Summary: Merry Christmas
1. Several passages of scriptures just amaze me:
"12 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father." John 14:12
"23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me." John 17:23
"23 "But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers." John 4:23
2. I am amazed that God is actually seeking my worship! In our passage we have an answer to the question - How to worship God?
3. Wise Worship.
Trans: Mt. 2:1-23
I. First, worship always focuses on the Savior.
"Now after Jesus was born...seen His star...come to worship Him...stood over where the young Child was...fell down and worshiped Him...presented gifts to Him" - the focus was not on Mary or Bethlehem or the star but on Jesus Christ Himself.
Truth is - we know very little about these wise men; or what exactly that star was; and many other questions may be raised - but that does not matter because Christmas is not about those things. It is about Jesus Christ!
"Everything else is left out of the picture in order that the full emphasis may be placed on this one thing, namely, "We have come to worship Him." We are not given a detailed description of the star. We are not told how the magi connected this star with the birth.
We are not told how many magi there were, how they dressed, how they died, or where they were buried. All that and much more is purposely left in the shade in order that against this dark background the light may shine forth all the more brilliantly. These wise men, whoever they were, wherever they came from, came to worship Him.
In the present instance, as is clear from verse 11, this can mean nothing less than it was their intention to fall down before the Messianic King in humble adoration."
Worship always focuses on Jesus...
"14 "He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you." John 16:14
Mt.8:2; 14:33; 15:26; 28:9,17/Rev.5:6-13/etc.
The real star of Bethlehem was that baby who was born to die, if we get sidetracked from Him unto how many wise men; speculations about their names; what was the star made of; how many presents will I get this year; etc. Then we miss the whole point of Christmas.
Luis Palau tells of a wealthy European family that decided to have their new born baby baptized in their enormous mansion. Many people were invited, it was an elegant and elaborate affair.
They took off their coats and laid them on the bed in a designated room and soon the time came for the main purpose of their gathering - but no one could find the baby!
To the horror of all they finally found the baby, it was now buried under the pile of coasts, jackets, and furs, nearly smothered to death.
If we bury Jesus under our traditions, our families, our good works, our emotions, our music, our programs, or our rotten self - we truly miss the reason for the season.
II. Furthermore, worship is always by God's Spirit.
This star, which I will be preaching about this Sunday morning at the church where I pastor, has been viewed as a literal star as well as the Shekiah glory of God. It can be a picture of the believer as we seek to focus on Christ.
But it also can be viewed as a picture of the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
A. The star Initiated the whole thing - no star = no worship. It appeared to the magi. There is no real worship that is not initiated by the Holy Spirit.
B. The star Legislated their every movement - it led them to Bethlehem, it stopped over the manger where Jesus was.
To worship God one must be indwelt with the Spirit (1 Cor.3:16, which is true of all and only believers in Christ); filled with the Spirit (Eph.5:18); walking in the Spirit (Gal.5:16); and strengthen in the inner man by the Spirit (Eph.3:16); and thus serving Him in the Spirit (Rom.7:6). Jn. 4:23/Phil.3:3
I have an Ipod and it has the Bible on it and many praise songs which are helpful in worship. But this ipod must be contantly plugged into a power source. The power source in the Christian life is the Holy Spirit. If we do not stay connected to Him in fellowship and intimacy we run out of power. We can go to church, sing, read the Bible, but it is all in vain without the power of the Holy Spirit.