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Thursday, December 21, 2006
Lighted star on our red barn door
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"Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, 'Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him'" (Matthew 2:7,8).
Once again here in America we are already gearing up for the next presidential race which is still nearly two years away! Among the hot topics is the pursuit of religious or value voters and regardless of the politician's political ideology attempts are made by many to use the name of Jesus to gain voters (when the group of potential voters serves their own political interest.)
Several years ago a prominent politician made the outlandish assertion that the baby Jesus was homeless to try to score a few political points. Political candidates are jostling to use the Holy Name, a sort of "getting my picture taken with Jesus" approach attempting to convey that "I too worship Him." Although only God knows their real heart and motive, many of them hardly pass the "you shall know them by their fruit" test!
Herod was the first to have a political interest in Jesus. He feigned interest as he sought the advice of the Magi to find out where Jesus was. His insincere explanation for needing their advice was so that "I too may go and worship Him." However the text goes on to reveal that Herod's motive was jealousy and the real intent of his search was to find Jesus and kill Him. He certainly had no plan to worship the newborn King.
The Magi (wise men) however appeared to have the purest of motives in their quest. They had responded to the star seen from the east (some authorities feel as far away as present Iran) and began a long, arduous journey to seek out the Child. When they had worshipped Him and gave of their gifts they were instructed in a dream to take another way back, rather than reporting to Herod. They, along with Anna, Simeon and the shepherds are the very first true worshipers of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Later, during His ministry, Jesus spoke of "true worshipers" as those who worship God in "spirit and in truth" and taught his hearers, "these are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks." What about you and me today? Are we true worshipers, the kind of worshiper the Father seeks? That's my heart's desire today, and I trust that it is yours as well!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Jesus, You teach us that our act of worship is not confined to a cathedral setting nor does it require professional ministerial training to carry out true worship. It comes from the heart of the true believer who acknowledges that You are the long awaited Messiah, the One who is called Christ. We worship You in Spirit, for though we cannot humanly see or touch You, we come to You in complete sincerity with a spirit that is directed by the life and activity of the Holy Spirit. We worship You in truth because union with You requires believing and speaking the truth. May we be the kind of worshipers that pleases the heart of the Father. Amen.
Personal note: Tomorrow we will be sending a special Christmas message including a link to our annual family Christmas letter. Due to travel next week we expect the normal delivery of our messages will be inconsistent but we will be taking along the laptop and hope to prepare the messages some of the days we are out. We will be leaving following our Christmas Eve service in our interim church near Harrisburg, PA and travel to North Carolina to visit with my sister and her family. We also hope to see some long-time friends during this trip.
The wonderful song "Angels from the realms of glory" has the recurring refrain that comes to mind as this message is prepared. "Come and worship, Come and worship. Worship Christ the newborn King!" Audio Video From the worship service of the Willingdon Church in British Columbia Canada
An alert reader upon reading yesterday's message observes, "if we could build a spaceship that could travel the speed of light, the headlights would not work while traveling at the speed of light!
This attempt to use Jesus is true in other contemporary issues as well and recently an attempt was made at determining where Jesus would or would not shop!
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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