Summary: How to be wise in our worship: 1. Go the distance to seek God (vs. 1-2). 2. Follow the guidance of God (vs. 2-9). 3. Come to Jesus with an abundance for God (vs.10-11).
The Wise Men Help Us Worship
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - Dec. 19, 2012
*Does God care how we worship? -- Of course He does! So we need to know how to worship the Lord, and the Wise Men can help us get there.
1. Church, if we are going to worship the Lord, first we must go the distance to seek God.
*That's what the Wise Men did in vs. 1-2. Here Matthew 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 have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.''
*These men had been searching for the Lord long and hard. They had probably been on the road for two years, and had come 400 to 500 miles on camel or on foot. All of that effort: Why did they do it? -- From a human point of view, the wise men already had everything they could have wanted: Education, wealth, power, prestige.
*They certainly had prestige, because they were ushered in to see King Herod in Jerusalem. We also know that the Wise Men had great wealth, because they were able to give great treasures to Jesus. These men had everything the world could offer. But there was something missing in their lives.
*They had a spiritual hunger that drove them to the highest goal. They were seeking the King of Kings: Seeking to find Him, seeking to know Him, seeking to get close to Him, seeking to worship Him. And this is the greatest goal we can ever have in life.
*But with all of that effort, they still had not found Him. It would have been so easy for them to give up. I can imagine lesser men whining, "Two years? -- My feet hurt! I'm getting tired of this! Let's go home."
*But the Wise Men didn't give up! They kept on searching for the King of Kings. So in vs. 2, we see them asking: "Where is the King?" And when they kept on searching, they found the King. So will we! God promised that we would in Jeremiah 29:13, where He said: "You shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart."
*The Wise Men finally found the real King in Bethlehem. Aren't you glad that we don't have to go to Bethlehem to find Him? But where are we going to find the King of Kings? Where is the right place for our worship? Jesus tells us in John 4. In this Scripture, the Lord was trying to lead a lost and lonely woman to living water, to salvation, to Him.
*Jesus showed her that He knew all about her 5 husbands. He knew all about the way she had wrecked her life. So she knew Jesus was somebody special. Then maybe out of curiosity, or maybe trying to change the subject away from her sin problem, the woman asked Jesus about the proper place of worship.
*Listen to the story starting in John 4:19:
19. The woman said to Him, "Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.
20. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.''
21. Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father.
22. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.
23. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.
24. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.''
*Jesus was saying: "Let Me tell you where the real place of worship is. It's not in Samaria, and it's not in Jerusalem. The real place of worship is in your spirit, -- in your heart."
*Sure, God wants us to come to church whenever we can. But just because your body is here doesn't mean your heart's here too. The real place of worship is in your heart. And that's where we have to go the distance. God says, "You shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart."
*One of my greatest joys as a pastor has been leading children to the Lord. And one of the most memorable times was a 7-year-old boy named Ryland. Ryland had been talking to his dad for several weeks. And that little boy was seeking the Lord with all his heart.