Summary: A lesson about who and how God leads.
Lessons of the Christmas Story
#1 – What We Can Learn from the Magi
December 10, 2006
(Idea for this message from AboutSunday.com)
Before I get into the message, I just wanted to explain the bulletin insert.
Obviously it’s not the usual note-taking guide I’ve given you for the last number of years.
Believe it or not, I’m constantly looking for ways to improve my communication from the platform.
Not because I want to known as a good preacher, but because I want to make sure that God speaks to you without my faulty lips getting in the way.
One of the ways that I think I can help is to help you meditate on the purpose or main point of the message, then challenge you to think of ways to put it into practice.
So I’ve put some blanks there, but not like I used to.
The first one asks you what you think the main point of the message is. I’ve got a main point for the messages, and it’s tempting for me to just put it there.
But I’ve also learned that what I think is the main point may not be what God is trying to communicate to a particular individual.
So I want to leave it blank, so you’ll have the freedom to put down what you think God is trying to communicate to you.
The rest of the blanks are designed to help you put some feet on what God’s trying to say to you.
I would suggest using this through the week, asking God to help you fill in those blanks so you can get the most benefit from our times here on Sundays, okay?
By the way, if you have suggestions for improving this, I’d welcome your input.
One of the dangers of contemporary Christianity is that we tend to live with a sanitized view of how God works.
We think we’ve got it all figured out, especially in terms of how God speaks, who He speaks to, and how He leads people in a given situation or circumstance.
We look at certain people we meet and think, “God could never speak to that person – he’s not what a Christian should be…”
Or, someone comes up to us and says, “I think God’s leading me to do this…” And we think, “Get a grip, man. God wouldn’t use you for something like that!”
Another, and in my opinion, more authentic scenario is this:
“God could never speak to me like He speaks to so and so over there. They’ve really got it together.”
Or, “God could never lead me to do something for Him, because I don’t fit the mold those others do.”
I know how it feels to have those thoughts, because I had to fight them all the time early in my Christian life.
I’d look at myself and see a nerdy kinda guy from the reservation, not very good-looking and only a marginally talented musician in spite of the fact that I was a music major.
I had lousy communication and relationship skills, and majorly ignorant of the way things work in the world.
And even as I began to mature in my walk with Jesus, I made mistakes and hurt people.
I’d love to say I’ve become perfect in these things, but I haven’t.
But as college progressed, I wondered if God really had anything for me. And I didn’t know how to find out.
God had already been speaking to my heart through the Scriptures and He was molding my character to be more Christ-like, but I sincerely wondered if God would lead me to any type of real significance for Him.
I wasn’t worried about a vocation – I knew that God could use anybody in any job or career. I just wanted to know if my life would count for God.
And so I was asking whether God would speak to me and lead me like I saw Him speaking and leading some of my fellow students.
Well, it took a while, but I came to the conclusion that God would to speak to me and lead me.
And also came to the conclusion that God can do it with absolutely anybody.
Our Scripture passage today is a wonderful illustration of that.
Matthew 2:1-12 (p. 681-682) –
1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."
I love that! “We’ve just traveled a bajillion miles and we’re still not sure where to go.” Obviously the Israelite AAA hadn’t sent them a map.