Monday, September 27, 2010

...They rejoiced with exceeding joy...

***Editor's note***I'm going to try to blog today about the sermon we heard in church yesterday. I'm not sure how successful I'll be at conveying my message, but I'm going to try. As a disclaimer, I'm not a biblical scholar and I don't know all there is to know about the bible or about Christ. My opinions are just that, although I will try to include biblical reference as often as possible. I would very much like to start blogging more often about my thoughts and ideas and musings on God, the bible and my faith. Since I'm goin to be doing so and putting myself out there, I'm going to demand that those who comment be more respectful than usual. I absolutely will not tolerate attacks against my readers/commenters or against myself when it comes to issues of faith. If religion ain't your thing, no biggie, just skip those posts. On a technical note, all my Scripture quotes will be from the KJV version of the bible, which I believe is the most accurate translation, before the other versions got all free and wild with their "interpretations"***

Yesterday at my little church we had a terrific Sunday School hour. We've been doing a study on the biblical concept of worship. Sunday's message focused on the wise men from the familiar "Christmas" passage in Matthew 2. Here is the passage:

"1Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
2Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
3When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
4And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
5And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,
6And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
7Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
8And 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.
9When 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.
10When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
11And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.
12And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way."

Based on this passage, Pastor Tim pointed out there were a few things we should notice about the worship of the wise men. Their worship was intentional, volitional, personal, confrontational, emotional, relational, sacrificial and effectual. It's the effectual part I want to talk about today. It's interesting to me the way he put it. Because their worship had an effect on those around them, God makes it a point to move and work in their lives. In my head this starts a chain reaction. They worship God which has an effect on others. God sees the effect it has on those around them and works in their lives even more. God's work in their lives causes them to worship which affects even more people.

Do you think your worship influences other people? Do you think your worship and its influence is important? I know a lot of people worship "privately" and are shy about a public display of worship and joy. Does that describe you? Why are you shy about it? I think regardless of whether you worship publicly or not, if you're true and sincere in even your private worship it will affect other people. And I think it's important that it does. I think the way to win souls for Christ is not to PREACH but to LIVE with an attitude of peace and joy and contentment so that when other people look at you they think, "jiminy, I want what SHE has". Do you carry that message across? I can only hope that I do.

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