Thursday, December 26, 2013

Daily Encouragement (12/26/13) "Still Sought By The Wise"

Daily Encouragement Net
A daily, Bible-based message of hope and encouragement.
Having trouble reading this message?  Read mobile edition online
Daily Encouragement Net Header
A daily, Bible-based message of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Home · About Us · Archives · Podcast · Free email · Daily Encouragement on Facebook  ·  Daily Encouragement on Twitter   ·  RSS feed
 Click here to support our ministry.
<Previous Message       ·       Archive edition
Make a donation to Dailly Encouragement Ministries

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Wise Men Still Seek Him

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"Still Sought By The Wise"

"Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem" (Matthew 2:1). “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock" (Matthew 7:24). "Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise" (Ephesians 5:15).

Today's text is from Matthew's account of the birth of Christ.
Luke's focus is on the shepherds and generally contains more details regarding Christ's birth that we associate with the Christmas story such as the stable and manger. In Matthew's account the human witnesses were the wise men from the east.

The three wise menLittle is known about the identity of these wise men (or Magi), only that they were from the east. Even the customary "three" wise men is not specified but perhaps assumed since only three gifts were described.

Perhaps they were descendants of the Jews who had been captured and taken to Babylon about 600 years earlier. Although many of these exiled Jews returned to the land of Judah following the Babylonian exile, some did not and settled in that area (present day Iraq and Iran) where they still live as a tiny, extremely oppressed remnant. Just yesterday, on Christmas Day, Christian Iraqis were leaving a church in Bagdhad when a bomb exploded in a parked car, killing 26.
Iraq is listed as number four on Open Doors 2013 list of the worst persecutors of Christians, behind North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan.

In fact throughout the world to this day there are small remnants of Jewish people in virtually every country, including the most inhospitable parts of the Middle East. Actually these Jews, as well as Christians, have lived in areas now dominated by Islam long before the Islam religion was even founded. Up until recent years they have lived relatively peaceful lives before the increasing dominance of hate-filled strains of Islam that now dominate the news. The existence of these small pockets of exiled (and later dispersed) Jews throughout the world who keep their identity and faith is a wonderful sign of God's promise.

These wise men came to Jerusalem to make inquiry about a special birth. They were seeking after "He who has been born king of the Jews" and had made the long trek to worship Him. Many of us have heard the phrase "Wise Men Still Seek Him".

Honk if you love Jesus bumper sticker
I suppose I first heard the phrase as a young Christian in the seventies when bumper stickers were a popular way to express your faith. I recall seeing it along with two you rarely see anymore; "Honk If You Love Jesus" (a little dangerous in this age due to road rage) or the encryptic "Warning: In Case Of Rapture Driver Will Disappear" (I wonder what this meant to so many who had no knowledge of end-time phraseology).

Open Bible with glasses
The genuinely wise still seek Him as the wise men from the east did. They always have and always will. This wisdom is altogether different than the wisdom of the world. The wise who seek him now may be among the elite and highly educated according to worldy standards or they may not be. Some of the wisest people in this regard have little of the world's education. And bluntly some of the most spiritually ignorant are highly educated according to the world's standards!

1) The genuinely wise seek Christ to worship Him just as the original wise men did. Their purpose in coming was forthright: we "have come to worship Him.” In worship we declare our allegiance as we celebrate His supremacy and worth. In worship we recognize the Great One and our own neediness regardless of our position in life. He alone is ultimately wise: "To the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen" (Romans 16:27). "Through Him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge His name" (Hebrews 13:15).

2) The
genuinely wise seek Christ to build their lives on the solid foundation of His teaching and the remainder of the Bible. In one of our Lord's teachings, the "Sermon on the Mount", He concludes with an illustration contrasting two builders. Those who built their house (life) on the rock of hearing and obeying His teaching He deemed wise. “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock." The others, who He deems foolish, heard but did not obey. "And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand" (Matthew 7:26). The wise man seeks to learn what Jesus teaches and lives by that teaching.

3) The
genuinely wise are very careful how they live. The apostle Paul speaks to those who seek Christ for wisdom, calling us to "Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise" (Ephesians 5:15). We should all memorize and recite this verse regularly. The Amplified version expands the thought, "Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people)." The Phillips version renders the passage, "Live life, then, with a due sense of responsibility, not as men who do not know the meaning and purpose of life but as those who do."

Today as we continue to reflect on the Christmas story let us determine that like the wise men in the original Christmas story, we too seek after the Christ. We worship Him through our acceptance of His Lordship and through our adherence to His instruction.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Thankful manDaily prayer: Father, You have taught us to be very careful how we live, not as unwise but as wise followers of Jesus, the very essence of Truth. In today's society of noncommittal attitudes or "whatever rings your bell" way of thinking (or non-thinking) we choose to be committed, sober, and vigilant about the way we live our lives in accordance to what we believe. We walk as sensible, thinking people with a due sense of responsibility, not as those who don't know or care about the meaning of life here or the life yet to come. We care deeply about the temporal and eternal destiny of our lives and therefore we seek Your kingdom and Your righteousness above all. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

DonateWe want to thank all who have financially supported our ministry this past year. We typically see a spike in giving at the end of the year for which we are most thankful. We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support at this time but if the Lord would lead you we surely need and appreciate the financial support from our readers and listeners. Our ministry is comprised of half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies (of course, this varies week by week). Each of these ministries essentially is the same as a part-time job (20+ hours weekly) for each of us. Our goal for many years is that each phase would provide half of our ministry expenses and income. If you would like to make a donation see this page for more information or you can donate directly online here. Thank you!

Mount Pleasant Christmas Eve service 12/24/13
We enjoyed a candlelight service in our Christmas Eve service. For many years we have been blessed by these services which typically end with the entire church gathered in a circle with candlelight. Readers who recall our ministry in pastoral work may remember this in the churches we served in St. Marys, PA and Taunton, MA as well as our interim roles. A highlight is seeing extended family members at this service we don't often see. One family; a mom and dad and four kids when we moved here in early 2011 now number 17 and filled two pews! The children safely participate in the lighting service by holding their glow sticks.

Christmas pets at the Weber's 12/25/13
We had a rather quiet day together as a family on Christmas. Ester has a fun time with our pets as they begrudgingly put up with her dressing them up!

Snow scene 12/26/13
We didn't get snow on Christmas Day but as we prepare this message early Thursday morning we received a beautiful snowfall.

Bird feeders in snow 12/26/13
The birds especially seem to enjoy our bird feeders with black oil sunflower seeds in the snow! This was taken just before posting our message and the snow is melting.

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources

"Wise Men Still Seek Him"  Video 

"Wise Men Still Seek Him"  Video 

"When Love Was Born"  Video  Mark Schultz

Contact Us
Send a message to Stephen & Brooksyne.

Send us a voice mail message!
Click here to record a brief message on your computer's audio.

Stephen and Brooksyne Weber 12/11/13 Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
(Click on photo to enlarge)

Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
(Click on photo to enlarge)

About Us

"We want to encourage you daily in your walk with Christ!"

Personal Ministry Update  (Revised 10/21/13)

Make a donation to Dailly Encouragement MinistriesAre our daily encouragement messages a blessing to you? Each weekday morning Brooksyne and I prepare these messages andDonate online distribute them at no cost to you and many others all over the world. We ask you to consider an offering to Daily Encouragement Net so that we can continue to prepare and provide this daily resource which is accessed by believers and seekers all over the world. Daily Encouragement Net relies solely on the generosity and financial support of its readers and podcast listeners. See here for more information on supporting this ministry. Gifts are tax deductible. Click here to donate online. 2013 YTD financial offerings to Daily Encouragement Net as of 12/25/13: $25,517.00


Free email subscriptionIf this email was forwarded to you, you can subscribe here.
These messages are never sent by us unsolicited. It was sent to you because you either signed up to receive it OR it was forwarded to you. You can also subscribe to the Wordpress rss feed or as an email subscription through Wordpress email subscription.
(See the email subscription on the right side after opening this page.) Cancel: These messages are only sent from us to people who request it; please accept our apologies if it reached you in error. You can unsubscribe from this list at any time. If you no longer desire to receive these messages you can remove your address from the list by merely using the link automatically inserted by the mailing list software at the very bottom of each email message. (To change addresses cancel your old address and then join again using your new address.)

Weekly Version:
The weekly version is intended for those who may not check their email regularly or who may desire less frequent mailings. It is Friday's message with a link to previous messages. To receive the free weekly version, send a blank email to this address.

Daily Encouragement on Facebook and Twitter:

Daily Encouragement on Facebook
The daily message and prayer on Facebook.
Daily Encouragement on Twitter
 The daily message and prayer on Twitter.

Reader Survey:
 Please take a few minutes to assist us in improving our ministry effectiveness by filling out this online reader survey. To take the survey click here.

Please feel free to pass these messages on!

Our other blogs:
"A Daily Prayer" - A blog simply posting the daily prayer. We keep this up each day since it's merely the prayer from the Daily Encouragement Net message!
"A Little Foolishness" - Humor/satire blog (a great outlet for non-serious writing but at times with a subtle message!) (Note: This material is satire!)
"Clear Minded" - Longer, periodic articles on specific issues impacting the faithful believer and church. (Actually this is my intent but I haven't done much with it!)
"Hymns of Hope" - Brooksyne along with two friends made a CD using classic hymns. Brooksyne tells the background story of the 11 hymns. All of these songs are also available for download on the site.

Personal Mission Statement "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

Four Spiritual Laws

How to become a child of God

Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Other versions are also occasionally used.

© Copyright 2013 Stephen C. Weber - All Rights Reserved

Daily Encouragement Net
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

495 Kraybill Church Road - Mount Joy, PA 17552
Contact Us

Chaplaincy logo

Endorsed chaplain

"Living securely today anchored in God's solid foundation"

Daily Encouragement is issued Monday-Friday.  To make sure you continue to receive these e-mails in your Inbox (so they're not sent to a junk folder), please add to your address book or safe sender list. You are receiving these recurring messages as a subscriber to Daily Encouragement Net because you signed up on our website or otherwise requested it unless someone forwarded the message to you. If you desire to unsubscribe use the link below.  However, please do not use this link unless your address is the subscribed address below as you will otherwise unsubscribe the person who forwarded it to you!


You are currently subscribed to dailyencouragement as:
Add to your email address book to ensure delivery.
Forward to a Friend  |  Manage Subscription  |   Subscribe  |   Unsubscribe
Net Atlantic