Take 5 (December 21-25, 2015)

take5

Lee Walker • Interim Executive Pastor

Lessons from the Wise Guys (Matthew 2:1-12)

Monday: Wise guys chose the right adventure

Matt. 2:2

In our English bibles, Matthew calls them wise men. Turns out they really were! They embarked upon a noble and wise adventure. They traveled for hundreds of miles, probably for many days, to seek a special, young King. They found Him and their lives were changed… forever. The adventure awaits us all. We sometimes rail against the commercialism and secularism of Christmas. But surely we can enjoy our traditions, while avoiding the excesses. We can be as wise as the guys in the Bible and make sure our annual December adventure leads to the right place. Rudolph was not in the manger; neither was Frosty… it was just the lowly King. He is the One who wants to be found; the one to whom God the Father guides us so that we can be changed… forever.

For Today: Choose your adventure wisely… seek the King.

Tuesday: Wise guys showed the right emotion

Matt. 2:10

“When they saw the star they rejoiced…” Another translation says, “…they were filled with joy.” Have you ever experienced relief and release knowing an answer to a problem was on its way even though you didn’t know what the answer was? Just knowing that God is involved and that He cares plants seeds of joy in our hearts. The wise men rejoiced even before they saw Jesus. The star reminded them that this trip was a God thing. We don’t have to wait for a result to find joy in walking with God. The journey itself is rewarding. May we not be robbed of joy by waiting till “we get there.” Instead, may we be filled with joy because our companion on the path is God Himself!

For Today: Enjoy the journey… God is with you.

Wednesday: Wise guys offered the right response

Matt. 2:11a

Indeed, what wisdom these guys displayed. Their response to seeing Jesus for the first time was worship. Beyond the obvious, there is a subtle lesson here. It is very easy to get mixed up when it comes to the focus and motivation for our worship. Notice the wise men worshipped a baby (by this time He was not in the manger, but still was not more than a toddler). The lesson is that their worship was not motivated by what Jesus had done for them. Jesus had done nothing for them… he was a baby. Their worship was motivated by who He was… God the King. As we worship the King this Christmas, may we not only
focus on God’s blessings, delightful as they are, but may we also focus on God’s person… wonderful, counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace!

For Today: Worship God for who He is.

Thursday: Wise guys took the right action

Matt. 2:11b

So what do you do when you meet a king? Well, these wise guys knew their encounter was with no ordinary king. Worship was followed by gifts. Gifts to a king, especially the King of Kings, are not offered because the King is in need, but to demonstrate allegiance, loyalty and willingness to sacrifice. The wise men again offer us a great example. Our worship of Christ is deficient and stunted if we do not follow it with obedience and offerings. Gold, frankincense, and myrrh are in short supply in central West Virginia. And for some, dollars are rather rare as well. But our opportunity is clear. Giving is not only a part of our Christmas tradition, it is a vital part of our relationship with Christ the King. Don’t short change yourself. Make giving–to the Church and to others–a part of your life.

For Today: Give.

Friday: Wise guys made the right decision

Matt. 2:12

Life is a series of decisions… big and small, we make them every day. Divine guidance is a resource we should seek and use. The wise guys were led by God. Herod had asked them to return and report on the whereabouts of this new king. They didn’t know about Herod’s murderous plans, but God directed them to exit the area without returning to Herod and thus the baby was spared. Talk about seeing the big picture! God truly does know it all. How foolish we would be not to accept His guidance. As we peer around the corner and see a new year looming, what better time to commit ourselves to following God’s lead. His wisdom is available to help us choose the right words, behave in righteous ways, and even to think the best thoughts.

For Today: Invite God to lead you.