This devotional is Day 11 of the 25-Day Advent Series “The Wonders of His Love.” Follow along with us as we grow in grace through the Christmas story by subscribing or bookmarking the home page above!
Scripture: Luke 2:8-12
“Am I worthy?”
This question pops into my thoughts whenever something good happens—when I receive recognition, am given a gift, or when someone demonstrates their love and care for me.
I don’t think poorly of myself or believe good things shouldn’t happen to me, but rather the idea of measuring up makes me question my worthiness. I wonder: Did I work hard enough for this recognition? Did I love enough to earn this love in return? Do I deserve this good thing?
I bet you know exactly what I’m talking about. Feeling unworthy plagues us all to some extent because, the truth is, we aren’t worthy.
Romans 3:23 reminds us, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (NASB) Our very nature is flawed, making worthiness an impossible achievement.
But (aren’t you glad there’s a but!) that’s not the end of the story. Despite our sinful nature, God sees us as worthy—worthy of loving and worthy of saving. And the best part? The worthiness God bestows on us doesn’t depend on our actions or inner goodness but on Himself.
God demonstrates this for us on the very night of Jesus’s birth:
“In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.
But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’” (Luke 2:8-12 NASB)
While we can’t know for sure, some of those shepherds may have wondered, “Why us? Why would God send an angel to us of all people? What makes us worthy of receiving this good news?”
Notice how Scripture doesn’t say, “some shepherds, who were praying and worshiping God in the fields….”
Unlike Mary, who we are told had found favor with God, we aren’t given any insight into why God chose these particular shepherds. Perhaps they had demonstrated great faith in God, but perhaps not.
If we continue reading Romans 3, Paul reminds us that our justification—our being chosen and seen as worthy—is a gift of God’s grace, we can’t earn it.
So, all we know is the shepherds were chosen, and through this choosing, God made them worthy to receive Jesus.
In choosing shepherds to first reveal His gift, God reinforces the message of the angel, “I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11, emphasis added)
Some historians claim shepherds were outcasts of society during this time, and while there is debate about the accuracy of that description, we do know shepherds had a difficult job. They worked long hours and were exposure to a variety of dangers in order to care for and protect the lowly sheep. Shepherds were definitely more ordinary than extraordinary in the eyes of men.
If “for all people” included ordinary shepherds watching over sheep in a field, then it’s not hard to believe it includes you and me as well.
Right in the middle of our ordinary lives, God chooses us! He says, born is a Savior for you!
Are we worth of such a gift? Do we deserve a Savior? Certainly not. But by God’s choosing us, we receive the gift anyway and are made worthy in His sight.
As we prepare our hearts for Christmas, let’s spend time reflecting on this gift God has given us.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 (NASB)
About the Author
Kira Bridges is pursuing joy by living a life fully dedicated to God. She writes at Joy Pursued, sharing lessons learned and resources to help women draw close to God and experience His joy. Living in Oregon with her husband, daughter, and two dogs; Kira believes the joyful life is a journey and would love for you to join her.