,” Luke says. But then he adds the contrast, “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:18-19).

Mary was more than amazed by Jesus -- she chose to delight in him and to think deeply about him. 

We Like to be Entertained

Time and again during Jesus’ public ministry crowds of people swelled into the thousands to be amazed by him. Inspiring stories. Miracles. Bravo! Bravo! Do it again Jesus! Of course, we also love for Jesus to lift our spirits and do great things for us.

But if being amazed by Jesus doesn’t quickly lead to delighting in him and pondering over him then before long we’ll find someone or something else to entertain us, as did all but a few hundred of the many thousands of people who were amazed by Jesus in his day. It happens so subtly.

It happened to me today.

In between my appointments with pastors I had a short break. I had been doing a lot of listening and wanted to relax. I thought, “I wonder if the Lakers (my favorite basketball team) have made a trade yet?” So I checked online and started reading articles. Ten minutes later I realized, “This is empty entertainment. It’s just a silly curiosity. Why am I wasting time doing this?”

Treasuring Jesus

Instead I started reading and praying over a section from The Imitation of Christ. I began to treasure the risen Christ in my midst and ponder over what he was teaching me... “He restores my soul” (Psalm 23:3).

Thank you Father God for drawing our attention to Jesus! Thank you for answering my prayer this morning that I would live by the attitude of Mary. Let it be more and more true for me and for my friends reading this now that we are captivated by Jesus and keep thinking about him all day long.

Soul Shepherding is for You and your Ministry

It’s our prayer to help you -- and the people you have influence over -- to smile in the care of Good Shepherd as you say, “He restores my soul.” We offer counseling, spiritual direction, seminars, and retreats for pastors and all kinds of Christ-followers who minister to others. We love to hear the stories of how Soul Shepherding has encouraged you and the people you are able to bless!

Santa Blessings to Share

Do you want to receive the gift that God gave the world? Learn more.

Santa Blessings to Share

I wrote a series of short Advent devotionals using the figures in a nativity set to help you appreciate the coming of Christ. “Lift your Head” is one of the devos and illustrates how you can turn your nativity set into a wonderful time of conversation and prayer for your small group or friends.

Here’s a Santa Blessing stocking stuffer: You Can Live in Jesus’ Easy Yoke is my new book to help you and your loved ones to experience God’s peace in the midst of the stresses of life.

Are you on Facebook? I invite you to be my friend and seek Christ’s face with me there and on Twitter .

Bill Gaultiere, Ph.D. & Kristi Gaultiere, Psy.D. ~ http://www.soulshepherding.org

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