12/3 Fundamental Thoughts-Sermons

The Journey of the Wise Men

Matthew 2:1-11  Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,  (2)  Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.  (3)  When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.  (4)  And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.  (5)  And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,  (6)  And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.  (7)  Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.  (8)  And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.  (9)  When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.  (10)  When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.  (11)  And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

              Matthew introduces the wise men with the word, “Behold."  It tells us that there is an air of mystery about them. They arrive unexpectedly from "the east."
              They ask their troubling question, "Where is He that is born King of the Jews?"  They have a private meeting with Herod.  
              Only Matthew tells of their visit, and the information he gives us is sparse. The fact that they gave three gifts has given rise to the theory that there were three wise men.
              We only know that they were "magos" (translated "wise men") – a pagan, priestly class of astronomer/astrologers.
              They were among the most educated people of their day and were respected for their scholarship and wisdom.  How they identified the star with the birth of Christ is a mystery, although we surmise that they had access to Jewish "traditions" through exiled Jews.     What are we to conclude from this? Their identity is unimportant. Their origin is nonessential. Nor should we waste our time trying to identify the nature of the star that they saw. What matters is what they did with the knowledge that they had. God in grace "spoke" to these ancient astronomers in a manner that they could understand – a star. He guided them to the place where Christ was born. And there, they fulfilled the purpose for which they had come. They worshipped Him.

I.            WHY THEY CAME                                                             (vv 1-2)
              A.           It Was Not Curiosity
                             1.           They did not make the trip merely to see if they  were right.
                             2.           They came seeking one born King of the Jews,                                    
                                           i.            So they might "worship" Him.
                                           ii.           These men would not have traveled to   just see a future king born
                             3.           They came to see a King of Kings,
                                           i.            The one who would fulfill the
                                                          a.           Messianic prophecies of   Scripture and
                                                          b.           The Messianic hope of the  Jews.

B.              The Wise Men Had Understood

1.               He had supernatural character,
2.               They traveled to Jerusalem for the one purpose
           a.           To bow in worship
                         before Him.

C.              Reflect on His Supremacy
1.               He was and is the very God of heaven, our Creator.

(John 1:1-3)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  (2)  The same was in the beginning with God.  (3)  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

(Colossians 1:16)  For by him were all things   created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth,                   visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

II.           THE PROPHECY THAT GUIDED THEM                       (vv 3-6)
              A.           Its Source
                             1.           Herod and the people of Jerusalem identified                                       
                                           i.            The "King of Jews" with the promised  "Christ" (or Messiah).  
                            2.           Because the Scriptures inspired the Messianic hope,
                                           i.            It was to the Scriptures that Herod  turned for the answer to His question.
                                                         a.           The existing scriptures
                                                         b.           The Scribes had compiled all these prophecies

              B.           Its Significance

(Micah 5:2)  But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of  Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
                             1.           The scriptures told of the place of his birth.
                                           i.            The Messiah would come from the tribe of Judah.
Genesis 49:10  The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
                                                         a.           God named the city of Judah in which He would be born.
                             2.           It disclosed the position He would  have in the nation.
                                           i.            The Jews understood that the Messiah would be their supreme leader, a king unlike any 
                                                         other king.
                             3.           It declared the preexistence He enjoyed before His birth.

(Micah 5:2)  But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of  Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

                                           i.            The statement "from old" means that                                      
                                    ii.           Christ would have an existence that predated his birth at Bethlehem. 
                                                         a.           The statement "from everlasting" meaning that He had no beginning.

(Isaiah 9:6)  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful,  Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

III.         THEIR PERSEVERANCE                                              (vv 7-10)
              A.           Their Testimony
                             1.           The star awakened the interest of the wise men
                                           i.            It had only been visible to them in their eastern homeland.               
                                           ii.           They had journeyed hundreds of miles                                                    
                                                         a.       Only to discover that the  people were completely ignorant of their mission.
iii.             They remained undeterred.
iv.             Their faith that had sent them on their journey,
a.             With nothing more than the "message" of the star,

B.              They Had Expected To Find The Newborn King In Jerusalem.
1.               Herod sent them to Bethlehem.
2.               God solved that problem,
i.                By sending the star to guide them to Jesus.
                                                              a.       It went before them,

IV.         THE PRESENTS THAT THEY GAVE TO HIM          (v 11)
              A.           They gave themselves – "they … fell down, and worshipped                     Him."
                             1.           Their worship was spontaneous –
                                           i.            A willing expression of their devotion.
                            2.           By their worship,
                                           i.            They surrendered to His authority
                                           ii.           They acknowledged His right to in  their lives.

CONCLUSION:               They gave gifts were representative gifts, things that had meaning concerning this new born King of Kings.
              Gold, associate with the majesty of kings since earliest times, acknowledged His royalty.
              Frankincense, nearly always mentioned in the Old Testament in conjunction with the service of God, acknowledged His deity.
              Myrrh symbolized His mortality.  Myrrh was a spice that was used alone mixed with oil to make a fragrant perfume, often applied to dead bodies to cover the smell of decomposition.

(John 19:39)  And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.

Although the wise men may not have fully understood the significance of their gifts, in giving them they acknowledged the royalty, deity, and               mortality of Jesus Christ. In following the star, they exhibited real faith. In their worship, they demonstrated their submission. In these things,               they displayed genuine wisdom.
              We would be wise to follow their example. We cannot give our Lord gifts, but we can give ourselves. We have no star to follow, but we can walk in faith and obey the Scriptures. We can bow in worship before the One who gave Himself to save us from our sins. Let us not be distracted from the real meaning of Christmas.  
              It is so easy to lose the worship perspective at Christmas. Family, friends, food, and football often take center stage.
              The one whose birth we celebrate gets little more than token recognition.  Real worship, the bowing of our hearts before the might and majesty of God, is conspicuously absent.
              We must purpose in our hearts to worship Christ on the day that we set aside to remember His birth.
              What are your plans for Christmas Day, football, the Parades, family fellowship?  The list could go on and on, however, I ask that you get up 10 to 20 minutes before everyone else, and spend some quiet time with God.  Bow before Him with the same respect and dignity these wise men gave our Lord.   When the family is up, men gather all around and read a few scriptures,  and then lead all in a prayer of thanks, thanking God for the blessings of His Only Begotten Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus the Christ.

12/2 Fundamental Thoughts-Sermons

Our Daily Walk

Romans 13:11-14  And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.  (12)  The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.  (13)  Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.  (14)  But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

INTRODUCTION:  We as humans, not spiritual humans, not our soul, but those who call themselves Christians, what others see, our outer shell our physical being.  We have an allotted time here on earth.

Hebrews 9:27  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

              We have a preset time here on earth, a time, or appoint in our life here on earth we know exists, though we do not know the when.
              The older we get, the more important it is for us to shift into high gear for the Lord.  As every hour, every day and week, we are getting closer and closer to that time. 
              Now is the time for our walk to reflect God’s commands.  Our Daily Walk should always be as close to what the Lord wants from us as we can possibly muster.
Hebrews 10:22  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

              It must be with a “true heart” or a sincere heart.  A true or sincere heart being an “I really mean it this time heart.” 
              In (vv 11-12) Paul talks of “…knowing the time…” and “…awake[ing] out of sleep….  These two phrases, for definitions sake, could be restated as “To properly see or perceive that I have bee in a deep sleep and now is the time to get active, or revive myself in the Lord.”
              We need as individuals to look at the cross we carry.  Most probably consider that the Cross they are bearing for the Lord is at its maximum or very near the maximum.  If we really looked, we might find we are still somewhat asleep, and we need the sincerity of our heart jump started.  It is time for each of us to go back to the Lord and ask, if we could carry a bit more for Him.

Luke 21:28  And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

              God is looking to redeem us, have you done all you could?
Our time of redemption is drawing near.

I.            CAST OF THE WORKS OF DARKNESS               (v 12)
              A.           They Are Sins Which:
                             1.           Men keep secret
                             2.           Men know is unacceptable
                             3.           Men are ashamed of:
                                           i.            Yet continue with
Ephesians 5:11-12  And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.  (12)  For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

              B.           The Armour of Light
                             1.           Entirely different
                                           i.            Than the clothing of darkness
                             2.           We are to strip ourselves
                                           i.            Of the darkness
                                                          a.           Remove the sin
                                                          b.           By repentance

Ephesians 6:10-11  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.  (11)  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

                             3.           Put on the “whole armour of God
                                           i.            So we can stand against the devil

              C.           Put On The Armour of Righteousness
2 Corinthians 6:7  By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,

                             1.           It is the “…armour of God…
                                           i.            The Belt                             - Truth
                                           ii.           The Breastplate  -  Righteousness
                                           iii.          The Sandals        -  The Gospel
                                           iv.          The Shield           -  Faith
                                           v.           The Helmet         -  Salvation
                                           vi.          The Sword           -  The Word of God
                             2.           Our supernatural Resource
                                           i.            Prayer
                                                          a.           A soldier of Christ
                                                          b.           Our only defense - Prayer

              A.           Cast Off Our Sins

1 Peter 4:3-5  For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:  (4)  Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:  (5)  Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.
                             1.           Rioting
                                           i.            Unrestrained reveling
                                                          a.           Giving license to our basic

                             2.           Drunkenness
Luke 21:34  And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.

                                           i.            You could be caught unaware

Habakkuk 2:15  Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!
                                           ii.           Become a stumbling block for others
                             3.           Chambering
                                           i.            Any sexual immorality

Habakkuk 2:15  Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!
                             4.           Adultery
                                           i.            Fornication 
                                                          a.           Pre-marital sex
                                                          b.           Un-married people
                                           ii.           Including any form of

Romans 1:27  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
                                                          a.           Homosexuality
                                                          b.           Bestiality
                             5.           Wantonness
                                           i.            An all inclusive word
                                                          a.           Includes all that we have
                                           ii.           The worst of the worst
                                                          a.           Doing it all
                             6.           Do Not
                                           i.            Envy
                                           ii.           Cause strife

Galatians 5:26  Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
                                           iii.          Do not envy

III.         PUT ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST                                  (v 14)
              A.           Clothe Ourselves With Him
                             1.           By the Holy Spirit

Ephesians 4:24  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
                                           i.            We became a new man (person)
                             2.           Look upon only what Jesus would have looked
                             3.           Listen to only that, which Jesus would have                           
                                           Listened to
                             4.           Talk as he would have talked

Luke 9:23  And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

                                           i.            Follow Him

              B.           Don’t Consider Your Flesh
                             1.           The lusts
                                           i.            Do not fulfill the desires

Romans 6:6  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

                             2.           Our old man is dead to sin
                                           i.            Do not revive him

CONCLUSION:               We as Christians have an obligation to God, in Our Daily Walk, to follow His commands.
              We need to Work to do His will; Shuck away the lusts of our minds, and constantly seek His Will.

1 Peter 4:2  That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.