Summary: What would your life be like if you were giving Jesus your very best?
“When You Want to Give the Very Best”
Are you giving Jesus your very best? What would your life be like if you were? What might be different – perhaps even radically different? As you reflect on that, let’s look at the Magi - the Gentiles – who made a long trek to see Jesus, the new King.
What becomes clear, first of all, is that THE WISE MEN PAID ATTENTION AND DEVELOPED FAITH. Consider what brought them to see the Christ child. These men – however many in number - were well versed in religious beliefs, including the Jewish religion and scriptures. That’s particularly noteworthy because they were Gentiles, not Jews. Yet it was precisely because they were well versed that they could recognize the signs and dare to set out on such a long journey. Additionally, they were the ones from whom their people sought information; they were already considered to be the learned ones. Yet they continued to seek truth. THEY PAID ATTENTION.
Let’s face it - we tend to find what we’re looking for. Buy a red car and what do you see? Lots of red cars! If the authorities are looking for a blonde, white woman about 5 feet tall with medium build, what do you see? A lot of blonde, white women about 5 feet tall with medium build! If someone tells you that the wedding is at the church with the steeple, what do you see? A lot of Churches with steeples! So the Wise Men were wise enough to seek and study information, and therefore were able to see and recognize God’s signs. That’s why Scripture so often admonishes us to seek so we can find.
So a good question this morning is WHAT ARE YOU SEEKING? To what, or to whom are you paying attention? Are you, in fact, seeking Jesus? Do you really want to find Him? Where are you looking for Him? Have you tried worship? Prayer? Study of the Scriptures? Paul, in Romans 10:6-8, wrote: “But the way of getting right with God through faith says, "You don't need to go to heaven" (to find Christ and bring him down to help you). And it says, "You don't need to go to the place of the dead" (to bring Christ back to life again). Salvation that comes from trusting Christ--which is the message we preach--is already within easy reach. In fact, the scriptures say, "The message is close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart." What a blessed fulfillment of what the prophet Jeremiah had proclaimed centuries prior (29:13): “If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me. I will be found by you," says the Lord.” How diligently have you been seeking Jesus?
So the Wise Men found Jesus, because, as they sought God, God spoke in a language they could understand. As astrologers they knew stars. So God spoke through a star! God will meet anyone, at anytime, anywhere. God will write in whatever book we are reading, will park on any street where we are driving, will visit any home in which we are living. HIS SIGNS WILL BE IN OUR LANGUAGE. There is no one beyond the reach of God – He has servants everywhere, even in the skies! As a matter of fact, I firmly believe that you are here this morning by His arrangement! You only think you came voluntarily! But because you’ve been seeking Him, God has arranged this time just for you and brought you here so He can speak to you.
So the Wise Men paid attention and THEY DEVELOPED FAITH. At the sight of star, they knew enough, and had faith enough, to follow. The star was a miraculous phenomenon – it was God’s glory shining from the heavens. The Wise Men knew it was the symbol of God’s presence. Perhaps one of the verses they had learned was from the prophet Isaiah (60:3): “All nations will come to your light. Mighty kings will come to see your radiance.” Isn’t that just like God - ALWAYS IN THE DARK OF NIGHT, AT THE DEEPEST DEPTH OF OUR SEARCH, THE LIGHT OF GOD’S GLORY APPEARS. Are you prepared to find him? Perhaps you’ve come today in the throes of despair. Maybe you’re blinded by the darkness in which you’ve been living. Or it might be that your faith has become all too complacent and you’ve lost sight of Jesus – or you’ve become so busy that your focus on Jesus is blurred. But you are here. You are hearing the Word of the Lord today. Are you ready for God to break in and shine in your darkness, to shatter your darkness to smithereens? Are you prepared to follow Jesus? Do you have faith enough to follow? We must be obedient as well as aware.