Monday, December 27, 2010

The Three Wisemen: Worshiping Christ

Part of our design, the design God worked into all people, is the propensity to worship.
They could hardly contain themselves: They were in the right place! They had arrived at the right time! They entered the house and saw the child in the arms of Mary, his mother. Overcome, they kneeled and worshiped him. Then they opened their luggage and presented gifts: gold, frankincense, myrrh. Matthew 2:10-11
We all worship something. The only right response to God is to worship Him.

Their worship was physical. The Bible talks often of falling on your knees, raising up your hands, falling prostrate on the ground before God. Our bodies become expressions of what’s going on in our hearts. Even Jesus prayed on His knees before His Father in heaven.

Their worship was emotional. In spite of their worldly dignity and high standing, they humbled themselves before this tiny king. They delighted in Him and adored Him -- we just read how they were filled with “exceeding great joy.”

Their worship was spiritual, based on truth, They came expectantly into the home that Joseph had now found for his family. But it wasn’t until they saw God’s literal fulfillment of His promise, a young girl, a virgin, holding the little baby boy, begotten of God, right there in Bethlehem, the birthplace of kings, that they fell down on their knees.

Their worship was generous, They didn’t come empty handed.

In meditating on this chapter it struck me what you and I are saying to the Lord when we come empty handed to Him in worship. Essentially we’re saying that God has been a stingy Father. We’re saying, “Well Lord, looks like You didn’t provide very well for me, since I have nothing left to give you.” And we’re also saying, even in hard times when the money’s pretty scarce, “Lord, this time the sacrifice is simply too big. You aren’t worth it this time.”

The Lord says, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this...if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.” (Malachi 3:10) “Jesus says, “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure--pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return." (Luke 6:38)

The wise men’s gifts were also prophetic, and an expression of their faith. The gold spoke of Jesus’ purity and His royalty. The frankincense spoke of Jesus’ priestly duty, receiving the prayers of believers, and offering up intercession for all those who come to Him. And the myrrh spoke of Jesus’ sacrificial death to save His people from their sins.
The right response to God is to worship and obey His Son
You hear people say they’re seeking, but what are they really seeking? God says, through the prophet Jeremiah, “When you come looking for me, you'll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I'll make sure you won't be disappointed." (Jeremiah 29:13) If a person is really seeking God, they will always find Jesus.

Having, in faith, followed God’s guidance and having accepted and worshiped the Messiah, they gained a deeper sensitivity for God’s voice. God took them into His protection and guided them more directly,
In a dream, they were warned not to report back to Herod. So they worked out another route, left the territory without being seen, and returned to their own country.Matthew 2:12
Without questioning, even though it meant having to map out a new, and unknown, route, finding new and unknown oases and connections for their large company on the long trek home, they obeyed and continued to follow God’s guidance.

Worship that does not continue with obedience is not true worship.

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