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Wise Examples

Jason Sliger
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Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Jason is a former full-time evangelist with Amazing Facts, now pastoring in Northern Michigan. He and his wife, Midori, have two children, Evangeline and Christian who are 3 and 1. His greatest desire is to have an experience like Jesus and be part of helping others be like Him too. He enjoys playing with his kids, photography and, when he can find time, playing the guitar.

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  • December 18, 2016
    11:30 AM
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Oh Father in heaven. We thank you. That we can be partners together in this great work that you have laid upon our shoulders and father. We rejoice with heaven because of the new family members that we have. And Lord we pray again a special blessing to be upon them and their families let their light so shine their Lord that others may be attracted by what you are doing in their lives and Lord May the rest of us continue to be faithful to you as we let our star light shine as well. Plus our time together the Lord as you spend a few moments studying your word for we ask it in Jesus' name amen. Two thousand and six and I was finishing a summer I finished a seminar in Ashland was in Appleton Wisconsin small town not very big it's in the north east part of the of the state and I had three days between that seminar and my next seminar. And there was only one place that I wanted to be during those three days because in a couple of months I was about to unite my life with my dear wife. And so for those three days I decided that there was nobody else that I wanted to be with then with my best friend who was my fiance at the time and later on became my best friend. The only thing was is that Midori at the time lived eight hundred miles away in Wichita Kansas. And that was not going to stop me. It's amazing what level do to you isn't it. That was not going to stop me. So as soon as I could I had my car packed and I was ready to go and I hit the road as soon as I finished my obligations and I drove nonstop and you have to understand something at that time when I traveled at nine o'clock. I stopped for the evening and I got a hotel and slept for the night. Well I only had three days and I was going to let spend some of that time in a hotel. So I just booked it Del all day and all night and I. Pulled in in the early morning and I spent those three days with the person that the only person that I wanted to spend time with during that time then I jumped back in my car and did nine hundred miles to my next meeting in northern Wisconsin and I didn't mind a bit. Because I knew that I was going to be spending time with somebody that meant a lot to me. And you know this is the time of the year where we oftentimes take trips we might go to another state or another part of our state. We move around because at this time of the year we want to be with those that mean something to us. Maybe you're not going to be traveling this year maybe there will be people who are traveling to you but there's a lot of movement at this time of the year people moving people traveling people going from various places catching flights whatever it is because they want to spend time with people who mean a lot to them. Christmas season is a good time for that family to come together and enjoy time spending time together mothers travel long distances to see their children daughters travel long distance to see their mothers grandchildren are brought to the grandparents house I remember when I was a kid all of the happy memories in my grandparents' home and in just a couple of days we're going to be traveling down to Kentucky to go see my family for the Christmas holidays moving around because there's somebody special that we're going to spend time with. You know the Bible records a story that took place many years ago about a year a group of men who traveled a long distance because they were in pursuit of spending time with someone that meant a lot to them who they hadn't even met at. The time. Different people kind of fear arise where these men came from all we know is that they came from the east. Some say maybe it was Babylon. Some say maybe it was India. Some say it may have been as far flung as China. We don't really know. So we don't know how long their trip was but we know given the means of transportation at that time you know the means of transportation whether the time animals. We don't. Given the means of transportation at the time it was a long and slow trip that took place night after night after night after night. The Bible doesn't name these men popular culture tells us that there were three of them but the Bible doesn't name the number. We simply called them from a from the Bible. The wise men the wise men were driven by a curiosity to find out where this king that they had read about was born and they wanted to meet him here with me in your Bibles you should be already there. Forced from your scripture reading to Matthew Chapter two verses one and choose Matthew Chapter two verses one and two Bible says this. Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king. Behold there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem saying 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. You know it reminds me of another trip that took place back in the time of the Old Testament. You remember he's the father of faith. Abraham and the Lord asked him to take a trip to go some place. Abraham didn't know where he was going but he knew that God was calling him to go somewhere and this great father of Faith decided to obey the call of God in his life and just like Abraham these three gentile men what some think of as three or these gentile men. Heard the calling of God in their life and they were driven to go and find out where he was who was born. King of the Jews they were driven by a reverend curiosity to see this God this God child that had been predicted to has been born they found this prophecy this ancient prophecy in some ancient scrolls as they search they were wise men they were strong as they were they were interested in the acquisition of knowledge and as they page through and thumbed through the scrolls of sacred writings they found an Old Testament prophecy that seemed to indicate that there would be the coming of a messiah or a child king that prophecy was a Numbers Chapter twenty four and verse seventeen you can jot that down in your notes the Bible says this is an Old Testament prophecy given by the prophet they limb. He said I shall see him but not now I shall behold him but not nine. There shall come a star out of shake up and a sector. Shall rise out of Israel as the wise men saw the star in the night sky. They were acquainted with the heavenly bodies and as they look they snow to us that this star was different than the other stars and this prophecy seemed to indicate that there could be the coming of the promised one in fact inspiration tells us that they also had dreams that confirm this curiosity the Holy Spirit was leading these men to go in search of Jesus their gone in verse two of Matthew chapter two. We actually find the only words recorded in scripture that the wise men spoke. Now the Bible calls them wise men. Is it too far to say that their words would be wise as well but their wise men their words must have some level of wisdom within them. So let's take a look at these wise men in these winds words here in verse two just for a moment here and see what they were actually Same for in the first part they asked this question Where is he that is born King of the Jews and then they cite what it is that is encouraging them for we have seen his star in the east and then thirdly they set a good example that they have come to do what worship him. Notice the question again where is he that is born King of the Jews you know I find it interesting the wise men did not ask if the if if the Messiah had been born. They didn't say it has he been born. Is he here has he arrived yet. None of that was the question that was already fixed in their mind they knew that Jesus had been born they were asking the question where is he. And they came to the group of people who should have been the only group of people that would have known the answer to that question for the Jews had been intrusted the sacred oracles of God the over three hundred fifty prop. Seas of Scripture that indicated the coming of the Messiah. They had that they read it they memorize large portions of that and hear the wise men come and they ask this question Where is he that is born King of the Jews. The question implies that they themselves were not Jews for if they were they would have said where is our king who has been born. But now they say where is he that is born King of the Jews. It's stunning to me as I read the story that God had to use gentile men to remind his people that the Messiah had been born Lord forbit the people who had been entrusted with the truths of the Bible God had to bring these these gentile men from a fall are distance who traveled over the dusty plains over desert over hill over valley over through rivers they had to travel a tremendous distance and God had to bring them to Jerusalem to remind not just the people but the religious leaders who had been intrusted with the Word of God that the Messiah had been born. Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy. Let not history repeat itself in our church and that God has given to a sacred scriptures. He has given us beautiful truth from his word let it not be the Gentiles who have to come. And remind us of the truth that God has given to us in His Word and then so I ask you the question this morning. Are you more like the Jews or are you more like the wise men are you are you do you value what God has given to you in the Word of God or do you as the Jews go by tradition. Instead of Scripture as the wise men did the wise men said I say Very well. Why is example. That we should be students of the Word of God pouring over the Scriptures and following the direction that the Spirit of God leads us to go and let us not follow the example of the Jewish nation for that is there as a witness. So that we might know the end result of following that way that they did let us be like the wise men and not like the Jews Amen. The other thing that I find interesting as I look at this question Where is he that is born King of the Jews. It seems to indicate that it expresses a keen interest that they had in the birth of this child who they are calling the king. I can imagine in my mind's eye. As the wise men are traveling across this this long distance will know how long it was but it was a tremendous distance day after day as they are traveling by night looking at the star you can see the start in the day they did travel at night. That as they were traveling along. Whoa whoa whoa what was it that they were talking about while they were well they were travelling. What do you think it was that they were conversing about amongst one another. Do you think they were talking about just common things or do you think that they were talking about the fulfillment of these prophecies that they had been reading in the sacred writings. Day after day we're told in the book desire pages night after night as they traveled along they were talking and discussing these prophecies and the more they talked about it the more they studied it the more they discussed it. The deeper that conviction got in their hearts and it drove them to keep going to go through trial to go through difficulty to suffer through whatever trial they had to go through in that journey because at the end they would meet somebody important in a beautiful. They set us an incredible example indeed they are wise men who knows what they show. Share for what the reason that they give that encourage them to start out on this journey in the first place Where is he. They say that is born King of the Jews. What was it that encouraged them for we have seen his star in the east the Bible tells us now we understand that the star was not something that was fixed in the heavenly body. It was not a planet or some star as we understand it but this was an Angel star that was guiding these men along. Notice what the Scriptures tell us jumped on a few verses here to verses nine and ten. Notice what it says it says this. They departed and lo the star which they saw in the east went before them. Till they came and stood over where the young child ones I don't think any of us just caught there the enormity of that statement. Where did the Star take them where did it take them. It says it took them to where who was Have you ever seen a star be able to lead you to where a person is evidently the star had some sort of supernatural capabilities. It wasn't just a star in the sky but this star had the ability to lead the wise men to where Jesus was and they cite it as the reason for their encouraging meant to make this journey. The Star and lead them to Jerusalem and as they went around Jerusalem. The star evidently had disappeared and as the star disappeared they begin to ask these questions. Where is he that is born King of the Jews they go to the temple they go to the religious leaders they start asking questions. In fact we find from the book desire of ages that they cause quite a stir in the city of Jerusalem these crazy wise men from the east. They're coming here and they're asking this question about our Messiah caused quite a rout in the city of Jerusalem. Those were says in verse nine and when they saw the star the Bible says what did they do when they saw the star they what they rejoiced but how did they rejoice with exceeding great joy when they excited when they saw their star young. This and they were in Jerusalem. They were asking where is he there is born. King of the Jews nobody can answer the question in fact the religious leaders work nor is it like like like like like you had no meaning to it you think they cause a little bit of discouragement to them they had just traveled weeks months. Who knows how long and now they're in Jerusalem where the star has led them and they're asking where is he. And nobody is able to answer that question and then that night comes a getting on their camels and they're getting ready to go. I don't know where and as they look up in the sky. What do they see the star and the Bible says when they see that star they rejoice with exceeding great joy they are so excited when they see that star they get on their camels and they say oh man I've got to make another journey. Come on out church when they see that star in the sky. They say what I've just been traveling for months and I've got to make another trip is that what they say. Do they say a man might might might my robes are dirty my feet are tired my camels are worn out and now I have to make another trip on top of that is that what they say was that what is the Bible say they do they rejoice. But not only do they rejoice they what they have exceeding great joy. They're so excited that star has risen in the sky again and they get to follow it to where Jesus is this is me carefully. Sometimes God will lead you to Jerusalem. Because there is a lesson that he wants you to teach that he wants to teach you. You might be going to Jerusalem for one reason but God might be taking you there for another reason. And when you get to Jerusalem you might be discouraged. Now you know I'm not talking about physical Jews. But situations in your life. You might get to do something you might be a little discouraged because you're not getting exactly what you were looking for like the like three wise or the wise men were. And God might in that opportunity God might come and lead you to go a little bit further in your spiritual experience. He might say yes I want you to come here because I had a lesson that I want you to I want to teach you but really I want you over here. This is the end result. And when God asks you to press through that just a little bit harder when God asks you to do to have a little bit more spiritual tenacity to press through and to do what he's called you to go through that trial to go through that difficulty because there's something better on the other side. Don't complain don't mourn. Don't be upset but rejoice with exceeding great joy because God is leading you. They gave us a good example a man. The wise men left us a wise example. And as they persisted as they continued to go. The star led them to Bethlehem. No it didn't lead them to Bethlehem. It led them to where Jesus. When we press through and we hold on. And we keep following God God will lead us to where Jesus and there's no better place to be than where Jesus is a man. Now the Bible goes on and it says as the wise men are talking here where is he that is born King of the Jews for we have seen his star in the east and was the last part and we have come to worship him. The Bible tells us we have come to. Ship him. Now if you jump down a few verses. Or so Levon. You watch it. Find something interesting Bible says this. And when they were come into the house they saw the young child with Mary his mother and fell down and what did they do. And worshipped him and when they had opened their treasures they presented on to him gifts gold frankincense and myrrh. The words that are recorded that the wise men spoke were in Jerusalem for we have come to worship Him their injuries and they're talking to the religious leaders are talking to the Jews. We have come to worship him. He wasn't there so they couldn't do it but when they did find Jesus. What did they do. So this is what we find out as we look at the wise example that the wise men gave to us they didn't just talk the talk. But they walked the walk. They didn't just say that they were going to worship God but they actually worshiped. They didn't just say that they wanted to know Jesus better but they actually did it. They didn't just did their experience wasn't just a verbal one but it was one that came from their heart when they saw a Jesus when they came to the lonely place where he was there were no Royal Guard station next to the door where Jesus was lame but they as they saw him. They recognized in him their merciful Savior and they fell down and they worshiped all the world today is looking for people who don't just talk the talk but walk the walk. Let us follow the wise example that the wise men had given to us and let our light so shine forth from within not just on the outside acting good but coming from the inside. Who we really are as God's people and do what God has called us to do and then follow the example of these wise men. And I want to conclude. With the last part of verse eleven. Bible says that after they worshiped him that they gave unto him gifts. Gold frankincense and myrrh. You know there's actually a fourth gift that the wise men gave but the Bible doesn't explicitly stated. The three things that the Bible does mention we know that it was God's providence that these were given to Mary and Joseph because they were needed to make that journey down to Egypt in just a few days. But there is another gift that far superseded the three gifts that the Bible does mention and I think when you look at it when you look at the character of the wise men. It is evident that not only did they give physical gifts but they gave Jesus their hearts. And then can you see that in the story. These guys were passionate they were excited they had one focus in their mind and that was they wanted to see Jesus they were going to let anything stop them they were going to let people stop them they were going to let nature stop them they were going to let distance stop them they were going to let the weather stop them. Nothing was going to stop them they must see Jesus and not only did they give them physical gifts but they said Jesus. Here is my heart. The book desire of ages confirms the suspicion. And we find in desire of age. Page sixty three. It says they gave their hearts to Him as their Savior and then toward out their gifts gold frankincense and myrrh. How would you like to follow their wise example many of us have already given our heart to the Lord but sometimes we are tempted to take a little bit of it back. Lord you can have ninety percent of it but you know what. Actually I'm going to be better than so and so in the church I'm going to give you ninety five percent of my heart. Oh yeah so and so gives ninety five. I'm going to give ninety nine. Isn't brothers sisters how do you want to follow the wise example of the of these wise men and give our entire hearts to Jesus and say Not my will but thine be done. I know I have my own ideas I have my own desires. I have my own wishes but Lord it doesn't matter what I want to put it to the side and I'm going to give you my heart and say I want what Jesus wants that you desire. You know it's always funny to me that at Christmas time you know that Jesus wasn't born this time of the year but you know people are celebrating the birth of Christ but it's always been funny to me that this is the time of year that we give gifts to each other. Senator struck you. Funny you know we're celebrating the birth of Jesus knowing that he wasn't born in December. But we're giving gifts to each other. Shouldn't we be giving gifts to God. Shouldn't we be giving something to him you know many times. God is completely left out of our giving at Christmas time. But I think we would do well the say Lord. Not only am I going to give you my heart like the wise men did but I'm going to give you. Today's Equant of gold frankincense and myrrh. I'm going to give some physical maybe monetary maybe time I don't know but I'm going to give something to you to celebrate the birth of my messiah who not only was born on this earth but he left Heaven condescended to come down here to this earth die. On across a cruel death. It's a give me the hope that one day I came push through this world into the world to come. Don't you think deserves a gift this time of the year and all year long. Don't you think Jesus desire deserves something in exchange for the great gift that he has given to us. Oh friends don't leave Jesus out of your holiday giving but stink of some way that you can give back to him this holiday holiday season and that may require spending a little bit less on gifts. So that you have a little bit to give back to the Lord in whatever way he may impress you to give back to him but let's start someplace where we can all start this morning and that is by giving him. Our hearts and then such a desire to morning. But still a lot about that Father in heaven. We are thankful for the example that you've given to us. In the wisemen we thank the Lord for inspiring Matthew to record this piece of history because it's taught us a lot and dear Jesus we pray that you would take all of us that you would take every bit of our hearts that we would not withhold back anything that we would surrender our wills to your will our ways to your ways and that we would see nothing but to stand next to Jesus orders we think of a way that we can give back to you pray that you would impress us that you would guide us or give us wisdom what that might look like and how we can give a feeble offering feeble very feeble in comparison to what you have given to thank you for us to this and this media was brought to you by audio a website. I dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse. 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