Matt.2:10- 11 – When they came into the house and saw the young child with Mary, his mother, they were overcome. Falling to the ground at his feet they worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure boxes full of gifts and presented him with gold, frank-incense, and myrrh.
This was the rewarding finish of months, possibly of up to two years, of searching for the Desire of all Nations. It had started with the appearance of the sign in the heavens, the star of Bethlehem. These “wise men” couldn’t rest until they had found the true treasure. They had organized their caravan possibly consisting of several hundred men and had traveled for many miles following the promise that the Messiah would finally be born. How did these men know of this coming One? Probably descendants of those taught by Daniel hundreds of years before they were in search of the promise they had held all of their lives. When they arrived they hadn’t come empty handed. They had come with treasures, very expensive treasures, for the infant King. What else could they do? This was the culmination of their lifelong quest to find the Promised One. Here are some interesting comments from the Passion Notes.
“These “wise men” were extremely wealthy. They presented gifts that totaled a great sum of money—not tiny presents wrapped with bows, but treasure chests full of financial wealth. Although we are not given the monetary value of each type of gift, we know that frankincense and myrrh were extremely costly. These gifts would have financed Joseph and Mary and Jesus’ exodus to Egypt and supplied their living expenses for a number of years, even after returning to Israel.”
This caravan was a very costly endeavor. Why would they spend their time and their talent and then top it off with an offering of this magnitude? The answer is obvious to those who have joined the wise men on their journey. Those of us who have recognized the emptiness of all that this world alone offers us have joined the search for the One promised by the prophets long ago. Inevitably this journey ends at the manger in Bethlehem where light that eclipses the light of the star radiates from the face of the Son of God. Basking in His light, you realize what truly matters in life. We too open our hearts and our treasures to this infant King. After all, the wise men weren’t really providing for the babe, like always, He had provided all things for them.
Jn.16:7 – But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.
What a shocking statement! Knowing all that Christ is, He said it was to the disciples advantage that He go away. How could that be possible? Jesus is the imprint of the Father, the Word Who became flesh. How on earth could it be better that He leave? The disciples had no way of knowing what He meant. The Holy Spirit would come only after Jesus left. That would be a radical game changer. Before the Holy Spirit came the disciples were fixated on an earthly kingdom. The coming of the Holy Spirit instantly changed their understanding of the kingdom of God. Before the Holy Spirit came the disciples did not have the anointing to teach and preach like Jesus did nor did they have the consistent anointing to heal the sick and cast out demons. The Holy Spirit would also change all of that. Here is how John Gill described this advantage or expediency that Jesus spoke of.
“The Spirit of God in some sense had come, before the death of Christ; he had appeared in the creation of all things out of nothing, as a joint Creator with the Father and Son; he was come as a spirit of prophecy upon the inspired writers, and others; the Old Testament saints had received him as a spirit of faith; he had been given to Christ as man, without measure, and the disciples had been partakers of his gifts and graces; but he was not come in so peculiar a manner as he afterwards did; as the promise of the Father, the glorifier of Christ, the comforter of his people, the spirit of truth, and the reprover of the world: there are reasons to be given, why the Spirit of God should not come in such a manner before…”
So we have access to far more than the Old Testament believers and the disciples before Pentecost. We have an anointing to testify to the gospel of Christ, we have power to prophecy, cast out demons, and heal the sick. It really is to our advantage that Jesus went away. He took His place at the Father’s right hand and the Holy Spirit began to be poured out on all flesh. More Lord !!!!
MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS-
“But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you.” I Peter 5:10
One of the greatest revelations I received was knowing that God is more for me than me! If one could allow themselves to really think about the work of the Trinity and how each of them impact our lives it will blow your mind. To put it simply-“they are on it”! What a “awakening” of a lifetime for me, knowing “Christ will finish the work he started”. From that revelation, I could begin to rest in the finished work of redemption and allow the work of the Holy Spirit to sanctify, perfect and establish me all through my life. I am not some lonely star out in the huge galaxy of mankind bumping and drifting along. These words always give me comfort and courage to face my tomorrows.
I love this by Andrew Murray, ”I will tell you where you probably fail,” he wrote. “You have never yet heartily believed that He [God] is working out your salvation. Of course you believe that if painter undertakes a picture, he must look to every shade and color and every touch upon the canvas…But you do not believe that the everlasting God is in the process of working out the image of His Son in you. As any sister here is doing a piece of ornamental or fancy work, following out the pattern in every detail, let her just think: ‘Can God not work out in me the purpose of His love?’ If that piece of work is to be perfect, every stitch must be in its place. So remember that not one minute of your life should be without God. We often want God to come in at a certain time, say in the morning. Then we are content to live two or three hours on our own, and then he can come in again. No! God must be every moment the worker in your soul.”
“May he teach us our own nothingness and transform us into the image of His Son and help us to go out to be a blessing to our fellow men. Let us trust Him and praise Him in the midst of a consciousness of failure and of a remaining tendency to sin. Notwithstanding this, let us believe that our God loves to dwell in us, and let us hope without ceasing in His still more abundant grace.”
There is nothing better than to allow God to work the work in you! To cease from striving and understand that His will is the best ever! Finding joy in just him is finding the hidden treasure at last. Christ has laid the foundation and we are hidden in the cleft of the rock. I always say to myself, there has certainly been a lot of effort made on my behalf for me to finish the race. Allow yourself to “see” the bigger picture. I pray you too will have a “awakening”!
“The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing; the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon: they shall see the glory of the LORD, the excellency of our God. Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God; He will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the glowing sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water.’ (Isa.35:1–7)
Jesus actually called revival (the outpouring of the Holy Spirit) the promise of the Father. The Heavenly Father made a promise to His only begotten Son. Can you imagine the power and the certainty of that promise? It would be unthinkable for that promise to not be fulfilled. What did Jesus mean when He spoke of the promise of the Father? The Lord’s promise to His Son was that if Jesus would become a man and become a sacrifice for the sin of fallen man that the Lord would give everyone who believed on Him access to the life that Jesus had enjoyed with His Father from eternity. This promise began to be fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost. All who believed on the death and resurrection of Jesus began to experience the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
The disciples and followers of Jesus were praying together in the upper room when the very atmosphere was changed. The breath of God came upon them and entered into them. They were all overcome with the majesty of God’s presence, they were all filled with unspeakable joy, and they all began to speak in other tongues. Today this outpouring continues. Who can receive it? Listen to the promise Jesus gave to us. “On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” John 7:37,38
GOD OF ALL HOPE
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Sometimes, living in this world can bring us to a place of hopelessness. Looking at the deterioration of society and the apathetic attitudes toward spirituality that seem to prevail can bring us to a low place pretty quickly. As a Christian we do have a distinct advantage. Our hope is not in this world. Our hope is actually a person, The Lord Jesus Christ, and He is the God of all hope who orchestrates all things for His ultimate glory and our ultimate pleasure. While we are in this temporary world our job is to effect people and bring them to the saving knowledge of Christ. This becomes our primary work as we recognize the value of eternity. Martin Luther was always quite straight to the point in his messages. Here is something he had to say about hope and our influence on the lost.
“The only reason we are living on earth is to help other people. Otherwise, it would be best if God choked us and let us die as soon as we were baptized and began to believe. But he allows us to live here so that we will bring other people to faith, just as he has done for us. Meanwhile, because we are still on earth, we must live with a confident hope. Although we know that we possess God’s treasures through faith—for faith gives us the new birth, our standing as children of God, and the inheritance that comes with it—we don’t see them yet. They are still in the future, like something put off to the side, hidden from our eyes. Peter calls this a living hope (1 Peter 1:3). We have God’s treasures, but they are still concealed. They can be grasped only with the heart and through faith.”
I can actually remember having discussions in Bible College with fellow students about how we thought it would be better for new believers to die instantly after conversion to avoid the temptations and trials associated with the Christian life. We were saying that this would avoid the possibility of falling away and avoid all the problems in this life. That whole thought pattern misses the point of our conversion. Our conversion is actually about Him, we live to display the testimony of Jesus. We are chosen by God strategically, He has a plan to use you to bring others into the kingdom of God.
This changes everything! We don’t exist just for holidays, vacations, and weekends. Our life is not designed just to store up possessions here in this life. We were born again to be part of extending the kingdom of God. One of the greatest ways to increase your joy and strengthen your hope is to get involved in a ministry that is engaged in bringing souls to Christ. God will be glorified and you will be filled with joy and your cup of hope will overflow.