[stextbox id=”info”]To celebrate Christmas, I am sharing a very special three-part blog series with you this week entitled, “The Unlikely Christmas Story”. In case you missed it, here is part one. Stay tuned Friday for part three![/stextbox]
And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. – Luke 2:16-18
A few years ago, I was sitting in a hotel room in Guatemala City, Guatemala at 3 a.m. Across from me was sitting a big, muscular guy covered in tattoos. His body is full of bullet holes. In fact, he still has bullet fragments in him. He knows more about guns, drugs, violence, and prostitution than you would ever care to hear. Not long ago, he was one of the highest ranking leaders in Guatemala’s biggest gang.
But like the shepherds on the hillside, he heard a heavenly message of good news. And like the shepherds, after hearing that message, he has been preaching ever since. And so that night, we set up lights and cameras and videoed his amazing testimony.
Crazy how a simple message from heaven can change a life. The pimp is now a preacher. The gangster is now Godly.
Not much has changed in two thousand years. From shepherds on a hillside to gangsters in Guatemala, we still hear the life changing message of the Savior. And once you’ve truly encountered Jesus, you can’t help but spread the word.
“…when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying…”
- After the shepherds encountered God, they were transformed into unlikely preachers.
- So was Isaiah. After encountering God, he immediately proclaimed, “Here am I, send me.” (Isaiah 6)
- And since my friend Ignacio encountered God, he has been preaching in prisons all over Guatemala.
No doctrinal degrees, no public speaking training. Just smelly shepherds and bullet-riddled gangsters sharing what they’ve experienced.
And isn’t that what God has called us to do? He didn’t call us to be the judge, the prosecutor, or even the defense attorney. “You will be my WITNESSES” (Acts 1:8)
Let’s be a witness this year. You may feel like an unlikely preacher. But that’s okay. You’re not the first. Just ask the gangsters and shepherds.