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Summary: We must have the courage to go a different way.

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DON’T GIVE IN TO EVIL!

Matthew 2:1-12

S: Wise Men

Th: Courage at Christmas

Pr: WE MUST HAVE THE COURAGE TO GO THE DIFFERENT WAY.

?: How? How do we do it?

KW: Temptations (to avoid)

TS: We will find in our study of Matthew 2:1-12 three temptations to avoid so that we have the courage to go the different way.

The _____ temptation to avoid is…

I. DON’T BE COMFORTABLE

II. DON’T BE CONCEDING

III. DON’T BE CONCEITED

Version: ESV

RMBC 28 December 03 AM

INTRODUCTION:

Many of you know that I can’t get past this time of the year without making some kind of comment about America’s favorite gift: fruitcake.

Though our time of gift-giving has passed us, I do want to share with you the “TOP 10 CHRISTMAS GIFTS TO NOT GET YOUR PASTOR.”

This is for future information, just in case…

ILL Notebook: Christmas (bad Chr. Gifts)

TOP 10 BAD CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR YOUR PASTOR

10. Fruitcake

9. Frankincense Aftershave

8. A rooftop hot tub.

7. Golf Club Covers with the 12 Disciples’ Faces on Them.

6. Did I mention fruitcake?

5. A bobble-head statue of the apostle Paul for the back of his car.

4. A “Begats” Family Tree Chart.

3. Did I say anything about fruitcake?

2. An Official Hellfire and Brimstone Backyard Grill.

1. The Left Behind Series “Practical Survivors Guide.”

Well, now I feel much better now that I have gotten that in…

So, how about you?

Do you give good gifts?

Today, we are giving consideration to the wise men.

We know them for giving good gifts to Jesus.

And though their gifts are extraordinary and rich in meaning, we are considering another perspective today.

TRANSITION:

This is our final study of our series called “Courage at Christmas.”

So far…

1. We have considered the courage of…

1.1 Mary

It was Mary who joyfully accepted the responsibilities that would come in bearing the Messiah.

Though the circumstances would look bad, she was ready and willing to do whatever God would call her to do.

We also considered the courage of…

1.2 Joseph

Joseph’s reaction to the news about the pregnancy of Mary was not as positive as hers.

Initially, Joseph was without the benefit of hearing directly from the Lord on this issue.

Therefore, Mary’s explanation of the pregnancy seemed more than ridiculous.

It was, to him, a clear betrayal of their commitment to one another.

But Joseph does hear from the Lord, and he displays the courage to look beyond how bad it looked, and took Mary as his wife.

Then on Christmas Eve, we considered…

1.3 The Shepherds

When the angels appeared to the shepherds, they were understandably terrified.

You would be too if you met just one angel.

Nevertheless, when they are confronted with the good news about the birth of Jesus, they are not so frightened to keep still.

They have the courage to move out to Bethlehem and find out that the good news is truly good!

Today, we are considering the courage of the wise men.

Interestingly, I believe that…

2. The wise men had the opportunity to be ordinary.

But ordinary was not a path they chose.

Though, we do not know any of their names, nor do we know how many of them there were, we do know that they teach us by their example.

They teach us that…

3. WE MUST HAVE THE COURAGE TO GO THE DIFFERENT WAY.

But how?

How do we do it?

Well…

4. We will find in our study of Matthew 2:1-12 three temptations to avoid so that we have the courage to go the different way.

Let’s hear what the text says…

(1) Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, (2) saying, "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him." (3) When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; (4) and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. (5) They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

(6) "’And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,

are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;

for from you shall come a ruler

who will shepherd my people Israel.’"

(7) Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. (8) And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him." (9) After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. (10) When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. (11) And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. (12) And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

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