Follow your Wonder
Topic: Holiday Messages Verse: John 1:1–1:15, John 1:14, Matthew 2:1–2:12
Follow Your Wonder
Week three of our Christmas series.
John 1:1-5 NIV
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
John 1:14 NIV
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Christmas: Beyond Bethlehem
Christmas is more than just the story of a baby boy born to a poor, young Jewish couple in a Bethlehem manger. Out of eternity, the Almighty Son of God stepped into the earthly confines of time and space as well as flesh and blood, and became one of us.
Matthew 2:1-12 NIV
1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: 6 “ ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;for out of you will come a rulerwho will shepherd my people Israel.’” 7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” 9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
What you worship determines your wonder.
Worship is ultimately a matter of the heart. When we examine our heart and probe our emotions, it reveals the object of our worship (What do I desire the most? What do I fear the most? What brings me joy? What makes me sad?). The questions isn't, "Do I worship?" but rather it's "What do I worship?"
An idol is when a good thing becomes our God thing.
Idols are God substitutes for our worship. They're the thing we think will provide us the joy, happiness, meaning, and fulfillment that’s missing in our life. We conclude whatever that missing piece is either we don’t have it or we think we don’t have enough of it, so that the answer is more.
Stepping into Wonder
REPENT & turn to Jesus
RETURN & come back to Jesus
REMAIN & stay close to Jesus
Oh, star of wonder, star of might, star of royal beauty bright, westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect Light. We Three Kings
1. When and where do you remember first hearing the Christmas story? When did you realize that Jesus lived before He was born on earth?
2. Look up these verses on what is called the pre-existence of Christ. What difference does it make to our understanding of who Jesus is when He was born as a baby in Bethlehem?
* John 1:1-4, 14
* Micah 5:2
* Philippians 2:5-11
* John 17:5
3. Read Matthew 2:1-12 and note all the different people and groups of people in this passage (ex - Herod). Who were they and how did each respond to the news of Jesus’ birth? Why do you think each person or group of people responded the way they did?
4. God had said so much about the coming of Jesus in the Old Testament (example Micah 5:2 quoted in Matthew 2:5-6). Why do you think God used something in nature (a star) to draw the wise men to Jesus? Do you think God draws people to Jesus this way today? Give an example.
5. Money, hobbies and leisure activities, kids and family – All of these can be good. How could these things become “idols” our lives? How would we know they had?
6. What are you tempted to substitute for God in your life? What do you need to turn away from in order to turn more toward worshipping Jesus every hour of your day and every area of your life?