6-Week Series: Against All Odds

Sermons

Summary: There's an old invitation song that says "no turning back." What does that mean for us?

OPEN: I love to watch videos and read articles about outer space. Over the past few years mankind has explored numerous planets, moons and asteroids in our solar system. In fact, more than 40 years ago, American launched two spacecraft named “Voyager” and both of them have gone so far out into space that they’re now in "interstellar space," way beyond Pluto. I find it absolutely intriguing to learn about all the things that have been done, and are yet to be done in Space. Scientists are already talking about Space tourism (where a tourist could vacation in outer space); they’ve talked of landing on meteors and asteroids to mine for precious metals; setting up a base on the moon where we can venture further into space. There have even been plans for even putting men and women on Mars and setting up colonies there.

About 5 years ago, I read an article about a company that had plans to do just that. It was a Dutch company called “Mars One.” The article I read explained that Mars One planned to hold a lottery in 2015 to select 40 people to train for a team to go to Mars. They reported that they intended to start setting up housing structures on that planet in 2023 and would begin sending 4 people each year to colonize Mars. Now there was one catch with their offer. If you signed up with them to go to Mars with this company, you’d never return home again. You’d stay on Mars… forever. So, if you were to volunteer to go to Mars with this company you better want to be there - cause you’re not coming back.

The truth is, that’s always the case with the decisions we make. Robert Frost once wrote:

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth; then took the other…

(then Frost concludes)

“I shall be telling this with a sigh, somewhere ages and ages hence. Two roads diverged in a wood. And I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

Every decision we make, every road we choose, has a destination. A consequence. Every road leads… someplace. So I want to be careful which road I choose because I may not be coming back.

In our story today, we read about Wisemen. They were WISE men. What made them so wise? Well, in this case, they were WISE men because they choose their path wisely.

When we’re 1st introduced to them – they have stopped at Jerusalem and ask: "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." Matthew 2:2

And as they left Jerusalem we’re told “… 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. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.” Matthew 2:9-10

Then… when they left Bethlehem we’re told “… being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.” Matthew 2:12

Now, WHY did they choose the paths they took? Because God led them. God led them by the star to get to Bethlehem, and God led them with a dream to return home another way. And they were wise enough to listen to God when He led them.

It is my belief, and my observation from Scripture, that if we let Him, God will lead us just like He led the Wisemen.

ILLUS: I had a conversation with a young boy who was worried that God wouldn’t let him into heaven. So I told him one of my favorite verses. It’s out of 2 Chronicles 16:9 and says “the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.”

I explained that He didn’t have to worry about God not wanting him. If he made up his mind to be God’s man, he was the kind boy that God was looking for. God would want him, because he had decided to want God. And if he made up his mind to be committed to God, God would work with and have his back.

Then I told him about one of my other verses: Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared in advance, that we should walk in them.” In other words, once we become Christians God has things planned for us to do. And that’s what God would want for him. God had “good works” already designed just for him.

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