Summary: Where do we go from here? -- Go forward: 1. With determination to find the Lord (vs. 1-2). 2. With declarations of your faith (vs. 2). 3. Depending on God’s guidance (vs. 3-9 & 12). 4. With great devotion to the Lord (vs. 10-11)
Back to the Best of Christmas
Part 4: Where Do We Go from Here?
Sermon by: Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - Jan. 1, 2012
*We usually put three wise men in the manger scene, even though they don’t really belong there. The Scripture doesn’t tell us how many there were. And by the time they arrived on the scene in Bethlehem, Joseph and Mary had moved into a house. Based on the information the Wise Men gave to Herod, Jesus may have been two years old when they finally saw Him.
*But the wise men were wise. And we can all learn something from them as we begin a brand new year. Let’s read their story in Matthew 2:1-12.
*Zig Ziglar tells about a young couple lost on a road, way out in the country. This was before the days of GPS and cell phones, but the couple spotted a farmer, so they stopped the car and asked him, “Sir, could you tell us where this road will take us?”
*Without a moment’s hesitation the wise, old farmer replied, “Son, this road will take you anywhere in the world you want to go, -- if you are moving in the right direction.” (1)
*Well, here we are in 2012, the start of a brand new year, and the question is: “Where do we go from here?” We need to go in the right direction. And the wise men can help us find it.
1. First: Go forward with determination to find the Lord
*This is what the Wise Men did in vs. 1-2:
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 showed incredible determination to find the Lord. Pastor Victor Yap explained: “The wise men were wise because they made the move, acted in faith and sought the child. . . They not only saw the star, they sought the King.
*They decided that this was the opportunity of a lifetime. So they crossed deserts, braved storms and risked many dangers to see the sight.” (2)
*These men had been searching long and hard when they found the Lord. They had come 400, 500, maybe even 1,000 miles on camel or foot. Ronald Horgan said: “Imagine traveling that far on the back of a camel. (One hump or two?) It might not be that bad if you were on a two-humper. Maybe you could settle in between the humps and put it on auto-camel. But imagine being on top of a one-humper trying to keep your balance the whole way! And it was a long and difficult trip across the desert.” (3)
*All of that effort, why did they do it? -- From a worldly point of view, the wise men had everything they could have wanted: Education, wealth, power, prestige.
*They certainly had prestige, because all Jerusalem heard about their arrival, and eventually they were ushered in to see King Herod. The Wise Men also had money, because they were able to give great treasures to Jesus.
*They 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.
-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 after all of that effort, they had still not found Him. It would have been so easy to give up. Two years on the road: “My feet hurt! -- I’m getting tired of this. Let’s go home!”
*But they didn’t give up! They kept on searching. And they found the King. So will we! -- God promised us in Jeremiah 29:13, “You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” And in Matthew 7:7, Jesus said, “Seek, and you will find.”
*The Wise Men prove to us that this promise is true. They found the King! They found the King of Kings! But more than that, they found the Good Shepherd who laid down His life for them. And you can find Him too!
*If you seek the Lord, you will surely find Him. But how hard are you willing to seek the King? -- God wants us to go the distance. Seek the Lord with all your heart!
*Joseph Stowell served as President of the Moody Bible Institute from 1987-2005. During that time he told about a visit to a home for mentally handicapped children. Dr. Stowell said that when he was walking down the halls, he noticed that the windows were covered with tiny hand prints. He asked the director, what they were all about, and the director said, “The children here love Jesus, and they are so eager for Him to return, that they lean against the windows (looking up for the Lord in the sky).” (4)