Summary: How do we plan our lives and actually do it?
As I noted last week, we closed the year 2017 and look forward to a new year by thinking about the 7 P’s for the Christian life: Pray, Plan, Pray, Prioritize, Pray, Proceed, Praise! Last week we made a note of praying and praising from 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18…... How thankful were we the last week? It is something we know we are to do, but I know we all still need work in this area! I know I do. We must always rememeber God’s command to pray without ceasing and to be thankful always!
Now, how should we plan, prioritize, and proceed! Let us note as we did from 1 Thessalonians 5, the 7 P’s are not just crazy simplistic ideas. The 7 P’s for the Christian life are based on biblical Principles!
As I thought about this a few weeks ago 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 immediately came to mind for the Praying and Praising and our Scripture of the week, Psalm 119:105 came to mind for Planning, Prioritizing, and Proceeding… Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. This is of course a must for every Christian to remember. But if we really think about it, every godly person in Scriptures followed the 7 P’s!
Since the Christian Kingdom celebrates the Wise Men around this time, let’s take a closer look at the 7 P’s through the Magi! We hear a lot about fake news today. We Christians are actually guilty of fake news many times as we divert from Scriptures. Show nativity picture… What is wrong with this picture??
God tells us that the truth will set us free! John 8:31-32 states To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” When we divert from God’s Word, we are not only enslaving ourselves again but all those around us! As Christians, how do we plan, prioritize, and proceed? God’s Word is to be our guide without diversion as we plan, prioritize, and proceed with our lives!!
Let’s take a look at the real story of the Wisemen then we’ll close with applications as we prepare for Communion. The story of the Wisemen (The Magi) can only be found in the Gospel of Matthew… Please open your Bibles to Matthew 2…. Read along with me v1-16…..
Jesus was already born, maybe even 2 years old already, when the Magi visited (v1, v16).
Who were the Magi?
The original Greek word for Magi indicates plurality and were astrologers from the orient. Filipinos? - likely not, sightseeing and selfies
Let us note that during the time of the Magi, astrology was considered a scholarly tradition and was common in academic circles, often in close relation with astronomy, alchemy, meteorology, and medicine. And so,
They were scholars! Now, were the Magi godly?? Why??
They were godly for they knew about the Savior and came to worship Him!
Were the Magi rich? V11 tells us they had treasures, gold, frankincense, and myrrh (btw the 3 treasures mentioned is how the idea of 3 Kings came about). Now, it is possible that they just brought everything they had to give to Jesus but had the resources to go to Bethlehem and back home East again. They may have been rich, but do we note them flaunting their wealth and possibly royalty? Instead of flaunting what do we note from the Magi??
They approached Jesus with humility!
Now back to our 7 P’s:
Do you think the Magi prayed??
The Magi were godly people which is a result of a prayer life! How do we know? What usually result from prayers?? God answered their prayers with an initial star, then a local star, and were given a warning dream from God. Prayer and godliness are partners.
Now, It is obvious that the Magi planned; they decided to form a caravan to Jerusalem, to ask Herod for help, to bring what were necessary. The question is, what was the basis of their plan??
The Magi made plans based on what they heard from God!
So the Magi prayed, planned, likely prayed some more then prioritized their plans. How can we tell that they prioritized their plans to see the Messiah??
There were no marching bands, no armies or slaves, no extra luggages, no extra sight seeing, no selfies for FB, no tickle me elmo or hatchimals for Jesus!
The Magi prioritized their plans by being focused on what is important and simplicity of travels and gifts!
And what can we note with the Magi’s proceeding of their prioritized plans??
The Magi proceeded with their prioritized plans by being bold with God’s truths, expressing their intentions, taking actions when they could, and they looked for God’s leading!