Summary: Just like the Wise Men were called to find Jesus, so are we!
THE CALL OF CHRISTMAS
INTRO: “Telephones have changed our lives forever.
* In the small town we lived in the volunteer fire department’s telephone was answered by the policeman who was on duty who would in turn sound the fire whistle to rally the volunteers to duty. One Saturday morning my father, the town Chief of Police, had just come on duty when the fire department phone rang. He picked up the phone and said "Fire Department." A voice on the other end of the line frantically said, "Send the fire truck!" Then the caller immediately slammed the phone down. My dad stood stunned, not knowing what to do. In a few minutes the phone rang again. Quickly he picked it up and said again, "Fire Department!" Again the voice cried, "Send the fire truck!" Again the caller immediately hung up. Realizing that someone’s house was possibly at stake, he rushed outside and scanned the sky to see if he could see smoke and therefore send the fire trucks in that direction. While outside he also devised a plan as to how to keep the caller from hanging up so quickly if she called back. Sure enough the phone rang again and he went running inside. Picking up the phone he said, "Where’s the fire?" And the lady on the other end screamed, "In the kitchen," and slammed the phone down again."
* There are many different types of calls & calls can be serious or funny. Several years ago, we were at a Christmas show at the MS Gulf Coast Coliseum and heard this announcement, “Jimmy Smith, If You WANT to leave with those you came with, meet your party at..” That was a call someone didn’t want to miss.
* There are other types of calls. Military draft is a type of call, 911 is a type of call, and a call to restore phone or electrical service is a call. The list goes on and on.
* The greatest call of all is the call from God. Abraham, Moses, and Paul experienced firsthand, life changing, & highly personally calls from Jehovah. For many years, I marveled at a friend of mine, Jimmy Knight, who gave the testimony of hearing God’s audible voice calling him to ministry. Today, I am reminded of God’s call to me. He talks, calls, and compels. This is what we see in the Wise Men in Matt 2.
* What caused these guys to come from the East? Certainly it was the Old Testament prophecies, but how about a sense of A Call? I suggest that the call of Christmas was a compelling call to them.
* What can this call of Christmas teach us?
1) TO BE DETERMINED – If determination is focused correctly, it is a good thing. These men had studied the ancient prophecies, were looking God’s promised, & then adjusted their schedule.
* Here’s the clincher; finding God’s promised one was important enough to change their lives, their schedules, and their living conditions (probably for a year & a half) to follow God’s leading, (the “star”). They were determined to find God’s promise, God’s greatest gift, and God’s Best and knew they had to respond to HIS WORD. This was not a quick or easy journey and quite honestly, it was inconvenient; but they were determined. They went as far as they could see and know; but they didn’t “stop” there. The asked the right questions, trusted God’s word, and sought His leadership. Is it NOT true that when it comes to God and Spiritual matters, we want to go as far as we can see, and then “stop”? Our response is “Well, we don’t want to “test” the God, you remember what Jesus said in His temptation?”
* We are determined to do many things. What is it that you are “determined” to do? For some, it is to money, be success, have power, or gain status. But the call of Christmas is to find God’s gift for you. Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him, and seek first His Kingdom. What do you seek with your life?
* Just give thought to the journey of the Wise men. They came ‘from the East, into Jerusalem, asked questions to gain information, and then continued to Bethlehem. They didn’t stop their journey until they found Jesus. They were determined enough to “stick with it.” not be side-tracked by circumstances/
* The call of Christmas is for every one of us. God sent His Child to give us life, new life, abundant life, and eternal life. This life is focused not on the physical, but on the spiritual. Following God & His leading is not a “lay-back” activity. Had the Wise Men been laid back and cool about it, they would have never seen Jesus.