HATTIESBURG COMMUNITY CHURCH
December 10, 2017
Matthew 2: 1-12
The story of the “Wise Men” teaches us that worship was the greatest gift given to Jesus. They gave us an example of what it means to offer true worship unto the Lord. We would do well to learn from their devotion and example. I hope this holiday season you will be wise in seeking to honor the Lord Jesus first and foremost in all that you do. Our choir and praise band took part in the service at Home of Grace this month and it was indeed a glorious worship experience.
1. Worship Calls For Personal Involvement
The text tells us that the Magi saw His star and came to worship Him. They could not just send a gift, or stay at home and think about Him. To worship Him required coming into His presence. For the Magi this involved a long journey, an interruption of daily routine, a cost of the trip, and an expenditure of effort on their part. One cannot truly worship from long distance. This is true today and the history of Christianity proves this to be true as well. The special times of coming into His presence are times of Spiritual enlightenment which involves a moving of the Spirit of God because of the hearts of those seeking to experience His presence. This was the heart of the Magi. We should hunger and thirst for the Lord.
What are obstacles that prevent us from coming into His presence?
Wrong attitudes, apathy, unprepared hearts, numerous distractions, unforgiveness, bitterness, anger, etc….
Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
2. Worship Creates Positive And Negative Energy
Herod asked the Magi to return and report on the child. We know he had no intention on worshiping Christ. His objective was to destroy Christ. He was a threat to Herod’s power and control. He knew anyone worthy of worshiping was worthy of ruling. There is a part of us called the sinful nature that rejects bowing down, worshiping, and relinquishing control. When we come to worship but begin to place limits on what God can do and who he is we are as wrong as Herod was. There will always be opposition to worship as long as we live in a world of spiritual warfare.
How can we recognize spiritual opposition?
What can you do to prepare yourself against the opposition of the enemy?
How do you handle negativity? I hope your answer includes the Word of God.
How does the enemy usually attack? (He deceives us because he is a liar)
3. Worship Calls For Rejoicing
Verse 10 says, “When they saw the star they were overjoyed. Our choir sang a song last year called, “When they saw the star, they rejoiced.” Our hearts should always be filled with the joy of the Lord. Then when they entered the place where Jesus was they bowed down in awe of the presence of the Lord. Worship leads us to bow down in awe before God’s majesty and then He lifts us up to celebrate with joy. And both are present in true worship. In the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem you will see many people bow down and kiss the star on the floor signifying the place of the birth of Christ. How long has it been since you bowed before the Lord?
How do you express joy?
How do you experience awe and adoration?
What keeps you from expressing your joy in the Lord?
4. Worship Calls For Giving
After they bowed before Him they presented their gifts unto Him. Do you acknowledge the truth that God is your creator, provider, protector, and sustainer? Where would we be and what would we do without the God’s blessings? Giving flows as a natural part of worship and is an expression of our adoration and thanksgiving to God. Giving of tithes and offerings is not an add on to worship it is a prayed for and planned part of worship. The Wise Men reached into their treasures and brought forth the finest things they had to give. What a powerful example unto us.
Do you honor the Lord with your giving?
Is your giving an act of worship?
Is the Lord worthy of your finest and best?
May the Lord help us to lay aside the portion of our blessings that belong to Him and give freely and abundantly for everything truly belongs to Him! He is Lord of all!
The gift of worship is costly. It calls for us to lay aside our self-centeredness and may lead to extravagant loving and giving like the Wise Men. This could be a life changing experience. But the testimony of the Wise Men and God’s people is that worship is well worth the effort and investment because He alone is worthy. The Magi have given us an example. May God grant us the grace and wisdom to follow live and give for the glory of Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!