The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Wednesday, December 21, 2011
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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). "But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers" (John 4:23).
Here in America we are already in the midst of the next presidential race although the election is still over 10 months 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.)
When catering to a specific voting constituency political candidates jostle to use Jesus, a sort of "getting my picture taken beside Him" 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 worshipping 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 the shepherds, Anna, and Simeon 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, "for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers." 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!
Come and worship,
Come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King!
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.
Today we have a very busy schedule, chaplain visits from early morning till early afternoon, then attending a Christmas program at an Amish one-room schoolhouse in the afternoon, followed by visitation and a memorial service for our friend Bill Hoke (whom we mentioned in a footnote in yesterday's message)
I've seen two concert pianists play at the same piano, but never three
(Maybe because three adults won't fit on the same piano bench.)
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Angels From The Realms Of Glory" Video Third Day
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Resources for Christmas Celebrations
(We will leave these resources posted below our daily messages through Christmas)
Each year we share several online resources that we have used over the years and that may be a blessing to families and churches during this Christmas season.
"In Remembrance of Me" pdf This is a passion-filled Scripture reading for two adults. Brooksyne and I have used this reading with great receptivity during Christmas Eve services many years. We suggest, if possible, a musical background as the message is read. It is also a great lead-in to a Communion service. It should be thoroughly practiced and read with great feeling.
"When Christ Was Born" pdf This is an adaptation to the tune of "How Great Thou Art". It's a great song to sing as a congregation since most are familiar with and love the tune.
Responsive Christmas Scripture readings for church or family:
John 1:1-18 pdf
"O Come Let Us Adore Him" pdf
My First Christmas In Heaven This is a blessed reminder for all who lost a loved one this year. This is the poem that Brooksyne read and wrote about in this message.
Christmas Knowledge Test
We have also posted two Christmas carol quizzes here (scroll down).
Are you Christmas shopping online?
Daily Encouragement Net is an affiliate of Christianbook.com. Any orders placed to Christian Book Distributers using this link or any specific product link to a recommended resource in a daily encouragement message will help our Daily Encouragement ministry through a small commission on the sale. Thank you for considering using these links when purchasing online through CBD! Tip: If you are regular CBD customer consider bookmarking this link and using it whenever you shop. This Christmas many of our readers will be shopping for gifts that have spiritual and lasting value as well as a means of witness and encouraging others.
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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, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. 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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