Then Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him. “After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.”


One of the most beloved Christmas stories of all is the one about the wise men who came from the east. They came in search of the promised messiah who would come from the house of David to become the king of the jews. These men, who were probably some sort of astrologers, observed something in the heavens that caused them to leave everything in search of the greatest of all treasures. Have you ever had an interruption in your life that caused you to drop everything! These men did. They traveled hundreds of miles on foot (or on camels) in search of this promised king. When they found Him they were not disappointed. They rejoiced with exceeding great joy at the treasure they had found.
All of us know about joy, after all its what we are all looking for. When you find it, you discover your purpose in life. What kind of joy are you looking for this Christmas. Some are looking for joy found in winning the lottery (good luck with that), others are counting on a bonus at work to boost their Christmas cheer, or maybe you are looking for mistletoe joy, or just the pleasure in some time off from work or school. But that joy is not the same as the joy experienced by the wise men. They tasted the spiritual joy found only in the Presence of the King of Kings. Others may be satisfied with parties or momentary sensual diversions, but not you. You know there is more! When was the last time your joy overflowed. This joy is not determined by your financial state, our political status, or by that special Christmas gift. This is spiritual joy and it always seems to catch us by surprise. These wise men would have been satisfied with the birth of a great king or emperor, or so they thought, but when they found Jesus they knew they had found more than they expected. They were surprised by joy in the presence of the Lord. Most people sell themselves short in life, as C.S. Lewis says, “we are far too easily pleased”. Don’t be satisfied with just another holiday this year, like wise men of old, only settle for the real thing. Only settle for RIVER KING JOY.



And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
MATT. 2:11

These men had come prepared to worship, they had brought gifts worthy of a king. But these gifts, these prophetic gifts, spoke about the days to come in this special infant king’s life. The first gift was gold, this is the royal gift that spoke of the kingdom of this unusual king. “Are you a king?”, the words were strangely familiar, the words of Pilate 33 years later. Yes, He was a king but His kingdom was not of this world. Kings are not born in mangers, they are born in palaces, unless their kingdom is not of this world. This special gift spoke of the coming eternal kingdom of this infant king. He has made us kings and priests, but our kingdom, like His, is not of this world.
The second gift was opened, frankincense, this was another gift of prophesy speaking about the heavenly ministry of this precious Savior. Incense speaks of the work of priests, it talks of prayer and worship. Of course, this is the heavenly priesthood of Jesus. Today Jesus is our heavenly priest, He represents the human race before the Father in His priestly ministry of intercession.
Finally, the last gift was opened. Joseph looked at Mary as she hugged her child closer to her breast, in her heart she knew the secret meaning of this gift of myrrh. This was a gift of spices to anoint this child for His burial. From the day He was born, He was not far from the cross. As the wise men slipped away to head for home, mixed feelings filled their hearts. They returned home another way to avoid Herod, but everyone there that day knew what the future held. The Word had been given, the prophets had spoken. “God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but shall have eternal life.”
Today, these gifts from the wise men are still speaking to us. Have you received Jesus and His heavenly kingdom or are you still stuck in the kingdom of this world? Have you tasted the fellowship that comes to you from the Father as you enjoy the intimacy this heavenly priest has made available to all of us. Finally, have you stood with these wise men, gazing at the child in Mary’s arms knowing He came to die, He came to die for you? Embrace His love today, after all, He has loved you from eternity.



When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Matt. 2:9-11

These wise men had travelled hundreds of miles in search of something or someone, they were not quite sure who or what they were looking for. There was something strangely attractive that had brought them across the desert, looking for life itself. When they came to Herod, they were not impressed, their desires could not be satisfied by political or economic powers. When the scribes and the religious leaders were called they were still not content, they knew in their hearts they had come for more than religion or politics. There must be more, we all know that there is. Our unrealized expectations and our unsatisfied desires tell us that we were made for far more than this. As the wise men left Herod’s palace they knew their search was not complete, their hearts were longing for the supernatural world promised by the star they had followed from so far away. And then they saw it and they rejoiced with exceeding great joy, the star had reappeared and was leading them to the source of all life, The Desire of all Nations had come and they would not be denied. And then, the moment that they were born for happened, when they saw Him they fell down and worshipped Him. Suddenly, unexpectedly, they were on their faces lost in the worship of this infant king. Now they knew why they had come, this was the hope of all mankind, the King of the Ages had been born in lowly Bethlehem in Judea.
In all of our hearts there is a knowing that our lives were made for something beyond the natural limitations of this natural world. Our hearts are crying out, like the wise men of old, there must be more. We were created to be satisfied with nothing less than the Glory found in the Presence of this King. We all know, earthly power, influence, wealth, or even religion cannot quench the longing of our souls. We will never be satisfied until we join wise men of all ages on our faces, lost in the Glory of the infant King.



How long wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter? for the LORD hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man.
Jer. 31:22

This is one of the Old Testament prophecies that historically, has been applied to the virgin birth of our Lord. In the 1599 edition of the Geneva Bible (actually this was the first Protestant Study Bible) the editors applied this verse in Jeremiah to the virgin birth of Christ and also to the future fruitfulness of the spiritual Jerusalem. Think about it, the Lord has created a new thing in the earth, a virgin shall conceive and bring forth a son. No one but the Lord would ever do such an unusual thing, actually the most impossible of all of the miracles in the Bible, the birth of Christ without a human Father. If Christianity was a man made religion, no one would have had the audacity to try to sell the virgin birth, man would have pitched something somewhat more believable. The Lord loves to shock the minds of man; born of a virgin, born in an animal stall, probably the feeding trough of a farm animal, talk about unprecedented.
What do you think Joseph’s family thought about the virgin birth, or Jesus’s brothers and sisters, or even the neighbors in Nazareth. No, the virgin birth has always been a hard sell.

Matthew Henry also taught that this “new thing” was referring to the birth of Christ. Here are his thoughts about this passage.
“Many good interpreters understand this new thing created in that land to be the incarnation of Christ, which God used with an eye on bringing them back to that land, and which had sometimes been given them for a sign. A woman, the virgin Mary, enclosed in her womb the Mighty One; for so Geber, the word here used, signifies; and God is called Gibbor, the Mighty God ( xxxii. 18), as also is Christ in Isa. ix. 6, where his incarnation is spoken of, as it is supposed to be here. He is El-Gibbor, the mighty God. Let this assure them that God would not cast off this people, for that blessing was to be among them.”

Our modern world, and many modern preachers and teachers have moved far away from the supernatural nature of Christ, His life, His ministry, His birth, and His death. Maybe it’s time to return again to the ancient paths and follow the Lord down the path of His amazing supernatural plan. Christmas, the virgin birth, this is unprecedented, only God could come up with something like this.



1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

Jn 1:1,14,18

In the gospel of Luke and in Matthew there is an emphasis on the human birth of Our Savior. John’s account is much different, John turns immediately to the eternal nature of Jesus Christ. John is focused on the blazing Glory of the Son of God. His account does not have the taste of a casual observer but the sense of someone entranced in the Glory of the eternal Son. His first words capture the essence of his gospel, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, And the Word was God”. In verse 14 you hear the evidence that settled everything for John, “we beheld His Glory”. That was it for John, he had seen the glory of the Lord. John had not been present at the manger scene and he had not been there with the shepherds, but John saw the empty tomb for himself. The power of death had been crushed, the eternal Son had defeated death on the cross, He was trully alive forever more.
For us today 2000 years have passed since the birth of Christ. The wise men have been gone for generations and the shepherds are just figures on a Christmas card today, but the eternal Son is still alive. The Word has taken on human flesh. I may not have been with John at the empty tomb, I never heard the angels sing, and I have never followed a star across the desert, but I too have seen His Glory. Christianity is alive and well today because of the testimony of people like you and me who have tasted the goodness of God for ourselves and have embraced the truth of the gospel. As John said, no one has seen God at any time, but the only begotten Son, He has declared Him. Today Jesus is still the Word who became flesh, He still tabernacles amongst us through our own personal testimony of Jesus. He is still “declaring Him” through your life and testimony. May the eternal Son declare His Glory in you and through you this Christmas.



And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
Gen 2:7
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
And righteousness shall look down from heaven.
As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear* the image of the heavenly Man.
1 Cor.15:48,49

The Bible is filled with rich nuggets of valuable truth, sometimes it seems that we are miners seeking the hidden riches of God as diligently as a prospector mines for gold, only our discoveries are far more precious. At first glance, the scriptures for today seem unrelated, but upon further examination we find the priceless thread of revelation that brings them all together. These verses declare to us the powerful truth of Christ’s identification with the human race. Just as Adam was a man of the earth, formed from the dust of God’s creation, Christ Himself became a Son of Man. He was born of a virgin, He took on human nature, He trully became one of us. This is the powerful message of Christmas, the Word became flesh and tabernacled amongst us, we have seen His Glory, the Glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. Truth has sprung out from the earth as the scriptures have said, Christ has been born in a manger in Bethlehem. The wise men came from the east after seeing His star in the heavens, the temple shepherds came after the angelic visitation. We come today, observing His Glory in the written Word. Many people never saw the star in the sky, most casual observers never heard the angel’s song, and today, many Bibles lay unopened leaving the priceless treasures undiscovered. But to those who have been given eyes to see, we are following the star, we are singing with the angels, and we are mining for the hidden treasures of God’s Word longing to catch a glimpse of the Glory that is shining through the ages. Today, open up your Bible, it is your most precious earthly treasure, value its contents because it contains the hidden treasures of God. Like the wise men of old, we are searching for the hidden treasures of God. Maybe those all around you have shut their ears and closed their hearts, but your eyes are wide open, beholding the Glory of the Lord in the face of Jesus Christ.



“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
from everlasting.
Micah 5:2

What an incredible prophesy about the coming of our Lord. Micah prophesied the specific town, Bethlehem, and the specific region, Ephratah, where Our Savior would be born. He also spoke about the mysterious eternal nature of Jesus, the Word who became flesh. Micah spoke of “His goings forth” which some of our church fathers applied to the eternal generation of the Son of God. Mathew Henry expressed this eternal miracle as he described Christ as the rays of God’s Glory from eternity.
“It is he that is to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting, from the days of eternity, as the word is. Here we have, His existence from eternity, as God: his goings forth, or emanations, as the going forth of the beams from the sun, were, or have been, of old, from everlasting, which is so signal a description of Christ’s eternal generation, or his going forth as the Son of God, begotten of his Father before all worlds, that this prophecy must belong only to him, and could never be verified of any other. From everlasting to everlasting thou are God, and can be applied to no other than to him who was able to say, Before Abraham was, I am. Dr. Pocock observes that the going forth is used (Deut. viii. 3) for a word which proceeds out of the mouth, and is therefore very fitly used to signify the eternal generation of him who is called the Word of God, that was in the beginning with God, John 1.”

Wow! Great is the mystery of God. The eternal Word, the Father’s idea and expression of Himself born in Bethlehem. The Creator enters into His creation.
The Son of God, who has existed from eternity, born to a jewish teenager from Nazareth. God’s power cloaked in the weakness of infancy, Immanuel has come. Two generations, the Son of God begotten from eternity without a mother, the son of man, born of a virgin without a human father. This is the greatest of all mysteries, concealed in the Father’s heart until the fullness of time, revealed by the Spirit in the person of His Son birthing the greatest celebration of all time. MERRY CHRISTMAS.



For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isa. 9:6

Jesus came to bring peace to the earth, but not the kind of peace most people would think. Actually, His life brought anything but peace in the natural world. All but one of His twelve disciples died a martyr’s death. Christ Himself was hated more than any man who has ever lived. Families have been split up, wars have been fought, His life has brought anything but peace to this world. What kind of peace did Christ come to bring? He brought peace that comes from forgiveness of sins. He brought peace that comes from resigning to His sovereign plan. He brought peace that comes from deliverance from the foolish pleasures of this world. He is the Prince of Peace to those who have embraced His love. Here is another one of my Christmas poems, I hope you enjoy it.


Restless heart you struggle so
Searching for repose
Looking for that place of rest
That rest man seldom knows

Lonely heart-Your grieving so
When will the sadness end
You get back up- to face the world
To just fall back again

Anxious Heart-You worry so
Your trust seems far away
Who can you trust when things go wrong
Who will you trust today

Ambitious heart – it never ends
Will there ever be a time
When you can stop this torrid rush
And place your hand in mine

Hungry heart has found its food
To still this longing soul
To satisfy the heart of man
To make the sinner whole

In Bethlehem the house of bread
Not far from Calvary
I gave my life for you my son
That you could feast on me

Today, your search for peace can be over, we can find our rest in Him. Remember the famous words of Augustine, “Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee”. You can come to Bethlehem today and feast on the Bread that comes from heaven. This is the place of rest. In the world there is no peace, but there is an amazing peace found in Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.



“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
From everlasting.”
Micah 5:2

In Isaiah’s prophesy (Isa 9:6), as well as this one from Micah, the Lord gives us a glimpse into the eternal nature of our God. This is a hidden, incomprehensible, part of our incredible God. What is eternity past like? What kind of relationship has the Father had with His Eternal Son in this mysterious, unknown time? Does that eternal nature of God have any relevance in my life today? This is what Christmas is all about. The relationship of love between Jesus and His Father is the foundation for our existence and our salvation. Their love resulted in an agreement where Jesus became the Lamb of God, slain before the foundation of the world. As a result, the virgin conceived, and brought forth a Son, born in Bethlehem in Judea over 2000 years ago. This is a poem the Lord gave to me describing this eternal relationship, like C.S. Lewis says, the eternal dance.

The Christmas Dance

Before there was history
There lived a great mystery
A story of joy and romance
The Lord and His Son
They’ve always been One
Embrace in the great Spirit dance
An unspeakable delight
It burst through the night
A joy that’s stronger than wine
The Father and Son embracing as
One in the dance that’s long
Before time
This singing and dancing
This holy romancing
This joy to the world Angels say
It came to the earth at our dear
Saviour’s birth
This joy it begins
Christmas Day!

During this Christmas season maybe you will here the sound of the heavenly celebration and join in the festivities. Heaven is not a boring place, it is a celebration beyond any we have seen or have thought of on earth. Can you hear the singing? The Lord is rejoicing over you. Open your heart, let Him open up your ears. It is time for you to join the celebration, it’s time to sing, it’s time to join in the Father’s dance.



This is the last installment of the Christmas message of Augustine from the 400’s A.D. The message of Christ’s birth and eternal existence is timeless. May this be your best Christmas ever as Christ is formed in you. Enjoy the message and my comments throughout his teaching.

He’s the Creator of the heavens and the earth; and yet He takes His own rise under the heavens, that’s to say from the earth.

Psalm 85:11
11 Truth shall spring out of the earth, And righteousness shall look down from heaven.

Jesus, the truth, springs from the earth like Adam. The amazing diverse excellencies of Christ seen in His deity and His humanity.

As God He has more Wisdom than He can mouth, and yet as a babe he hasn’t enough mouth to utter the Wisdom He knows.

As God He is all knowing unlimited in His knowledge, as an infant unable to vocalize His eternal wisdom.

He fills the world with jots and tittles, and yet He Himself lies a tot in a manger.

He has created a masterful world full of intricate detail, yet he lies helpless and dependent as an infant in the manger.

He sets the stars in motion, and yet he sucks His mother’s breasts.

Genesis 1:3-5
3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.

Augustine continues to explore the amazing contrast of deity and humanity. He reveals Himself in His wisdom and power in creation and His incredible humility as a man.

He’s so great as a God, yet so small as a slave.

Philippians 2:5-9
5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,

God’s greatness and Christ’s humility, He is truly the Lion of the tribe of Judah and the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world.

His divinity isn’t underwhelmed by His humanity, nor is His humanity overwhelmed by His divinity.

He is not threatened or decreased by His humanity. His humanity has not depleted His deity, only magnified His glory in our eyes.

He didn’t abandon His divine agenda when He picked up His carpenter’s tools.

Ephesians 1:11
11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,

His plan of the ages has never altered. God is never responding to circumstances. All things are ordered and developing according to His plan.

He didn’t stop holding His universe together with His mighty arms while He was trying to catch flies with His baby fingers.

Isaiah 9:6,7
6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Augustine continues to be amazed at the irony of the power of God and the weakness displayed in the infant Christ.

He put on the clumsiness of the flesh when he entered the Virgin’s womb, and yet His movement throughout the universe wasn’t hampered by the baggy pants. He didn’t take away the food of Wisdom from the Angels while He was supplying us with the sweetness of the Lord.

Micah 5:2
“ But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.”

The bread of heaven, Jesus Christ, born in Bethlehem – the house of Bread. The Lord has displayed His beauty in the miracle birth of Christ. He came to make this heavenly bread available for us all. Today, we can all come to the Christmas feast and delight ourselves in the abundance of our Father’s house. Merry Christmas to you and your house.