The sermon for December 23rd 2018 is now available on the New Life web page.
In this sermon, which is based on Matthew 22:34-40, I talk on the theme of “Love All.”
About that time, some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.”
Jesus is born in Bethlehem. Some time later some wise men from the east arrive in Jerusalem to seek the king of the Jews.
King Herod is deeply disturbed by this, so he consults with the priests and religious teachers. They tell him that the Messiah is to be born in Bethlehem.
Herod calls in the wise men and tells them that the child is to be born in Bethlehem. He instructs them to come and tell him about the king so he can go and worship him also.
The wise men are led by the star to the house of Mary and Joseph. They present their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh and worship the baby.
The men return home but they go a different route for God warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.
Wise men from the east recognise the star as God’s message to them about the birth of Jesus. Astrology is not a recommended way to seek God’s direction- in fact Scripture condemns this. But God uses whatever means that He can in order to communicate with people.
Following the sign, the wise men take decisive action. They travel a long distance to worship this king that has been revealed to them.
The way of wisdom is to act on what God shows us to do. Sometimes it is not the right time and we need to wait, but usually when God shows us something He wants us to act.
We don’t all get signs in the sky, but we do get words of Scripture or a conviction from the Holy Spirit and then we should do what God is telling us.
Holy Spirit, please help me to hear you and to do the things you tell me to do. May I always be confident in you when I step out in faith. Amen.
“Everyone who has something will be given more, and they will have more than enough. But everything will be taken from those who haven’t got anything.”
A very rich man goes away and leaves three servants in charge of his wealth. He gives 5000 coins to one servant, 2000 to another and 1000 to the third. The first two servants invest wisely and double the funds in their care, but the third takes the money and buries it.
When the master returns, the two who increased their master’s wealth are rewarded with a promotion and more responsibility. The third gives excuses about how the master is a hard man, and so he was afraid. This servant is thrown out of the household because he is worthless.
The sums of money referred to here are huge- equivalent to millions of dollars in today’s currency
The master knows the servants and he gives them responsibility in proportion to their ability.
The Lord gives us resources and responsibility to steward and to invest in His kingdom. Each one of us should rejoice in this opportunity to serve our king.
Responsibility requires accountability. We must find out what God’s call is for us. What assignments or duties has He placed on my life? How can I fulfil that role that He has given me?
The servants knew their master, but one of them focused on what he saw as negative qualities and became paralysed by fear. Out of fear, he buried what he had been given to multiply.
Fear negates faith. When I am afraid of failure, I am saying that God cannot enable my success in His kingdom.
Lord, please help me to rejoice in the task you have called me to and to trust you to guide me to success. Set me free from the fear of failing you. Amen.