Gift for a King
Matthew 2:1-12 English Standard Version (ESV)
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, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
6 “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.
What did they bring? – Gifts fit for a king
- Gold – King / Kingship [[KING]]
- Frankincense – Priest / Priesthood / God [[GOD]]
- Myrrh – Anointing Oil / Death / Humanity & Suffering [[SACRIFICE]]
Little Drummer Boy
Come they told me / Pa rum pum pum pum
A new born king to see / Pa rum pum pum pum
Our finest gifts we bring / Pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before the king / Pa rum pum pum pum…
So to honor him / Pa rum pum pum pum
When we come…
I have no gift to bring Pa rum pum pum pum
That’s fit to give our king…
I played my drum for him / Pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for him / Pa rum pum pum pum,
Rum pum pum pum, Rum pum pum pum
Psalm 116:12-19 English Standard Version (ESV)
12 What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits to me?
13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord,
14 I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.
15 Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.
16 O Lord, I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant. You have loosed my bonds.
17 I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord.
18 I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people,
19 in the courts of the house of the Lord, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the Lord!
2. LIVING SACRIFICE
Romans 12:1-8 English Standard Version (ESV)
12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
3. YOUR HEART
Matthew 6:21 English Standard Version (ESV)
21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Psalm 51:10 English Standard Version (ESV)
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Ephesians 3:14-19 The Passion Translation (TPT)
14 So I kneel humbly in awe before the Father of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah, 15 the perfect Father of every father and child in heaven and on the earth 16 And I pray that he would unveil within you the unlimited riches of his glory and favor until supernatural strength floods your innermost being with his divine might and explosive power. 17 Then, by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of your life.
18–19 Then you will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences—the great magnitude of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far-reaching is his love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement that transcends our understanding—this extravagant love pours into you until you are filled to overflowing with the fullness of God!
[Luke 15 – The Lost Sheep, The Lost Coin, The Lost Son]
We are all at one time LOST and need to REPENT
We aren’t meant to do life alone
We realize that with our Pig Pod Moment and change of mind (see v. 16)
No matter the sin / sinner, all those who repent are forgiven / accepted / loved.
Once we are FOUND, what can we do as a child of God / disciple of Jesus:
- Go After – “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? (v. 4 NASB)
- To Go – poreuomai (por-yoo’-om-ahee) – travel, journey, go, moving something from one destination to another
- Seek Diligently – “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it?” ( v. 8 ESV)
- Diligently – epimelós (ep-ee-mel-oce’) – carefully
- Embrace – “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.” (v. 20 NLT)
- Embraced – epipiptó (ep-ee-pip’-to) – to embrace with affection, fall upon, gripped
- Rejoice – vs. 5 “rejoicing” v. 6,9 “rejoice with me”, “celebrate” v. 23-24
- Rejoice – sugchairó (soong-khah’-ee-ro) – rejoicing in God’s grace, rejoice together
- Celebrate – euphrainó (yoo-frah’-ee-no) – merry outlook, joyous, feeling sense of victory
Bible Study Questions:
1) These three parables are told together and there is a shared theme – repentance. Jesus was with a particular group of people when he told these parables. Who was He speaking to and what started the “storytelling” moment?
2) What is the takeaway from Jesus’ transition from the grumbling “religious people” to the three parables? Why is it important to spend time with those in need of repentance?
3) The 99 sheep were left so that the owner could hunt down the one lost sheep. At first, this might sound foolish. Consider what would happen if these 99 sheep in the open country would wander off. The open country would have been a pasture – abandoned wilderness used for free range shepherding. Why did the owner leave them in the open country? What does this say about the one lost sheep?
4) When looking at the Lost Coin, it differs from the other items. It didn’t move far, whereas the sheep and the son could wander away. What type of person does this remind you of? How did the woman find this lost coin? What is the lamp that we use?
5) How do we know if someone is having a Pig Pod Moment of desperation? (see v. 16) What can we do to help the lost from where God has placed us?
More Than A Story is a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on the parables of Jesus.
“Your hands shaped me and made me. Will you now turn and destroy me? Remember that you molded me like clay. Will you now turn me to dust again? Did you not pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese, clothe me with skin and flesh and knit me together with bones and sinews? You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit.” – Job 10:8-12 [NIV]
“You turn on me ruthlessly; with the might of your hand you attack me.” – Job 30:21
“You have become cruel” (NLT) – basically saying God changed toward him.
1) God does not change
Malachi 3:6a says, “I am the LORD, and I do not change.” (NIV)
Job realized that God was gracious, kind, and his Creator
But thinks God changed because of his situation.
2) God does not think like us
“’My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,’ says the LORD. ‘And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.’” – Isaiah 55:8 [NLT]
“Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.” – Psalm 139:16 [NASB]
3) We cannot understand everything
“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” – Ecclesiastes 3:11 [NLT]
“I realized that no one can discover everything God is doing under the sun. Not even the wisest people discover everything, no matter what they claim.” – Ecclesiastes 8:17 [NLT]
“God’s riches, wisdom, and knowledge are so deep that it is impossible to explain his decisions or to understand his ways.” – Romans 11:33 [GW]
“Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things.” – Ecclesiastes 11:5 [NLT]
4) Ask – Show me Your ways
Moses said to God, “If it is true that you look favorably on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor. And remember that this nation is your very own people.” – Exodus 33:13 [NLT]
“Now show me Your glory” (v. 18)
I want to KNOW YOU
I want to SEE YOU
I want to BE IN YOUR PRESENCE
Psalm 103:7, the Psalmist writes,
“He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel.” [NASB]
God’s ways must be MADE KNOWN.
- He MADE KNOWN them to Moses
- Ways – Intimate Relationship
- Know God (Hosea 6:6)
- To the Israelites He taught them by His actions, but his words were concealed. The relationship wasn’t the deep relationship like that He had with Moses.
- Works – Observation – What God does
- Parting Red Sea / Water from Rock / Walls of Jericho
“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”
– Jeremiah 29:13 [NASB]
“Come close to God, and God will come close to you.” – James 4:8a [NLT]
“I long to look on the face of the One that I love
Long to stay in Your presence, it’s where I belong”
(Jesus Culture “Show Me Your Glory”)
Reading John 4:4-42
Beyond the Text: Samaritans
Samaria was destroyed by the Assyrians in 722 B.C. but was resettled by pagan people to replace the Israelites. “Each national group made its own gods in the several towns where they settled… They worshiped the LORD, but they also
served their own gods in accordance with the customs of the nations from which they had been brought.” The Samaritans stemmed from a mixture of surviving North Israelites (Jews) with various foreigners – people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim (see 2 Kings 17). The Samaritans were forbidden to help build the temple in Jerusalem (Ezekiel 4:3-4) so they set up their own temple on Mount Gerizim (the site actually commanded by Moses for the temple according to their understanding of Deuteronomy 12:5. These bad feelings continued—in 128 B.C. John Hyrcanus, a Jewish high priest, invaded Samaria and destroyed their temple. Later the Samaritans sneaked into the temple in Jerusalem and defiled it by scattering corpses all around. In the days Jesus walked the earth, the Jews had no dealings with Samaritans (John 4:9). Many strict Jews would walk the long way to get to their destination to avoid walking though Samaria. The Samaritans considered themselves Jews but they worshiped in their own distinctive way. They were devoted to the Law and kept the festivals. They expected the coming of a prophet (see Deuteronomy 18:15-19). They did not acknowledge the Jerusalem temple. The used their own version of the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible). Some scholars believe they did not believe in the resurrection of the dead.
The story of the Woman of Samaria or the Woman at the Well is the longest documented discussion a person had with Jesus that we find in the Bible. What does this say about salvation?
What was the woman’s response when Jesus asked for water? Why? (v. 9)
When Jesus spoke of living water, what was the woman’s focus? (v. 11)
When the woman asked for the water Jesus offered, what was her reason? (v. 15)
Jesus mentioned the woman had five husbands and was now living with a man that was not her husband. How did the woman react to His statement? (v. 19-20)
The woman stated that she knew the Messiah was coming. Jesus’ response was “I who speak to you am He” (v. 26). Jesus did not travel around professing that He is the Messiah. Why was this situation different than others?
Theme Discussion – Barriers
Peter, Andrew, James and John were fisherman. They left behind their fishing nets to follow Jesus. In verse 28, we read that the woman left her water jar and went into the town to tell people to come and see Jesus. The water jar was valuable to the woman (for daily water needs, costly to replace). To be in a closer relationship with Jesus, one must leave behind the past (sin) and remove any barriers. One of the devil’s greatest joys is to keep us surrounded by barriers to keep our eyes off of Jesus, to keep our eyes out of the Word and to keep our mouth from proclaiming the Good News.
Approaching this woman at the well broke many barriers. What barriers did Jesus break?
We can see two sides of the spectrum when we look at Jesus and the woman from Samaria. Jesus represents grace, the woman represents law. Jesus represents everlasting life. The woman represents everyday life. When Jesus mentioned her situation (living in sin), she changed the conversation from relationship to religion. How do we put up barriers? How can we be a bridge?
When she understood Who Jesus is, what did she do? What happened when the barriers were removed and the eyes were opened? (v 28-30, 39-42).
What barriers keep you from being in a closer relationship with Jesus?
Are You Ready for Solid Food?
[[Read Hebrews 5:11 – 6:4]]
“You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food.” – Hebrews 5:12 [NLT]
Hebrews 6:1-4 Breakdown:
- Basic Foundation
- Basic Instruction
- Holy Spirit
- God’s Grace
- “And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding.” (6:3 NLT)
- God’s Grace allows for Spiritual Maturity
You aren’t meant to stay a child living on milk.
What keeps you a Milk Drinker?
- Laziness (v. 11) – Where is the passion / desire?
- Lack of Influence (v.12) – Ought to be teaching but need retaught
- Dull Discernment (vs. 13-14) – Unable to discern good and evil
From Milk to Solid Food…
- Drink Milk – “Pure Spiritual Milk” (1 Peter 2:2) – The Gospel
- Swallow & Digest Milk – Milk produces renewed mind
- Practice, Practice, Practice
- Satisfaction Promotes Discernment
Psalm 63:1, 8
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh faints for You, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water… my soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me. [ESV]
Here’s a sermon outline from a message I shared on the Slavery of Self-Reliance. You may download the outline below. Please note there was no illustration with this message but instead I spoke of King Asa of Judah from 2 Chronicles 16 giving the gold and silver from the Temple to Ben-Hadad King of Syria.
Slavery of Self-Reliance
Everyone needs: Meaning / Purpose / Security / Safety / Significance / Worth / Value
Self-reliant / Self-determination / Self-Dependence / Independent / Self-Sufficient / Self-Contained
The world sees these as good things / the world applauds these things
The problem: These things enslave us. Burden of Self-Reliance à when all relies on you à Slavery
The solution: God wants to free us from ourselves
God is our: meaning / purpose / significance / security / safety / protection
- God provides you meaning and purpose
- Isaiah 43:7 – God has made you for His glory.
- 1 Corinthians 10:31 – Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
- Matthew 5:16 – Let your light shine before others to glorify God
- God provides you security
- Proverbs 3:26 – “For the LORD is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap” (NLT).
- God provides you safety
- Psalm 18:2 – “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
- Psalm 91:2 – “… He alone is my refuge, my place of safety…” (NLT)
- Proverbs 18:10 – Godly run to God and are safe
- God provides you significance and worth and value
- Genesis 1:27 – God made you in His image
- Psalm 139:13 – God created each of us individually – knit you in your mother’s womb with certain abilities & gifts – allows certain experiences – all so you can be of great worth to His Kingdom – YOU CAN DO GREAT THINGS! (John 14:12 – “… anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works…” NLT).
- Ephesians 2:10 – “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (NLT).
Only those who stand in need of a savior will look for and recognize one.
Proverbs 3:5 – “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” (ESV)
Jeremiah 17:5-8 – “This is what the LORD says: ‘Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the LORD. They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land. But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.”