Sermons

Summary: We place our hope in many things but we need to have three character traits of the wise men who placed their hope in Jesus.

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What Are You Hoping For – Do You Know?

Introductory Remarks

Prayer for Illumination

Matthew 2:1-12

2 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.”

3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.

5 So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:

6 ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.’”

7 Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared.

8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.”

9 When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was.

10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.

11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

12 Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.

I just came by to ask you a question this morning: What Are You Hoping For – Do You Know?

In 1975, Ms. Diana Ross and Mr. Billy D. Williams starred in the movie Mahogany. Tracy and Brian, as they were called, started off in the projects of Chicago. He wanted to become a politician but Tracy wanted to be a top Fashion designer. There came a time in the movie where Tracy had a choice to pick the man of her dreams or the job of her dreams. Well, she picked the job. But when she got to the top, she realized that she had placed her hope in the wrong thing and that success wasn’t all she thought it would be.

And along with this blockbuster movie came a blockbuster song that went a little like this: Do you know where you’re going to? Do you like the things that life is showing you? Where are you going to? Do you know? Do you get what you’re hoping for when you look behind you there’s no open door? What are you hoping for? Do you know?

And although this movie was made in the 1970’s, it deals with an age-issue that goes back to the beginning of time: That man is rarely satisfied with what he has and is constantly looking for, searching for, and hoping for… something else.

To those who are on the outside looking in: our wise men in our text today appeared to have everything they needed - knowledge, power, and wealth. But looks can sometimes be deceiving, Amen? And although we who are on the outside may look at those who have more money, more intelligence, more of this and that, those who are on the inside know the real story. And they would tell, “Don’t get it twisted - all that glitters ain’t gold.

Because these men had placed their hope NOT in their wealth, education, power, or position. They had been told that one day there would be born a child that was above all that they could have ever hoped for. And they had placed all of their hope in the coming of this child who would be born the King of the Jews. And these wise men give us a lesson on how we should carry ourselves by their:

Desire, their Determination, and their Devotion

First of all desire. What is it that is your deepest desire? What have you placed all of your hope in? Some of us will search high and low to get what we want. Sometimes we don’t even know exactly what we’re hoping for but we know it’s gotta be something. We think that:

• If I could just get (you fill in the blank), my life would be complete.

• If I could just get married, my life would be complete.

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