At church this weekend I was gripped with a word for pastors and ministry leaders that I wanted to humbly submit in this week’s podcast. It came to me during worship as I was reading a passage about the birth of Jesus in Luke 2:8-14:
8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
I saw a picture of many of God’s shepherds who have been pastoring their flock in this dark night. The year of 2020 has caught many of us by surprise and at times it can feel hard to know what God is doing. This uncertainty has not stopped you from continuing your call to keep watch over your flock and I felt the Lord’s pleasure and delight over you for your faithfulness to continue this call.
As I read this text I felt that it was a prophetic word for pastors and ministry leaders in this hour. That God wants to encounter many of you, from now until the end of the year, with a fresh revelation of the “good news of great joy”! The gospel is good news of great joy for all people! And what is this news? The news is that a Savior has been born, and his name is Jesus Christ. I saw that God wanted to encounter you, just like he encountered these shepherds, with his glory and his light. In this place of encounter there is a fresh deposit of the fear of the Lord along with a resurrected understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Many of our congregations are filled with people who are suffering with discouragement, despair and fear about what the future holds. And our privilege, as ministers of the gospel, is to proclaim to them the Savior of all the world, Jesus Christ the Lord! When we proclaim Christ as Savior, not just of our past sins, but of our present troubles, we will see the darkness dispelled. We will see the lost saved! The sick healed! The oppressed set free! The numb and apathetic revived! Marriages restored! Spiritual fruit multiplied! I believe that out of these divine appointments for God’s shepherds, that 2021 will be marked by a clear, loud and powerful proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!