Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Matthew 2: 1 - 12

Matthew 2
The Visit of the Magi
1After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."

3When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. 5"In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written:
6" 'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'"

7Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him."

9After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. 12And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

The beginning of this is an entry from a journal written on 12/4/02. As I stumbled upon it I was reminded of what God spoke to my heart that day. I have continued it with my hope for each of us. It's a little long, but maybe it will speak to someone...

Matt 2:8 says that Herod told the Wise Men he wanted them to come tell him where Jesus was "so he could go and worship Him, too." Evil is so deceitful! In reading the notes in my Study Bible it says Herod supervised the renovation of the Temple, making it bigger and more beautiful than before. Because of this he won some favor with many Jews ~ even though he was full of hatred and killed many people.

Isn't it interesting to see things today in the light of Herod ~ a Politician? 2000 years and politicians haven't changed. They still cover up the bad stuff they do by pointing out the good ~ and they usually make sure the good stuff is REALLY big and REALLY visible.

Its' also an important lesson to note that the Wise Men, once they had come to the end of their journey and found the child-King were "overjoyed" and worshiped Him. They knew this was more than just a child who would grow up to be an earthly king...and through listening hearts and minds they heeded the dream God gave them.

There's so much to get sucked into or "suckered" in to, but when we stay connected, and fully surrendered, and deeply entrenched in God and His Word the truth will come out and we'll see it. The key is to keep our lives completely focused on Him.

As the Wise Men did so long ago...we will find peace when we seek Him with all our hearts.
Not only peace, but we find freedom.
Freedom from governmental decisions that cause turmoil in our homes and countries. Freedom from fear of not being what we think we should be...or what someone else thinks we should be.
Freedom from not measuring up.
Freedom from having to be the best at whatever we do to be accepted.
Freedom from past failures and regrets.
Freedom from shame over who we think we are or have been told we are.
Freedom from all that holds us back ~ not physically, but deep in our souls. Whether it be fear of success, fear of failure, pride, anger, rage, addiction, piousness, self-righteousness, thirst for power, or that one thing that keeps us from truth ~not knowing who we really are, not knowing Who created us for His joy, and not knowing how deeply we are loved ~ in seeking the Baby King born so long ago, crucified on a cross and risen again to save us we find TRUE FREEDOM.

Merry CHRISTmas, everyone. May God shine His face upon you and bring you peace.
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