Tag Archives: Magi

sensitive

One night as they were studying the stars, the wise men noticed a new star. The star was a brilliant light in the night sky which would grab the attention of anyone studying Astrology. It could have been an alignment of planets or a supernova. The Magi may have noticed the glory of the Lord as Jesus’ birth was announced to the shepherds. Luke 2:8 says, an angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them…” After all, Christ’s birth was supernatural, so why wouldn’t the Lord use a supernatural way to capture the wise men’s attention. No matter how the Lord placed the star in the sky, the Magi were sensitive enough to recognize the Lord was pointing them in a direction.

Following the star was not the only time in their journey the Magi were sensitive to God’s leading. Matthew 2:12 says, “When it was time to leave, they returned to their own country by another route. For God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.” Herod requested the Magi inform him of Jesus’ location. He wanted to kill Jesus as he felt threatened by this new child in town. God warned the Magi not to return to Herod, and they were sensitive to his leading.

Joseph too was sensitive to the Lord’s leading. He had to sense the Lord’s direction a few times in Jesus’ early years. Joseph was going to privately divorce Mary when he found out she was pregnant, but the Lord led him to a different decision. Joseph was warned in a dream to take his family to Egypt, and he did. Later, he was told to return to Israel, and he did. It was the Lord’s leading which placed the family in Nazareth. Joseph sensed the Lord’s leading and responded.

As Christians, you and I should be sensitive to the Lord’s leading. How sensitive are we? Challenge yourself to spend time in Scripture so you have a heightened understanding of the Lord’s character. Challenge yourself to spend time in prayer so you have a keener sense of his direction.

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sharing with the lord

Kevin, age 5, and Ryan, age 3 were waiting on their mom to cook pancakes one morning, and the boys began to argue about who would get the first pancake. Seeing an opportunity to teach a moral lesson, their mom said, “Jesus would let his brother have the first pancake.”

Kevin quickly said to Ryan, “Hey Ryan, why don’t you be Jesus?”

Matthew tells us the Magi shared with Jesus. Matthew 2:11 says, “They entered the house and saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” The Magi shared with the Lord.

The wise men brought gifts to Jesus, because they wanted to share with him. As Christians, we should be willing to bow before the king and open the treasure chests of our lives to share with the Lord. The gifts the Magi brought can help us see ways to share with the Lord.

Gold

They presented gold to Christ. Gold is obviously something of great value. Instantly, tithes and offerings come to mind, but we can share in other ways. Our time, our talents, and our abilities are some ways we can share. We can share our words by being the Lord’s spokesperson. Our words can be used to encourage one another; building one another up in Christ. Our words have the ability to help another person more fully grasp the Lord’s grace. Money is not the only valuable thing we can share with the Lord. We have much to share.

Frankincense and Myrrh

Our prayers are the incense we share with the Lord. Revelation 5:8 reminds us prayers are a sweet smelling fragrance at the alter of the Lord. He wants to hear from us. The Lord longs for us to talk with him. He wants to hear our thanksgivings and our struggles.

The Lord desires for us to share our lives with him. How well do we share? Try sharing a part of your day with the Lord. Spend some time in prayer or offer an encouraging word to a neighbor. The Lord wants to live life with us.

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life-long pursuit

The star appeared, and the journey started. It was not a quick trip to find Jesus. The 900 miles of terrain which separated the Magi from Jesus took some time to cross. In spite of this, the wise men continued. They didn’t give up or turn around until they found Jesus. They knew finding him was worth the pursuit.

Our Pursuit

No one needs to remind us we are not perfect. We already know, but each day we seek the Lord, we become a little more like him. Each day takes us a little closer to the prize, and each day means we can forget the things Christ has already forgiven from yesterday.

Philippians 3:12-14 says, “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection, but I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing:  forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the Heavenly prize for which God through Christ Jesus is calling us.”

Seeking Christ is a life-long pursuit. We are always in need of the Lord’s grace. We’re always in need of his leading. There is never a point in life when we stop needing Christ. It has been said life is like a cycle. The rough times lead to an easy season only to be disrupted by the rough times again. The Lord is with us every step of the way, and the prize at the end of the race is Heaven.

Philippians 3:20-21 encourage, “But we are citizens of Heaven where the Lord Jesus Christ lives, and we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak, mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.”

Are you on a life-long pursuit of the Lord? Don’t give up seeking him. He doesn’t give up on seeking us. “Come to me,” Jesus invites. “Seek me,” he encourages, “bring the burdens of life and the worries of today, and exchange them for the rest I offer.” Follow the example of the Magi. Make seeking the Lord a life-long pursuit.

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journey

Their journey took them to new places and introduced them to new people. The Magi saw a new star in the sky, and their anticipation and desire to seek the new born king spurred a journey to find him. They did not know where the journey was going to lead, but they were willing to go. Perhaps it was unnerving and disrupting, but the Magi followed the star.

The Lord may be pointing us on a journey right now. It may be accepting his grace, talking with a friend about his grace, making a sacrificial move, or maybe something even more difficult. He may be calling us to extend forgiveness. We’ve been hurt badly, but someone has to lay the first piece to build the bridge of reconciliation. It may be disrupting. It may be unnerving, but the Lord is calling.

Going on this journey may be scary, but we are not alone. Scripture records many who were called on a journey. They found themselves in some new places. Abraham was called into a new territory. Noah was called to begin a new project. Daniel was called into a new leadership role. The first disciples were called into a career change. The Lord called Paul into a public life change. We are not alone.

What journey is the Lord asking you to take? Ask the Lord for the courage to begin the journey and to help you remember he is leading as you walk into new places.

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anticipating

Looking up at the sky was a nightly occurrence. The stars were beautiful and worthy of study. One night something different caught the eyes of the wise men. The new star captured their attention, so they took note of it.

More than that, the star prompted memories of Christ being prophesied in Scripture. The star brought Christ to the Magi’s attention. Through events, God reached out to the Magi, and since they were anticipating the Messiah’s coming, they responded.

What about us? Are we anticipating the Lord’s work in our lives? Like the Magi, we have the Bible to study. We may not understand all of it, but we know enough to at least understand the story. Even the most scholarly student of Scripture must have a faith of anticipation.

God has promised he will work in our lives, and he has promised he will be with us. There are many stories which can only be explained by the Lord’s involvement. Christ’s birth is just one of those times. We should anticipate the Lord’s work in our lives.

Scripture suggests we should keep watch. Keep anticipating.

  • Because we do not know “on what day your Lord will come” (Matthew 24:42).
  • “Because you do not know the day or the hours” (Matthew 25:13).

This anticipation is what drives our seeking. In faith, do we have an attitude of anticipation today? Perhaps the answer to our prayer will come today. Maybe today will be the day we gain a better understanding of how to fulfill our purpose. Perhaps today will give us an opportunity to take a step toward realizing our dreams. Today could be a big day. Are we anticipating the Lord’s work?

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seeking

A father was relaxing in his office on a December Saturday morning. His wife was running errands, and one of his daughters came in to request his presence in the family room. He went with her to find his other daughter wrapped in a blanket pretending it was a robe. She was standing at the end of the couch, and beside her was a flashlight wrapped in a towel. The flashlight was in a shoe box. Pretending he wasn’t dragging the handle behind him; the man’s son came in with a mop on his head. The two announced, “We are Mary and Joseph.”

The neighbor boy came through the room, carrying a stuffed sheep and announcing, “I am a shepherd.”

Finally, the daughter who requested the man’s presence came in. She made a lap around the room with a pillow stuck between her legs. She approached the shoe box, bowed, and declared, “I am all three wise men. I bring you gifts of gold, circumstance, and dirt.”

The wise men, or Magi, were from the East. They held prominent positions in their country, and they were the religious leaders of their society. As highly educated individuals, they were responsible for deciding who was king. Their studies included the Old Testament, so they were familiar with the prophecies concerning the Messiah. The Magi do not ignore Jesus’ birth. They respond by seeking him.

They seek him. They search for him. They look for him. Matthew 2:2 says, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews. We saw his star as it rose and we have come to worship him.” These wise men went from their home country to Jerusalem then on to Bethlehem seeking Jesus.

As we think of this, we must acknowledge the timeline of Jesus’ life. The Magi would have visited him as a toddler. They commented they saw his star rise. They saw the star and had to take the time to follow it. They had to take the time to seek after Jesus.

Seeking after the newborn king took time. The Magi did not find what they were hoping for without searching. Scripture tells us we are to seek after Jesus.

  • Jesus says in Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the kingdom, and all these other things will be given to you.”
  • Hebrews 11:6 encourages, “God rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
  • David says in Psalm 63, “You, God, are my God. Earnestly I seek you. I thirst for you. My whole being longs for you in a dry and parched land, where there is no water.”

Scripture implores us to seek the Lord.

The Magi put much time into their search. We know the wise men traveled from the East. That is, modern-day Iraq to Bethlehem. This is a distance of approximately 900 miles. These individuals traveled a great distance to find the Christ child. They knew there was something special about Jesus, and it was worth the travel. Seeking after him brought the Magi face-to-face with Jesus.

There is something special about Jesus, and seeking after him is worth it. He brings peace and forgiveness. If you are desiring peace and forgiveness, seek after him today.

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