It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. Proverbs 25:2

We are told to let the same mind that is in Jesus be in us! What a thought? To know that it is possible to have the same mindset as Jesus. It must be possible or the word of God would not have directed us to do so. To have the same mind as Christ, we must first know the mind of Christ and that is found in God’s word. The lies of the enemy say we cannot be like Christ because Jesus was God and we are sinners, but we are made righteous by grace through faith in Jesus. The world has told us we should not try because it cannot be done and they would have us focus on our own selfish lives and failures rather than the completed work of Christ. 

The reason Jesus came was to restore us back to the image of God so that we would be made righteous before God and so that we could be in fellowship and in the family of God, but we received much more thanwe lost in the fall. Before the fall we were the highest created creatures of God, but now Jesus has come and made us children of God. What the enemy meant for evil God has made it for our greater good.   Jesus died on a cross to pay our debt to sin, to break the curse that was ours so that we may receive His abundant and eternal life in the family of God. Jesus came not only to restore to us what we lost in the fall; our relationship with the Father, our identity as image bearers of God, but He gave us a greater position as children of the Most High Kings. Our createdpurpose is to show the love of God on the earth. 

Philippians 2:58 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,  who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,  but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.  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. NKJV

The mind that was in Christ Jesus was one that did not think He was robbed or that God had failed Him when He went through problems. Jesus did not seek to be famous or seek to have a reputation among the masses, but He humbled Himself to be obedient to the word of God,even at the cost of His life. The world will say that this is impossible to do because self-preservation is the first law, of fallen mankind! This was not our created state of being; we were created in the image of God to be in a relationship with God and to reflect His love and purpose to all His creation on the earth. 

We are called the Beloved of God and we are told not to think it strange when we go through trials, loss and chaos as though something is wrong with us or that God has failed us. This is a trick of the enemy to get us tobe faint in our own minds so that we will not persevere and finish our purpose, which is to show a lost world who God is in our lives.

When we know and understand the true Gospel of God, we will focus on the life of Christ, who came and died that others may live. We too can choose to die to self-centeredness in every situation that we experience loss and chaos. We can choose to respond as the world or we can choose to let the life and light of Christ rise in us and shine in those dark situations. God is exalted when we respond in love by the power of the Holy Spirit with a heavenly kingdom perspective lived out on earth in us. God has sent His sons and His daughters into the world that they may show His love to a lost world so others may come to know Him through His children. 

If we suffer for doing what is right, we are told to rejoice and we can rejoice, only when we die to our self-centeredness and to the pride of life, which wants to lift self above the word and knowledge of God.  When God chooses to make us broken bread and poured out wine to save a lost soul, it is then that we should let the mind of Christ be in us. We are not to look for immediate gratification of self but we are to look at God’s eternal purpose and let His kingdom come on earth in us. Though we may go through humiliation at the hands of others, it is only a temporary state, but the possible eternal salvation of a soul is worth so much more than the passing shame and embarrassment we may experience in this life.

1 Peter 4:12-14Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you;  but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.  If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you NKJV

It is through our suffering that the world will see and know the Holy Spirit who lives within us. It is when we experience hurt and pain in our lives that we have an opportunity to respond like Christ, to reflect our true belief in God and His word. If our selfish ambitions rise in hard and difficult times then we will be responding just as the world. We too will allow self and pride to sit on the throne of our hearts and the world will not see God’s power and love. When we humble ourselves under the hand of God and allow the love of the Sovereign God to reign in our lives, even when we are unjustly treated, then the world will see the life of Christ in us and the true Image of God reflected on the earth.   

When Christ was being beaten and whipped by the Romans, He was still the Son of God. When Jesus’ hands and feet were nailed to the cross, He was still the Son of God. When Christ died and was buried, He was still the Son of God. Nothing we go through will change who we are, but how we respond to what we go through will reflect who we are. The righteous tree will bear righteous fruit; a good tree will produce after its own kind. 

We are to let this mind be in us that was also in Christ Jesus; though we are children of the Most High King we are not to seek a reputation for ourselves. We are to humble ourselves under the hand of God our Father and die to the need of immediate self-gratification and allow God to exalt us in due season. We can cast and hurl all our problems and concerns to God. We can trust God to handle them, to vindicate us when we need vindication and to be merciful when there is need for mercy.  We know He loves and cares for us in ways that no one else can.  

1 Peter 5:6-7 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. NKJV

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wisdom is called the principal thing we should go after and in getting this wisdom we are to get an understanding of truth. The Bible says fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, which is to be in awe of Godand to have a reverential respect for Him.  We are also told to have knowledge of the Holy One, Jesus Christ, whom God has sent and with an accurate knowledge of Jesus we will have an understanding of the truth of God. 

With this true knowledge we are able to make right and just judgementsin our actions and we are able to grasp the true nature and understanding of a matter. The Bible says Jesus is the truth then knowing Jesus, the Holy Son of God, is to have wisdom and understanding of truth. Thus, wisdom is having respect for God and the ability to discern truth through an accurate understanding of Jesus. So only way to have wisdom and an understanding of God is to know the life of Jesus. 

Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. KJV 

Proverb 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. NIV

Many people are without respect for God because they do not have atrue knowledge of Him which is seen in the life and character of Jesus. They may have an intellectual knowledge, but this is information they have been taught, and some people may even let their own intellect rise above God’s truth. Many people have allowed their culture to define their purpose, their opinions and their perception of truth so much that when they hear God’s truth they are unable to discern or recognize it. 

Wisdom is respecting God and having respect for the truth of His written word above all else even when it goes against the grain of our intellect and culture.  We will obtain a great respect for God and understanding of who He is as we see the love of God displayed in the life of Jesus. Again, knowledge of the Holy One, Jesus, is the understanding of truth and this truth is the way to obtain wisdom. 

Many people are intellectuals, academics, scholars or philosophers but all this has to do with learnt information. They are taught by people withculture and historical biases that have influenced their train of thought and their teaching. People can develop and amplify the amount of information they have with training and education but it is not necessarily true, accurate or honest information.  Failing to understand that there is a difference between wisdom and intellect has caused many people to be deceived and misled. They tend to follow those who are highly intellectual in the area of academics but may not have anyknowledge of truth of God’s word and lack His wisdom.

Wisdom is recognizing God as The Preeminent and Sovereign King and understanding is knowing His love and the heart of God as it is seen inthe life of Jesus. Jesus said He came to show us the Father and to give us a new life in the kingdom of God. All humanity has been trained in this fallen world system that has incorporated bias, preference, likes and dislikes into a standard of life that is convenient and benefits themselves and their way of living. 

John 17: 25-26 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26 And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the lovewith which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” NKJV

God has given everyone uniqueness and individuality as to who they were created to be, as an expression of His Image.  We bring glory to God in the expression of who He made us to be, through our individuality, which is our very being, that is our soul, our principles, our ethnicity and our very humanity and we this done in the life of Jesus. Jesus came to show us the Father and how to live a life pleasing to Him.  The behavior we display we should see in Jesus and if we donot see it in Jesus’ life, then we should not see it in ours. We Honor God and show reverence to Him in the expression of our worship and life devotion that mirrors Jesus. When we use our God given talents, skills and values as individuals to express our love and adoration to God and those He created, then is God glorified. 

In the fall, all humanity lost their true identity and culture as God’s highest creation living in His kingdom. Then mankind began to cultivate a self-centered identity through this fallen world system and a culturethat gloried self rather than God. They lost their God given culture and the position as the crowning glory of God’s creation, when they chose to believe the lie of Satan, rather than the truth of God. This was the beginning of humanity living a self-focused, narcissistic life. Self and self-interest became supreme and humanity developed cultures and societies to navigate their new way of thinking and self-interest. Mankind began to elevate and magnify self rather than honoring the God who created all of creation. It is the same today for those whochoose to live a life of self-gratification without the knowledge of God’s truth and they lack a true understanding of the operation of God’s kingdom here on earth. 

John 18:37 Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?”  Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” NKJV

Jesus is the Sovereign King over God’s kingdom on earth which is now ruled by the truth of God’s word as Jesus Himself displayed. All humanity fell for the lie Satan presented in the beginning and they lost their ability to identify and understand God’s truth.  Jesus came to the earth to bear witness to the truth of God’s word but not everyone willreceive this truth because they are blinded by their own indulgences and the lie of the enemy. Humanity had been in darkness so long that whenJesus, The Truth and The Light, came into the world people did not recognize Him. They had been in darkness and they did not comprehend Jesus was The Light of the world.

Some people say Jesus was a myth created to keep oppressed people enslaved and others say Jesus was one of many good prophets. Still others will venture to say Jesus was a good teacher but they all refuse to see Him as the Son of God, The Lord of all and their Risen King.  We must let Jesus and His word define who He is and His purpose.

Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;  To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

Jesus said He came to speak the good news of God, the plan of recovery, redemption and restoration to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captive, to give sight to the blind and set the oppressed free. Jesus came not only to save our souls but transform us back into the image of God and to reveal the truth of God’s word. Many people have heard about Jesus and yet they fail to comprehend and graspwho Jesus really is as the Son of God. It is the knowledge and understanding of Jesus as the only true and living way back to God that gives us the ability to see Him as our Sovereign King. Then we can know God as our Abba-Father and understand His great love for us and all humanity who are created in His image.

John 18:37b …Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world,that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truthhears My voice.” NKJV

Saved by Grace Through Faith

We now understand that the true meaning of “born again” is dying to the old self, the old way of living and then being raised into a new life and a new culture.  Being born again is not done by our own natural efforts and hard work, but it is a decision of the heart and the will that chooses to accept the Holy Spirit of God into our lives and allow Him to transform us into a new creation.   It is not us trying hard not to do wrong or pulling ourselves up by the bootstrap. Some people did not have boots or straps. Born again is receiving the Holy Spirit through faith, which is our belief in the truth of God’s word and His love for us. 

Born again, allows us to see things as God would have us see and that is to see others and ourselves as His Beloved. Even when we miss the mark and do not get it right every time, God’s love for us is eternally rooted in the redemptive blood of Jesus. We are saved by God’s grace through our faith in His word and His love. When we by faith choose to believe the word of God, then the Grace of God comes to meet our faith and transform our lives and begin to destroy the lies we have been told and believed. TheHoly Spirit comes in and we learn a different way to think and a different way to act by renewing our minds to the word of God. It is God who will perform this great work in us, but it is our will and decision to believe God that will allow Him to perform that which He has promised.

Ephesians 2:4-10 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it isthe gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. NKJV

It was God’s love that sent Jesus to bring us back into the family of God as His sons and daughters by placing us back in right standing with God. Jesus did not come because we were worthless sinners.  Jesus came because we were precious children who became unrecognizable, disfigured and had fallen from the purpose of reflecting God’s glory.  Mankind failed because they believed the lie of Satan rather than the truth of God’s word.  God loved us too much to leave us in a depraved fallen state without any recourse, remedy or alternative. He would not leave us in this distorted state, marred by rebellion, therefore He sent Jesus to redeem that which was lost, our identity in Him and our positions as children of the Most High King. 

God said the wages of sin is death and all have sinned therefore all owe this debt. We all came from Adam and all humanity was in seed form in Adam’s body when he sinned, therefore, his blood line was passed down from generation to generation and we all took on this fallen nature.  Jesuscame through humanity with a body of man but through the seed of the Holy Spirit and He lived a righteous life. Though He was righteous, Jesustook upon Himself the sin of the world and He made payment for the wages of sin, which is death. The debt that all humanity owed was paid so that whosoever receives Jesus as Lord could be made righteous and that is in right standing with God. 

We all have sinned and everyone owes the debt of eternal death, which is the total separation from God who is light and life.  The question is who will pay this debt? Jesus came to set us free from being enslaved to sin and offered His life as a ransom for many, but not everyone will accept His payment for their redemption. Many people try to earn their right standing with God and work hard to look good and do the right thing, but their best efforts are an insult to God’s gift, Jesus Christ. 

1 Timothy 2:5-6 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, NKJV

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.NKJV

We all have the same choice as Adam, to believe and obey God or believe the lies of Satan, the enemy of God, and this fallen world system.  We will stand before God based on our own efforts, works and sin or we will stand before Him based on the completed work of Christ, His Salvation and payment for our sin.  The debt will be paid, and again the question is, who will pay? God has given all humanity a will and the ability to choose their destiny and to choose whom they will serve.

We have a High Priest who understands weaknesses and we are told to come boldly to the throne of Grace to receive help in the time of need. We need help when we have missed the mark or fallen short and God tells us to come boldly to Him, because of Christ. When we have faith in God’s love for us no matter how bad things may seem or how low we have fallen, we can trust in God’s love and His grace comes and meets us where we are and restores us back into fellowship with Him.

Hebrews 4:15-16 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are,yet without sin.  Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, thatwe may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Again, it is not our effort that saves or makes us righteous, but it is a gift from God, the power of the Holy Spirit and our faith in the love of our Father, who will never leave us or forsake us. 

 

Many people were taught to have Christ incorporated into their lives. To have Christ to come alongside  them, to help them, bless them, protect them and to be available when they need Him. That is not the truth of the Gospel or the reason Christ came. Christ came to restore us back to who we were created to be, sons and daughters who reflect the image and glory of God, which is displayed in the life of Christ. Jesus came and showed us how we are to live this life and to be our example so thatwe can live transformed and be a living reflection of the Image of God on the earth. Christ crucified is our example of transformation. Christ’s life, His death, burial and resurrection, is our life goal. The Bible says we are to be baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This baptism is a type or a symbol of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ that should be taking place in every true Christian’s life. 

Matthew 28:19 – 20 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. NKJV

Many people lack an understanding of the symbolic meaning of Baptism.  Some are taught that baptism is the thing to do to become a member of a church or to become part of the social aspect having allrights and privileges as other members. However, this is not thecomplete comprehension of baptism. Many people have gone into the water dry and came up wet and that was all they know about the transformation of baptism. True baptism is a proclamation of a death, our death to self, and it represents the burial of our old self, and the resurrection of a new life in Christ. 

When our body goes under water it represents us going into a watery grave, which signifies the death and burial of the old life as we knew it. When we are brought up from the water, this symbolizes we are raised into the resurrection of a new life in Christ.  This is significant, because a dead man no longer has an agenda. A dead man is no longer offended. A dead man no longer concerns himself with the desires and yearnings of this world. This is seen in the life of a mature Christian who see themselves dead to selfishness and selfindulgences of this fallen world system but alive to the spiritual and eternal things of God. 

In true baptism, Christians are to be so identified with the death of Christ that they realize they no longer have a life to live for themselves.They believe Jesus died for them and if He died for them then they, also died in Him and are dead to their own selfish concerns. We as Christians are to now live for the concerns of Christ and His purpose for our lives and to reflect the glory of God in the earth. Our lives are no longer our own, we have been bought with a price, with the precious Blood of Jesus Christ. Baptism represents the death of the old person and the resurrection of a new person who is now born again into the family and household of God, our Father. Just as when a seed is buried in the ground, it dies and no longer lives in its original form. It is transformed into roots and then sprouts into another form that will bring into existence new fruit or a new form of life. 

When people refuse to die to self, it is because they are still, so in love with themselves. Their focus is still on how they can fulfill their own desires and wants. People who are self-focused and are living for immediate gratification of self, most times they will end up living their lives alone and in misery.  At times some people may even want to incorporate Christ into what they are doing, rather than dying to their old ways and allowing God to transform them into the image of Christ.People who continue to love this fallen world system and the life theylive in it, will fail to see God’s purpose and they lack an eternal perspective of life.

At times some people may recognize the hurt and problems they bring on themselves and others around them because of their greed and their love of this fallen world system, more than the life and truth of God. Some may even come to hate the destruction that is brought into their lives without Christ and seek God. This life span that God has given usto live on the earth, will determine our eternal destiny. We all have an eternal spirit, the question is, where will we spend this eternity? God has given each person, a will and a life, to demonstrate the choices they make for eternity. It is when we come to truly know the love God has for us and understand His desire is to restore us back into His image, for His glory, that we will be able to choose to die to self. Then the life of Jesus Christ be our example and we will be able to love others as Christ has loved us. 

John 12:   Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. 25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. NKJV

2 Corinthians 5:14-15  For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. NKJV

Baptism signifies the beginning of a new life in Christ. The old things are passed away and we are a new creation, born again into a new life, new family and a new kingdom. We have transferred our citizenship from this old fallen world system back into the kingdom of God. Wewill appear as strangers and foreigners to those living in this fallen world but we are to become ambassador for our new country, the kingdom of God. Those who are of the world will try and incorporate Jesus into their lives for His benefits and blessings. However, True believers in Christ will be transformed to live a different life a different way.  When we submit our will to obey God, we can be certain that God will complete the good work He has begun in us. It is not our work it is our submission and faith in His word.  

Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus ChristNKJV

We have been told to say a prayer so that God will save us from hell and so that we may go to heaven when we die. But the Bible says eternal life is to know God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. Jesus taught us to pray for God’s kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven. God does not want us to just go the heaven when we die. God wants His heavenly will to live in us and His kingdom presence be carried out on earth though us. God has sent Jesus to show us how to live and God has given us His word through His Son Jesus and the Bible. The Bible is the written Word of God and in it we can know His way and know God’s will for our lives. Yet so many people shy away from God’s word but they willstill listen to the voice of reason of this fallen world system.  

John 17:3  Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. NIV

Many people have been taught that God is so far off that they could never understand His will or His ways but God’s word tells us differently. The Bible tells us to come boldly to God’s throne of Grace so we can obtain His mercy and help in time of need. It tells us to come to God when we are in trouble or when we have missed the mark, because this is when we are in need. But this fallen world system says stay away and do not go to God until you get yourself clean and right. If we were able to live right and get clean on our own there would be no need for Jesus to come and save us.  It is Jesus’ death and resurrection that makes us righteous before God and not anything we have done for ourselves.  It is God’s Spirit in us that give us Hope and enables us to give glory to God in hard times. We cannot live righteous before God without the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Hebrew 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. NKJV

Many people fail to see the truth of God’s word because most are blinded by their own human reasoning and life experiences. Instead of looking at the life of Christ and allowing His life to define what is possible and to let Jesus become the standard of life for us to obtain,they will say, yes, but this happened or that happened to me.  They will allow their life experiences in a fallen world system define what they believe about God and how they will live rather than listen to the word of God.  Faith and belief is developed through the word of God. People are told to ask the Holy Spirit to come into our lives to help them but God wants to come into our lives and transform us into the image of Christ. To know God and the love of God and to allow Him to transform our lives, this should be the goal of every true believer and this is the will of God for our lives.

Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly,
To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God? NKJV

Before Christ came to earth, God’s plan for mankind’s salvation was a mystery that was hidden for generations but God has revealed Himself to His people through the life of Christ and His word.  The Spirit of Christ is now living in the true believer and this is the Hope we have forour lives and our future. This is the Hope we give to others through the love we display to others, even as we are experiencing and walking through difficult times. 

Colossians 1 26-27   The mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints.  To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

In this western world system we have cultivated a self-centered gospel which is not the Gospel of Christ. People are told to come to Christ for what He can do for them, to save them from their pain, to bless themand for what He can give them. They are taught to come to God with a self-focused theology rather than a Christ centered belief.  Their successin life is determined by their being blessed, protected and prosperous and when life comes and hits them with loss and lack they think God has failed them. Many have come to God for what He can do for them,rather than taking up their cross, dying to self and being transformed to live a life that glorifies God. 

Romans 12:2   And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what isthat good and acceptable and perfect will of God. NKJV

Instead of dying to pride and dying to self-interest and living for God, they will always focus on what they are lacking, their problems and the chaos in their lives.  The Bible calls our problems light afflictions and they are opportunities for us to reflect Christ to a lost world. But many believers fall just as deep into despair as those who are without hope inChrist because the lack knowledge and an eternal perspective.

John 12:24-26 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.  If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.

It is only when we take our eyes off of ourselves and self-centeredness that we can die to our need for immediate self-gratification. Then we can look to God, know His purpose and represent Him well in this life with an eternal outlook. This is eternal life to know God, to know the love He has for us and to allow His love to be in us so that we may love others just as He has loved us.  

John 17:3  Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. NIV

 

 Matthew 2:1-2 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem,  saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him. NKJV

The thing that made these men wise is the very thing that makes men wise today; they were seeking Jesus, the King, so that they may worship Him.  Wise men are still following after Jesus though it may be costly, time consuming and often sacrificial. Those who are wise in the things of God are still looking to Jesus as their guiding light in a dark, perverse and obstinate world.

These wise men were from a distant country from the east was awaiting the birth of the Messiah, The King of the Jews. Some may ask where did they come from and how did they know to look for the King of the Jews to be born? God is the Master Engineer and He can orchestrate circumstances and situations even before time began to accomplish His task. Is it a coincidence that Keturah, Abraham’s second wife was sent with gifts eastward with her six sons to the east country?  Is it possible that Abraham would have told his children of the coming Messiah and that God would reconcile the world back to Himself through this King so that all humanity could partake in His Eternal Life?  Is it coincidence that Moses’ father in law was the priest of Midian? A descendant of Midian a son of Abraham and Keturah, and He offered praise to God for all He had done for Israel. But with God are there really any coincidences?

Genesis 25:1-6   Abraham again took a wife, and her name wasKeturah. And she bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. Jokshan begot Sheba and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, Letushim, and Leummim. And the sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abidah, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah.And Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac. But Abraham gave gifts to the sons of the concubines whichAbraham had; and while he was still living he sent them eastward, away from Isaac his son, to the country of the east.

Genesis 18:19 For I have known him,(Abraham) in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice, that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.”

Keturah is called the most ignored significant person in the Torah; the first five books of the Bible. There has been a lot of speculation and comments about Keturah and the six sons she bore to Abraham and there is no need at this point to try to add to this speculation. We can only state what the Bible says about the matter and we understand God’sways are not our ways.  Only God can set up situations centuries in advance to insure His word is fulfilled. 

These wise men were looking for the Messiah and when they saw His star they had exceedingly great joy. They came and kneeled before Christ and they opened their treasures and presented Him with the things they valued as an expression of worship. Wise men are still kneelingdown before Christ to open their hearts and their treasures to Him as an act of worship.  When our hearts are open with exceedingly great joy to Jesus we too will open our treasures of great worth and present them toowithout reservation.  God wants us to surrender our hearts regardless to our wealth and then He will have our treasures, our commitment, our integrity and loyalty to our King. 

Matthew 2:9b-11… 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. NKJV

The Proverbs has a lot to say about wisdom, it says happy is the man that finds wisdom and the man who gets understanding, that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.  What does it mean to fear the Lord? The Bible says the fear of the Lord is to hate evil which is pride, arrogance, evil waysand a mouth that is perverse or speaks fraud. Also fear of the Lord is to give instructions of wisdom, training our children to flee evil and walk in humility so as to obtain honor.

We will spend countless hours and money to train our children in all types of skills, reasoning, logic and things that appear to be sensible in the world. But many often fail to instruct their children in Godly wisdom, how to walk in integrity, to hate pride and arrogance and not to speak viciously with deceit or fraud. We allow this fallen world system to shape their ideas, their minds, their sense of right and wrong.  Then when they bow their knee at the altar of selfishness, pride and rebellion we wonder what went amiss and what went wrong. All that the world is searching for is found in the wisdom of God, happiness, riches and honor and length of days. 

Proverb 3:13-16  Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding; 14 For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, And her gain than fine gold. 15 She is more precious than rubies, And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her. 16 Length of days is in her right hand,  In her left hand riches and honor.

God’s wisdom is rich and it is worth searching out. God has made Jesus to be our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. We tend to accept easily the redemption of Christ but some people have a hard time accepting that they are righteous and sanctified and perhaps they lack understanding of the wisdom they have in Jesus. We are called to seek wisdom and to pursue it. As any hidden treasure or gem of value it takes much effort to pursue wisdom, just as it takes much effort to find rubies, silver or gold, if not more.  

1 Corinthians 1:30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption

God is still concealing the richness of His wisdom in His word and He has called the prudent and humble to seek it. Wisdom has been given to us in the person of Jesus and He has told us to follow Him. 

Proverbs 25:2  It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter. 

Wise people are still seeking Jesus!

Christmas is the celebration of the life of Jesus, which was given so that we may have hope, joy and peace on earth. Jesus was born with the express purpose of dying so that He could redeem the beloved people of God. God so loved us, people who were created in His image that He would not leave us in a lost state without Hope. Jesus was born so that we could live a life transformed into the likeness of God on the earth. The Christmas story is the story of Jesus coming with the purpose of giving His life that others may live. 

Jesus came in the likeness of mankind that He too would have the same position and authority of mankind on the earth. Jesus left His heavenly position and chose to receive a body to live in this fallen world system and He would also suffer as we have suffered. The love of God was expressed in this, a Child born; God Son was given so that He may receive us back into His family and that we should live under a new government, which is the kingdom of God on earth.  God sees us as His most treasured, most valued and most loved and as such He would pay such a great price and ransom to retrieve our lives from our fallen stateof sin.

Isaiah 9:6 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, Princeof Peace. NKJV

The greatest gift of God was born in lowly and obscure circumstances in the natural. There was no room for Jesus’ mother to stay in the inn so they stayed in a place where the animals were kept. The King of Kings was born in a lowly place and covered with strips of cloths and not in a palace wearing fine silk. Jesus was laid in a trough a feeding box for animals and not in a bed for royalty. We tend to picture visions of grandeur when we think of Jesus’ birth but it was not, it was in very low circumstances. God’s ways are not like the ways of mankind. God is still birthing His children in low and obscure places so as to prepare them for their future to be kings and priests to this world. 

Luke 2:7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. NKJV

With the announcement of Jesus’ birth came the announcement of conflict. The shepherd was told this day in the city of David a Saviour was born which is Christ the Lord.  These two titles, Saviour and Christ, speak of both majesty and conflict. The title Savior is one who saves, rescues or delivers, which indicates conflict or trouble.  Christ is the Messiah, the promised Deliverer of God’s people, again indicating a fight or battle will ensue or arise for deliverance. 

Luke 2: 10-12 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” NKJV

Jesus did not come to this earth blindly or not knowing His mission and His purpose. He came to die that others may live a life transformed to look like their Father in heaven. Jesus did not come to die because we are worthless sinners but because we are valued children. Jesus did not die just so that we can go to heaven but so that we may live transformed lives and also that we will know the truth of who we are. Jesus came so we will reflect the image of our Heavenly Father and that heaven will be brought back to the earth through us.

John 18:37  Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?”Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears Myvoice.” NKJV

 Christmas is a time that the world calls magical, but Christ followers recognize it as Majestic. It is a time that the world sets aside to honor and praise God for the birth of Jesus theMessiah. During the Christmasseason people are kinder and have a willingness to give and to share with others regardless of their religion. 

During Christmas we still see and hear God’s angels praising Him saying, Glory to God in the Highest, peace on earth and good will toward men. Christmas is a celebration of the gift of God to all mankind and God is still being proclaimed and crowned in the praises of His people.

Psalm 22:3 But You are holy, Enthroned in the praises of Israel NKJV

In the celebration of Jesus’ birth we see people denying themselves that they may give to others as Jesus set aside His heavenly splendor and became a man, the Righteous gave Himself for the unrighteous. He was rich beyond measure but became poor that we who were poor in our depraved mindset could become heirs of God, joint heirs with Christ. He laid down His life that we may live.  Jesus our Saviour our Sovereign King is our example so that we too may be transformed into the image of God. 

John 12:24-26 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.  He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.  If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor. NKJV 

Father, let the gift of Christ’s life be born in us this Christmas season;give us a new life and new purpose that we too may die to self-centeredness. Father, let the spirit of pride and selfishness die that we may show the love of God on the earth.  Father, let the truth of your word live in us that we may focus on the eternal and lasting things of God and let us turn from the snares of this worldly system of greed and envy. Let the Majesty of Your government; living rightly and doing justly, be on our shoulders so that Your name will be proclaimed as Wonderful, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and The Prince of Peace in our homes, our families and our nations. 

 

 

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