We’ve all heard it said that time waits for no one, and I think it becomes more evidently clear every year at this time. One year winds down and comes to an end, while a new year fires up and begins. So here we are, with our resolutions tucked under our arms and expectations high. However, it’s not our resolutions that will define our new year because most of them will be broken well before Valentine’s Day is even thought of. What will define and identify us in the coming new year can be found at Christmas. Yes part of the Christmas story as recorded in the book of Matthew will be our blueprint for our identity in the coming months.
In Matthew chapter 2, a group of travelers will define our future with four simple teachings if we will allow it. Wise men travel a thousand miles in several months, with one expectation in mind, and that was to visit the child who would be born a king. They expected to see him, be in his presence, and to worship him. They spent months in their travels and covered thousands of miles with an expectation of the king. Number 1, what are you expecting from Jesus?
They presented an offering to Jesus - gold to represent his royalty, frankincense to represent his deity, and myrrh for his humanity. In verse 11, they opened their treasures and gave what they had. Number 2, what are you prepared to give to Jesus?
They began their search for Jesus in Jerusalem. Herod brought priest and scribes to interpret scripture and to identify the location of where Jesus was. They found Jesus, Joseph, and Mary, in Bethlehem, and Matthew records that they worshipped him upon their arrival. In verse 12, they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, and they departed back home another way. Notice, before they became worshippers of Jesus, someone had to tell them what God said, but after they became worshippers God spoke directly to them. Number 3, are you prepared to worship Jesus?
Verse 10 explains the heart of their worship. They rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. The Greek meaning for this phrase is to “fall down violently or to become shattered.” Wealthy, wise, and well planned, men became shattered and fell down violently in the presence of Jesus. They held nothing back. The fourth element that will define our new year will be what we lose and what we hold back.
Great and wise men traveled months to become changed by a few moments with the king. Their lives were forever redefined by a child and yours can, too. I would love to see you this Sunday at Christpoint Church, on the square, in Sparta. We’re real people, living real lives, serving a real God. Welcome home.
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