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Searching for a Child

(Matthew 2:7-9, 16-23)

Lesson 4 -- first quarter 2010
December 27, 2009

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2009

Introductory questions to chew

Amid the commercialization of the season, how do I develop the spirit of worship?

Am I able to discern the signs God sets up, pointing to Himself?

I have found Him...so...does God still want me to "search" for Him?

Worship or war?

As the wise men, Herod wanted to find the Child, that One born King of the Jews:

"And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also" (Matthew 2:8).

The wise men wanted to worship the Child; Herod wanted war with the Child.

Is my spirit this season in worship of the Child or is it at war with the Child?

On this business of searching, consider this: the Child wanted to be found!

"When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was" (Matthew 2:9).

The Child indeed wanted to be God with us!

He still does.

I want to remember to acknowledge Him today.

The Wise Seek Jesus

Hohum. Another familiar story. Some fellows long ago see an unusual, unfamiliar star. Somehow they manage to follow it to where they wanted to go. Yawn! Stretch! Let's talk about millennia and computer bugs....

No, let's not!

These wise men sought Jesus and I want to know if at the end of the 1900's people still seek Him. I know the world out there keeps getting colder and colder, but I want to know if God's people are keeping their fire.

In other words, do we seek Jesus?

In our devotional times.

This morning I read Proverbs 17. Did I do so because I was seeking Jesus, or because my conscience would smite me if I didn't? In all fairness to myself (and to you), I believe another option exists: I wanted something to challenge, encourage, direct and energize me for the day. But that doesn't qualify as seeking Jesus. I hope I remember for tomorrow morning.

In our church services.

Day before yesterday I attended two services; tomorrow night I'll probably go to another. Why? Well, it's expected of me, I want to be a good example to my family, I don't want questions, I need to talk with certain people.... Of all places to forget our search for Jesus! I hope I remember that tomorrow night.

In our crisis moments.

We have gone through some deep waters as a family. We have had to do a lot of figuring and refiguring, a lot of anticipating and prognosticating, and certainly a lot of planning. And so infrequently did we seek Jesus! I hope I remember that...tomorrow?

In our everyday times.

Ah yes. The Daily Grind. Life at Its Essential Level. Eternity by the Second. Real Livin'. Whatever you call your every-moment every-day times, how conscious are you of this truth: The Wise Seek Jesus? My answer is, "Not very." So I hope I remember.

The Wise Worship Jesus

We humans are created for the glory of God. We Christians are re-created for the special glory of God. The wise worship, glorify, and honor the Lord Jesus.

In our devotional times.

These times naturally lend themselves to offering our sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving to God. But I don't remember often.

In our church services.

Oh, these also seem naturally conducive to worship! But more often it seems about...well, I'll not get into that.

In our crisis moments.

Worship during crisis?! Well, read Psalms and Acts, and see for yourself. May crises bring out my praise and honor to God...but I usually forget till well after I should have remembered.

In our everyday times.

OK. So worship isn't a normal in my life. But if the wise seek Jesus, and since those lacking wisdom should ask for it, what should I be doing about this?

This concludes my comments based on the passage for the International Bible Study. To read my comments on the alternate lesson developed by Christian Light Publications, click here: More Than a Prophet.

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