Prayer zone for a better, empowering, inspiring, promoting, prospering, progressing and more successful life through Christ Jesus

Posts tagged ‘Magi’

Living a new reality….


By Pastor Bobby Schuller

“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.”
-Isaiah 26:3-4

If you have the love of God in your heart, the affections and the attentions of other people just don’t matter as much, nor does the distress, the lack of meaning, or the worry. If God is protecting you, if God is on your side, if you’re living in God’s reality, those things still affect you but they lose their edge. If you truly know the love of God, you’re given strength to live in an imperfect world, a world that may hate you for no good reason, a world that gossips about you, a family that dislikes you, friends or co-workers that are always on your heels. You can abide with all these circumstances because there is this love that gives you strength.

You can be like Jesus. You can sit on a boat and take a nap in a storm if you really have that peace. You don’t have to worry about tomorrow. You live in a new reality.

And that reality was with Mary and Joseph in that stable. It was with those shepherds who followed angels to our Savior’s manger. That reality encourages you to become like the Magi, saying to yourself, “I will search and search and search for years. I will cross thousands of miles. I will take everything I have, and I will give it up if I can just see Jesus. If I can just kneel before him, I will gladly give away all of these things that the earth says are valuable, and I will not rest until I’m able to lay them before his throne.”

Peace is available today at Christmas, for Jesus came to be our Prince of Peace.

Prayer: Dear Lord, even this Christmastime when there is little peace in the people surrounding me, little peace being reported in the news, little peace in the workplace, I will find my peace in you. Amen.

Devotion: How do you find peace amidst a disquieting world?

Advertisements

What Star Did the Magi See?.


Matthew 2:2 adds a detail that has baffled and intrigued Bible scholars and astronomers for 2,000 years: “We have seen his star in the east, and have come to worship him.” What was “his star in the east”?

Over the years there have been four main theories:

  1. Halley’s Comet: Unfortunately, the nearest appearance was in 11 B.C., which is simply too early for the birth of Christ.
  2. Supernova: This is an exploding star that suddenly fills the sky with light in a brilliant, blinding flash of light. These are unpredictable and very rare, and there is no record in any astronomical records of a supernova in the years surrounding the birth of Christ.
  3. Conjunction of Planets: This is probably the most popular theory. One version suggests that in 7 B.C. Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn came together in a very rare conjunction that only occurs once every 125 years. Another possibility is a conjunction of Jupiter and Venus in 2 B.C. (This last possibility is the one suggested by the “Star of Wonder” presentation at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago.) The conjunction theory has this to favor it: It would explain why the Magi saw it and the people of Israel didn’t. Conjunctions don’t attract the attention of people who don’t normally watch the skies. They aren’t highly-visible phenomena like comets or supernovas or meteor showers. But to anyone who watched the stars regularly, a “triangular” conjunction like the one in 7 B.C. would certainly attract extraordinary attention.
  4. A Supernatural Light: This theory suggests that the “star” was not a natural phenomena at all, but rather was a light placed by God in the atmosphere especially for the Magi to see. Those who hold this view (which I myself lean to) point to the shekinah glory of God in the Old Testament. At certain points in history God revealed himself as a bright light in order to guide his people. In this context, we might think of the pillar of fire with which God led Israel in the wilderness.

Excerpted from “We Three Kings” from Keep Believing Ministries (used by permission).

Dr. Ray Pritchard

Offering Gifts.


They came into the house and saw the young child with Mary, his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Opening their treasures, they offered to him gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. – Matthew 2:11

 

Those who follow the light will surely be led at last to the Christ. There is always joy, too, in the heart when one has found the Savior. The first act is to adore and worship Him. These men saw only the little babe lying in the young mother’s arms. There was no crown on His head. No glory gleamed from His face. His surroundings were most unkingly, without pomp or pageant. The child did nothing in their presence to show His royalty, spoke no word, wrought no kingly act of power. Yet the Magi believed and“worshipped him.”

Think how much more we know about the Christ than they did. We see Him in all the glory of His life and death and resurrection and ascension; we see Him “standing on the right hand of God,” King of kings,” wearing many crowns. It is not hard for us to see the regal marks in Him. Shall we be behind the Magi in our adoration?

They were not content merely to worship the King, showing Him homage in word and posture; but they also laid their gifts at His feet. It is not enough for us to sing our songs of praise to Christ, to look up adoringly into His face, to bow before Him in reverent worship, and to speak our heart’s homage in words. We should bring our gifts, too, to lay at His feet.

There is a great deal of mere sentiment in the consecration of many people: when there is call for gifts of sacrifice, or for real service, it instantly vanishes. People sing missionary hymns with great warmth, and when the collection-box comes to them they have no gifts to offer. These men not only brought presents, but they brought those that were costly. We should bring our best, our “gold and frankincense and myrrh,” the alabaster box of our heart’s deepest love, and the best of all, our life and service.

By Vine.


Bible In A Year: February 3rd…

By Book Old Testament New Testament Proverbs & Psalms
Leviticus 13-15 Job 30-32 Matthew 22:15-46 Psalm 18:16-24

Living a new reality…


“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.”
-Isaiah 26:3-4

If you have the love of God in your heart, the affections and the attentions of other people just don’t matter as much, nor does the distress, the lack of meaning, or the worry. If God is protecting you, if God is on your side, if you’re living in God’s reality, those things still affect you but they lose their edge. If you truly know the love of God, you’re given strength to live in an imperfect world, a world that may hate you for no good reason, a world that gossips about you, a family that dislikes you, friends or co-workers that are always on your heels. You can abide with all these circumstances because there is this love that gives you strength.

You can be like Jesus. You can sit on a boat and take a nap in a storm if you really have that peace. You don’t have to worry about tomorrow. You live in a new reality.

And that reality was with Mary and Joseph in that stable. It was with those shepherds. You become like the Magi: I will search and search and search for years. I will cross thousands of miles. I will take everything I have, and I will give it up if I can just see Jesus. If I can just kneel before him, I will gladly give away all of these things that the earth says are valuable, and I will not rest until I’m able to lay them before His throne.

Peace is available today at Christmas, for Jesus came to be our Prince of Peace.

Prayer: Dear Lord, even when there is no peace in the people surrounding me, no peace being reported in the news, no peace in the workplace, I will find my peace in you. Amen.

Devotion: How do you find peace amidst a disquieting world?

By Bobby Schuller, Crystal Cathedral Pastor

Not So Familiar Christmas Scripture: Micah 5:2 .


But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from old, from everlasting.
Micah 5:2

Recommended Reading
Micah 5:1-5 ( http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Micah%205:1-5&version=NKJV )

When the Magi arrived in Jerusalem seeking the newborn King of the Jews, the Jewish scholars knew just where to send them — to Bethlehem, a hamlet five miles away. The rabbis were acquainted with the prediction made 700 years before by the prophet Micah, that the Messiah would come from “Bethlehem,” the “House of Bread.” The added title “Ephrathah” meant “Fruitful” and distinguished this Bethlehem from other towns by the same name. In penning his prophecy, Micah seemed amazed that such a powerful Person would come from such a small place.

Watch This Week’s TV Broadcast   ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/television.aspx?tid=email_watchedevo )

God delights in using small things. Jean Grou, the French writer, wrote, “Little things come daily, hourly, without our reach, and they are not less calculated to set forward our growth in holiness than are the greater occasions which occur but rarely. Moreover, fidelity in trifles, and an earnest seeking to please God in little matters, is a test of real devotion. Let your aim be to please our dear Lord perfectly in little things.”

If you feel small, take heart. Little is much when God is in it.

Read-Thru-the-Bible
2 Timothy 4:1-Hebrews 2:18

By David Jeremiah.

Offering Gifts.


They came into the house and saw the young child with Mary, his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Opening their treasures, they offered to him gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.Matthew 2:11

 Those who follow the light will surely be led at last to the Christ.

 There is always joy, too, in the heart when one has found the Savior.

The first act is to adore and worship Him.

These men saw only the little babe lying in the young mother’s arms.

There was no crown on His head.

No glory gleamed from His face.

His surroundings were most unkingly, without pomp or pageant.

The child did nothing in their presence to show His royalty, spoke no word, wrought no kingly act of power.

Yet the Magi believed and “worshipped him.”

Think how much more we know about the Christ than they did.

We see Him in all the glory of His life and death and resurrection and ascension; we see Him “standing on the right hand of God,” King of kings,” wearing many crowns.

It is not hard for us to see the regal marks in Him.

Shall we be behind the Magi in our adoration?

They were not content merely to worship the King, showing Him homage in word and posture; but they also laid their gifts at His feet.

 It is not enough for us to sing our songs of praise to Christ, to look up adoringly into His face, to bow before Him in reverent worship, and to speak our heart’s homage in words.

 We should bring our gifts, too, to lay at His feet.

There is a great deal of mere sentiment in the consecration of many people: when there is call for gifts of sacrifice, or for real service, it instantly vanishes.

 People sing missionary hymns with great warmth, and when the collection-box comes to them they have no gifts to offer.

These men not only brought presents, but they brought those that were costly.

We should bring our best, our “gold and frankincense and myrrh,” the alabaster box of our heart’s deepest love, and the best of all, our life and service.

By Vine.


Bible In A Year: February 3rd…

By Book Old Testament New Testament Proverbs & Psalms
Leviticus 13-15 Job 30-32 Matthew 22:15-46 Psalm 18:16-24

Gift Ideas for Jesus on His Birthday.


This series was well received last year.
 
You may view this as a repeat.
 
 I prefer to think of it as re-gifting.

Blessings and Merry Christmas!   

Dave

We are fast approaching the hardest day of the year for most men. Many of us men give gifts to our significant others with fear and trembling. Humor writer Dave Barry relates the confusion most men deal with when giving a gift to their wife.

He could tell by her reaction to the gift that she had not been dreaming of getting an auto emergency kit, even though it was the deluxe model with booster cables and an air compressor.

Clearly, this violated an important rule, but the man had idea what the rule was, and his wife was too upset to tell him.

Barry continues his thoughtful treatise…

So why is the Christmas season so difficult for men? There are many complex reasons, by which I mean: women. The problem goes back to the very first Christmas.

We know from the Bible that the Wise Men showed up in Bethlehem and gave the baby Jesus gifts of gold,frankincense, and myrrh.

Now Gold is always a nice gift, but frankincense and myrrh – at least according to my dictionary – are gum resins.

 Barry asks the vital question…

Who gives gum resins to a baby?.

 The answer is…Men.

The three wise men…being men, didn’t even start shopping for gifts until the last minute, when most of the stores in the greater Bethlehem area were closed for Christmas Eve. The only place still open was Big Stu’s House of Myrrh.

Even though Barry’s interpretation of the Gospels might be a little suspect…I do think he is correct about the difficulty in finding the right gift to give to Jesus on his birthday.

On December 24th or 25th most of us will exchange gifts on Jesus’s birthday. Suppose you had a big party for me to celebrate my humble birthday this April. All of my close friends and acquaintances show up and you all start exchanging gifts on my birthday.

But there is nothing for me. Oh, someone might mention my name now and then. But I just sit and I sit and I watch others open gifts. Then someone mentions how grateful they are for Dave’s birthday so we could all be together.

I become hopeful. But then someone else yells that the refreshments are ready so everyone rolls into the kitchen and I am left sitting there….no gifts on my birthday. I wonder if we don’t do that exact thing to Jesus.

We have reason for the season signs and all of that. But it is so easy to get all caught up and not even think of a gift for the guest of honor at our Christmas celebrations. 
  
JesBelieve it or not…I decided to go back to the Three Wise Men and see if there was more to their gifts than first appears. What is the story behind these gum resin gifts? What is up with the gifts presented by the Magi?.

 The simplest meaning is that these men brought items which, in their experience, represented the greatest worth. All of these gifts were rare, precious and expensive.

Whatever else we may learn from this story, we know that they gave their best in honor to the One they believed to be the King, the Messiah. It’s interesting that we don’t know the names of the Magi but we know what they gave. We don’t know where they came from but we know that they worshipped the  Christ child.
                      
They entered the house and saw the child in the arms of Mary, his mother. Overcome, they kneeled and worshipped him.

The first important point is that the Magi did not visit the Baby Jesus at the stable so our Nativity scene on the mantle is chock full of Biblical errors. They showed up at the house and it is clear that the gifts were a part of their worship.

They bowed down before Him, and they offered Him gifts. What an amazing spirit that must have surrounded that child that caused men of importance, wealth and education to fall down before Him!

The miracle of God becoming man… He became what we are so that He might make us what He is.
Then they opened their luggage and presented gifts: gold, frankincense, myrrh. Matt 2:11 (MsgB)

The first gift mentioned is gold.

Gold was the usual offering presented to kings by their subjects, or those wanting to pay respect. Gold has always held extremely high value – as long ago as 2,500 BC, gold was especially prized, and used as a medium of exchange.

Even today when investments get shaky you start hearing about buying gold as a hedge against economic downturns. The value of gold seems to be a constant in our civilization.

 In both the Old Testament Tabernacle and the Temple, gold was used plentifully and was clearly associated with worship.

So should we give Jesus gold on His birthday? Most of us have a rather limited supply of gold. I am going to suggest that we give Jesus a commodity that is as valuable in today’s culture as gold was in the time of the Magi.

That commodity of great value is time. When I think of gifts that we can give to Jesus…is there anything more precious than our time? 

When you love someone you want to spend time with them. If you say you love your wife but you go several days or weeks without talking to her she might be suspicious.

When we say we love our children but we can’t work them into the schedule they begin to have doubts. When a young couple falls in love they want to spend every moment together. When they are apart they think of each other.

As Percy Sledge famously sang that when a man loves a woman he can’t keep his mind on nothing else.

So we say we love Jesus. But we probably have little difficulty thinking of something else. We tell others that He is the center of our universe…but we can’t carve out the time to spend with Jesus to develop that relationship.

I am confessing here that I have been guilty of this far too often in my journey with Jesus.

 My lips confess my commitment to Him but my time with Him reveals my true priorities.

The uncomfortable truth for me as a husband…as a father…and as a follower of Christ is that my calendar reveals my heart. I make time for the things that are most important to me.

Gift suggestion number one for Jesus on His birthday…give Him a little time. Sit down with Him…talk to Him…enjoy His company.

And join us tomorrow for another last minute gift idea for Jesus. 

Perhaps it is not that hard to give something to Christ this Christmas.

 
 By David Burchett.

Tag Cloud