Those Red Letters


I’m reading through Matthew 5 and I can’t help but feel refreshed.  Here Jesus is speaking to his disciples but, also to anyone who will listen.  This is his sermon on the mount.  

I read through and feel his voice speak gently.  Teaching me.  The very same voice that has the authority to say “let there be light ” says in a humble and gentle voice “Father, forgive them for the know not what they do“. This voice that is loving,  firm,  and yet full of power is teaching me with every red letter I read.  Instructing me on how I should live. 

I am in awe as I read.  What God would humble himself to help instruct us on how to live this life?  How to overcome obstacles? 

God who cares and loves me where I’m at.  In my lowest point he brings words of love.  In my struggles he corrects me, though it stings, it is for my help, not harm. 

 Like a mighty victorious king bending down low to help his servant clean, Jesus left his heavenly kingdom to help a sinner such as I.  In Matthew 5. we read his words of help,  encouragement,  and love.  

Those reds words are like love letters to me.  Helping me to know him more.  Opening my eyes to love him more.  

I encourage you to read some of Jesus words from the Gospels.  Pray God opens your ears and hear,  that you would be filled, refreshed,  and challenged to apply them to your lives. 

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A Broken heart

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http://www.njmake.org/broken-heart-images.html

I write this blog from a bit of a broken heart. I just found out that a young man(family friend) that use to go to our church tried to commit suicide.  We follow each other on face book and I see all kind of hurts and pains with every post. I knew recently he had broken up with his girlfriend. So his heart has been obviously heavy and broken.

We all are broken people. Every single one of us. We all suffer differently, some more than the next. Some take heartaches harder than others. I know this young man has struggled with his walk with the Lord as well. So I am praying God intervenes!!

Not to be selfish but, I reflect on my own life. My own hurts and pains. Very similar to many. Yet, I have Jesus. I get down. I might lose hope for just a bit, but I know I can get back up. I think, “how selfish of me to think I have it bad”… I have Jesus.

I truly do not know how to express my feeling right now. I just felt I had to blog this out.

Friends, we all hurt. We all need love. We all want love. We want to feel loved. And when we do not have love we get torn down. Broken. We feel abandoned. Alone. We get desperate. Hopeless. We listen to the lies of the enemy. We think we are worthless. We feel all kinds of things. Then we give in.

If you know someone who is like this…hug them. Reach out and pray with them. Do something with them or for them. They need it.

That is how we get when we do not have Christ. Maybe we go through SOME of that. But we feel the sweet whispers of the Holy Spirit. Hope fills us. He speaks to us to pray. To read His word. To listen to music. To phone a godly friend. Our head is lifted up.

WE need to offer hope. Show love. I can not stress this enough. Stop looking at ourselves. Start paying attention to people. There souls matter. Tell them God loves them. Tell them you love them.

A turkey and some mistletoe

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I do have to say that this time of the year is special.One of my favorite seasons. The falling snow. (when it is not a blizzard..lol) The sparkle of it at night in the moonlight. The  quietness. The crunch of the snow. Ok I am going to say it..the snow flakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes!

My dad and I have this silly thing, it can be dangerous too. When it is snowing out,like really heavy snow, we like to go out in it and eat as a family in the local restaurant. I don’t know what it is. It is something about being with family, eating, and watching the falling snow. I have always liked it. I know it would be safer to stay at home. But then it isn’t as special.

The homes decorated with lights. The glow of the lights on your children’s faces (or loved ones). Kids building snow forts from the mounds. Seeing tracks of that bunny that raced through the yard. Hot cocoa heaping with marshmallows. Warm cookies. Sugar, ginger, snicker doodle. The frosting of the cookies and the sprinkles that get everywhere. The red hots that mark the nose on the reindeer, or the buttons on the snow man you just made.  There is just something in the air.The smell of cinnamon maybe?

You see neighbors helping each other out. Shoveling sidewalks, driveways, and digging cars out of the snow. Icicles forming. Windows frosting over.  It is cold outside but you feel so warm on the inside.

Those dreamy wintery songs. The Christmas carols and hymns. Candle light services.Christmas programs. The nativity scene.

Hope, Love, and Peace. For a moment in time. We agree all around the world. Men at war have come to a stand still in honor and respect for Christmas. There is something about this season.

It is about the reason.

Jesus

He brings the peace, the Love, and the hope. Our eyes seem to be more open this time of the year for a reason. I know Christmas started out as a pagan holiday, but it has become about Jesus. Whether, it was a compromise to worldly tradition, or not most Christians associate this holiday with our Lord. They honor and bless his name. This is why I like this season. It means so much more.

If he hadn’t come, we would all be lost. We celebrate it this time for many reason. Not because Jesus was literally born on December 25th (because he wasn’t). Some believe that it was when the magi came and offered their gifts. It is because the world had taken this time to worship something other than God. Why not bring it back to Him. Should we not glorify him in every season? Even more in the dark seasons. Bringing light. Just like the Lord did for us. Bring light into our dark world.

So don’t get wrapped up in the craziness of the holiday. Think about what and who it is all about. Enjoy your family. Maybe it is a time to refocus, it has been a crazy year. Rekindle that love for the Lord. Whatever it is for you…I want to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas. And I thank the Lord for you!

 

His name

His name is wonderful.  His name is power.

Our enemy,  Satan knows how powerful Jesus very name can be when a Christian uses it.  We have authority in Jesus name.

Jesus said,  “whatever you ask in my name this I will do” John 14:13

This world will deny Him,  yet use His name in vain.  Our enemy knows how to lead people away from using His name in away that can break chains of bondage,  heal,  tear down strong hold etc.

He(Satan)  knows that if a person knew the authority in Christ name alone… Mountains would be moved!!  Lives changed!!

We read in Isaiah 9:6 some names that Jesus has.

Wonderful counselor. Helping us and guiding us in all things.

Mighty God, our Creator. Who has all things in control so we do not need to fear.

Everlasting Father. He is there for us always.  Providing,  healing,  comforting.

Prince of Peace. NO MATTER what we go through.. He is there to give us peace that passes all understanding.

Because…He is Emmanuel...

God with us!

He.  Is.  With.  Us!!!

Friend let’s remind ourselves, as we go into this advent season,  whose name is above all names!  Who is in control.  Who loves us with an everlasting love!  Who offers hope and salvation!!

And let’s share Him with others!!

The moon and the Son

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I found this quote the other day, while in search of some pictures of the moon. I have always been fascinated with the moon. When I step out in to the cold crisp night air and see the stars sparkling and the moon shining, I look up in awe. I think of God in those moments. In those times of quiet I have felt the Lord call to me, I whisper, “yes Lord?” I feel Him say, “stay just a little while with him in the peace of the night” My first love calling to me. How can I refuse?

It is interesting how important the moon is in our life. We know the moon controls the tides. It also controls the speed of the earth. Its slight gravitational pull effects the how long the day will be as well. Not only has it protected us from many space debris/rocks, but it marks seasons and harvest times. What I like most, is that it reflects the sun.

The moon and the sun has this beautiful relationship in the sky. We know that the side of the moon that faces earth is the side that captures the suns light. It shines down upon us. Then there are those times the sun shines through earths atmosphere and turns the moon red. A lunar eclipse. Also, known as a blood moon. Everything in harmony from the beginning.

This poem reminds me of how I want to reflect the Son. I know there have been times in my life when I have had that encounter or epiphany (whatever you want to call it) with God. It truly feels like a fire burning inside of me. Like my bones want to jump out of my skin. I want to dance and shout and sing! My reserved nature, however, prevents me from doing so. But, in those moments I do feel like my skin glows. People see it in my eyes too! They see the joy that they long for. They see the hope that they strive to cling too. They know I have something that they want. It seems like I am boasting. This is not my intent. But if we are to reflect anything it should be Christ Jesus.

There has been times where I have felt like the other side of the moon. Cold, alone, not reflecting the glory of God. It is not a place I want to be. Or a place I ever want to go back too. Yet, even in the darkness, it was light to Him. I too, still found hope. And faced the Son again. And found His warm embrace. His light making me new. His love shining on me. I reflected His light so that others may see Him too.

In the movie, Man of Steel, Jor-El says this to Superman,

“You will give the people of Earth an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you, they will stumble, they will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun, Kal. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders.”

I Love it for this reason, We are the hope to this world. We are the reflection of the Lord. What people see in us, I pray, is the Lord. His love shining through. Hope and joy, Peace and comfort…walking testimonies of how glorious God is. Then we can encourage them on. Point them towards Christ. Then they too can be in the Light. Reflecting the King of Kings. 

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

Ephesians 5:1-2

Why I don’t go to church (pt 1)

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People today use all kinds of excuses as to why they do not go to church. Have you heard these?

  • Hypocrites go there
  • I can have church at home
  • I am the church
  • The early church didn’t meet in a huge building
  • Church is a club
  • I don’t need church, I am alright
  • I am not good enough to go. (too many sins).
  • I don’t feel welcomed.
  • Jesus didn’t go to church

Let us talk about this. I mean really talk about this. I have heard Christians..yes CHRISTIANS say this! First off, when the world knows that you are a Christian, they assume you go to church. Why do you suppose? Because even though they themselves may not be a Christians they know that that is where Christians go. Because it is like a “club” for those of faith go to be around like minded people. So if the  world gets it then why don’t Christians?

They are watching us (the world) They look to us and they see what sets us apart.

Okay here we go…

Hypocrites go there

So people who are sinners go to church? Why do you suppose they are going? To learn about God. To be a better Christian. “But they point out my flaws while they themselves have many” Who is perfect among us? No one! No not one! 2 Corinthians 3:18 “So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord–who is the Spirit–makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.”  SO until the Lord returns we will not be perfect. But we are being changed, renewed, and transformed into the image that will reflect Christ.

I can have church at home-I am not good enough

These are often said to me . Firs thing I notice with these statements (and mistake me if i am wrong) but, I many just plan do not want accountability. Pride being the other issue along with not wanting to be a part of “organized religion.”

Question: Are you reading your bible while you are at home? Because it clearly says that we are to “not forsake the assembling of one another”(Hebrews 10:25) Okay so you are having friends over for discussions about the Lord. Is this a “practice” thing you do? The early church met daily too. That was how the early church started. I get that. That is okay. That is church yes. If that is what you do, there is nothing wrong with that. But is it that you don’t want accountability? (Many pastors even have opened up churches that are non-denominational. They don’t want to be held accountable for how they “run” the church or what they teach-different topic/another blog)

  1. Accountability-Some do not go because they just do not want to be around people who can hold them accountable for their actions.- “There will be people who will tell me what I should and shouldn’t do. And why should I listen to them when they are just as messed up as I am?” Believe it or not, there are legitimate Christians, who are in church, who truly care about your walk and who are not hypocrites. They are the ones that are the TRUE Christ followers and who ARE living for the Lord as scripture speaks of. These Christians, are the ones that “carry one another’s burdens”(Galatians 6:2) “pray for one another”(James 5:16) “whoever saves one from destruction” (James 5:20) ..etc. They care and genuinely love you. As Christ asks us to do.
  2. Stubborn pride- “I am my own church,” “I am not good enough,” “all it is is a club”..ugh.. I could go on about this. But I am going to make my point simple, GET OVER YO-SELF! (sorry that was my flesh rising up) Read scripture. You CAN NOT walk this life on your own.Yes, you have Jesus, that is all you need. But, scripture, no God even designed us to be with one another. “it is not good for man to be alone”(Genesis 2:18), “two are better than one” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12), “teaching another” (Colossians 3:16) Just to point out a few verses. We need each other too. Many who go to church do not feel “good enough”. I know I don’t “feel” good enough. I know I am a sinner. But, I know that I am forgiven, I still mess up some days more than others. So welcome to the club. Ha! What better “club” to be apart of then one where you are with people of like mindedness? At least we then can all grow together, help each other, sharpen each other in the word. And oh!…have fun with another. Yes, Christians who go to church do have fun!
  3. Organized religion-A structured system of faith or worship, especially one followed by a large number of people“(English Oxford Living Dictionary)  Wait..whats wrong with that? (okay I am sorry.. I will be nice) So, you don’t want to “go with the flow” you don’t want to do “what everyone else is doing”? Awesome! Jesus didn’t either. He saw that organized religion was getting too….organized? (lol) Meaning, rules and ritual based etc. It wasn’t following how God intended it to be. Yes, God wants obedience but, the priests were making things difficult with all the compromising-rules-to-justify-their-sins..stuff! Don’t get me wrong, God is a God of order. But, what the priest were doing, what some churches do, is not what God wants. If it is not all for Gods glory but mans, then it is wrong. If it is vain repetition, it is wrong. We are to Let the Holy Spirit have His way. Meaning , listening to Him speak. A church that puts God first,and not the leadership, will be a “blessed by God” church.

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

Who am I? Identity Crisis

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We have all asked this question. Maybe it leads to other questions like: Who do I want to be? What is my purpose? Why was I made? Will I ever be something? What is Gods will for me life?

Knowing who created us.

Have you ever met someone who has a relationship with Jesus Christ? They seem confident in themselves. They have a mission. A purpose. Why? Because they know their creator.

We do have a creator.In Psalm 139:13-16 it says:

“For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.”

If He created us, does He not have a plan for us? After all, every other thing in the universe has a purpose for why it is created.

Take a look at the moon. Sure the moon gives light at night, is used for marking seasons, but it controls the tide as well. If the small gravitational pull of the moon did not pull on the oceans tide do you know what would happen? It is because of the slight pull of the moon that causes the Earth to bulge a bit. Causing the Earth to rotate at a certain speed. So, not having a tide would not matter,(that much) if the moon was gone, but we would have shorter days.

“The movement of the bulge of tidal water across the oceans and its attraction to the Moon acts as a brake on the Earth’s rotation. Slowly but surely the length of a day is increasing.”

– Kaare Aksnes

Eventually, the Earth would speed up, ever slightly, and our days would be shorten. What would we do without the moon? (click for more info)

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God has made everything for a reason and a purpose. So why do you think He doesn’t have a plan for you?

How unique we are compared to all creation too!

Genesis 1:26-28

Then God said, “Let us make man[h] in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[b] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Our Purpose then?

Proverbs 12:22

“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.”

What is being said here is when we seek God we will discover His plan for us. Do not let the world tell you who you are. They were not the ones that made you unique. With that color hair, that personality, that height etc.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Until we discover what God has made us for, and even after, we are told to “rejoice”, “pray”, “give thanks” no matter what. Here is a goal more people need to do anyways. How the world would be different if they did.

Isaiah 43:1-6

But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you. …

God is unchanging. I know that His word stand through the test of time. If He made these statements to the people way back then, and allowed them to remain today, would He not mean for us to apply them to us today?

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“But, I want to be/look like…”

The world likes to tell us who we are. And if we do not measure up then we are left feeling sad, lonely, depressed, worst off than before. EMPTY! Today, many struggle knowing who they are. They try to physically change themselves to be something entirely different than what God had planned.
Satan, the author of deception and confusion, is always saying that we will “be better”, if we don’t follow Gods plans for us.  He will whisper, “you can do it our own way” or that we can change what God has made.
We feel that what God has made was not “good enough.” I have been there. Many have. But think about this,in the book of Job, God is telling Job all the things He has made. And He says to him (paraphrased) “How can you question what I have made or done?” After a couple chapters of God proving how great He is, (And God is great!) Job is humbled and says:
Job 42:3
“Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
    things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.”

God is not some distant God who doesn’t care about us. He wants to be apart of our daily lives. Every moment. He tells us He is an all-sufficient (more than enough) God.

Our shelter, refuge and hiding place (Psalm 91)
• The one who comforts us (2 Corinthians 1:3)
• Our healer (Psalm 103:3)
• The source of wisdom (James 1:5)So if we know our Creator we will know who we are. Because He give us purpose, He gives us confidence, He heals our broken fallen nature, He gives us hope.  In Him, we are satisfied. We do not longer for the things of the world or trying to “please man”.  If our inward being is made whole, than we will look at our outward being as specially made.

God has prepared

We will not know what God has planned unless we seek Him.“But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— 1 Corinthians 2:9 That means, to me, that it is a life of amazing things…well definitely, amazing things to come. But, also, if we are walking in His ways we will experience amazing things here in this lifetime too.

John 15:9-11

“Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”

Satisfaction Guaranteed!

The Maker guarantees His work. No mistakes when He made you! He has plan and purpose for you. If we do what He has called us to do: “Abide” in Him, seek Him, … then you will be/feel full and complete!

Psalms 16:11

You make known to me the path of life;
    in your presence there is fullness of joy;
    at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

Psalms 107:9

“For he satisfies the longing soul,
    and the hungry soul he fills with good things”

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Doubt: Increase my faith!

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John 20:24-29

Jesus and Thomas

“24 Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin,[a] was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”

26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, Peace be with you. 27 Then he said to Thomas, Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe. 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.

We read this passage and we understand how Thomas felt. Why do we always ask for a sign? Why can’t we just believe? We want something  that we can touch as if that will be enough. I remember reading in scripture that

“When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them. 37Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, 38so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:

“Lord, who has believed what he heard from us,
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”

39Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said,

40“He has blinded their eyes
and hardened their heart,
lest they see with their eyes,
and understand with their heart, and turn,
and I would heal them.”

John 12:36-40

Even when Jesus was right there performing these miraculous signs people did not believe. So even when we are given a sign..we still doubt? Whats wrong with us?!

If you read my previous blog (Healed!) you will see verses that say “if you just believe”. God is asking us to just believe in God. Believe what He is doing. Trust Him. Why do we struggle so much with that?

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We all have a bit of a “doubting Thomas” in us. I suppose because we do not have the right relationship with the Lord as we should. Yet, we read this..

29Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have believed..” John 20:29

“Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with an inexpressible and glorious joy..” 1 Peter 1:8

We can serve the Lord today, without seeing Him like the disciples did. Yet, sometimes in our prayers we ask for signs? Truly, I do believe, we doubt because sin has crept in. He ask for a sign because we are not having the faith that we once had.

So, that makes one wonder…was Thomas doubting because he was in sin? We do not know the answer for sure about that. But, we do know he doubted. He lacked faith.He forgot that Jesus said He would rise again. He forgotten all the things the Lord had done right before his very own eyes.

We do that too. Don’t we? We forget where the Lord has brought us from. We forget what the Lord has done in our lives and the lives of others. Then when trials come we get easily distracted and start doubting what the Creator of the universe can do! Shame on us! Shame on me!

“Remembering what God has done in the past

is vital for living by faith in the future”

Pastor David Schrock (Don’t Forget What God Has Done For You)

Easy conclusion, if we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, stay on that narrow path, stay connected with the Lord…we will not doubt. We will trust what God is doing. We will have the faith to move mountains or mulberry trees. (Matthew 21:18-21)

How can my faith increase?

  1. Keep a record of all the things the Lord has done.  Write down every time the Lord works in you life or in the lives of others. Financial, healings, protection, provisions..answering any kind of prayers. Moses did (Deuteronomy 5:15, 8:2, 9:7 also check Hebrews 11)
  2. Be around those who have great faith. Stay connected with like minded people…Christians who are serving God. they will encourage you.(1 Thessalonians 5:11)
  3. Pray. In Luke 17:5 the disciples asked the Lord to “increase our faith!” We to can ask the Lord to do this in our lives. We “decrease that the Lord may increase” (John 3:30)

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I want to believe without seeing! I want my faith to increase so that, anything that comes my way will be nothing of alarm. I want to be so full of faith that I can say:

“Whatever happens I know the Lord has me.

Not my will but His.

Because God said it I WILL believe it!”

The star, the wise men, and the gifts

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“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” Matthew 2:2 NASB

Every year since childhood I have heard the story of the the three wise men who traveled from the east to worship Baby Jesus. Was there three? What did they see in the sky? Why gold, frankincense and myrrh?

These are things I have wondered over the years. It is safe to say  after studying and research and multiple sermons and documentaries, I believe I can answer these questions to the best of my ability. Though I am not a scholar, I do encourage you to research for truth and prayerfully seek God if you are wanting the answers. I am going to somewhat skim the surface of each of these. I know having to read a huge long blog can be a bit much. But, I hope you can a learn a bit from what I share with you.

Was there three?

Many scholars believe that there were perhaps more than three or less than three. Christians,  claim three magi(or wise men) traveled, from the far east, to worship Jesus at his birth. They have handed this tradition down through the centuries. The thought that it was three was due to the three gifts. The three gifts were gold, frankincense, and myrrh. It was the way of the Roman catholic church to set the traditions and thoughts of Christendom, being the main voice of the times. So many took to what was pronounced as truth. However, today, having resources readily available, historians and archeologist can give us a better clue as to information pertaining to scripture and the times during the bible days.

So what do we know? We know that there were three gifts. We know that these wise men came from the east. Perhaps being from the east they were part of a special school or order. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendigo had been captives of the Persian empire several  years earlier. It is believed, that Daniel stayed and opened a school for the soul purpose to  study of the things of God. So, perhaps, these “wise men” had studied Daniels teachings. They had made themselves aware of the prophetic things that were to come. And knew that this star was important. So important and unique to see in the sky that they had to go and follow it. Perhaps almost in an excitement too. Knowing the prophetic things of Daniel and his teachings about future event.

Typically in a school like this there would have been more than three in attendance. One would think. Most schools we know of that are similar to this (like monasteries) usually have a group of men.  Therefore when they saw this strange sight in the heavens. they knew it was of importance. But, perhaps three volunteered to travel the distance, which ended up being an 800-900 miles journey. Or maybe it was an entourage. Which could have easily consisted of animals, carts, servants as well as several magi. This makes our perspective of the nativity scene a bit different. And of course a side note: the magi did not show up at the birth of Jesus but several months later.

We see that in scripture it does not emphasis the number of the magi. We can only speculate, based on the gifts.  Knowing they had valuable things they had to have had “protection” of a sort. Perhaps a special security force or fighter to ward off any robbers. Not only for the gold, but for the special perfume and spice which were valuable as well. We know this because Joseph and Mary were conveniently given these gift and then fled to Egypt. A trip that would not have been cheap! Having these gifts to sell would have provided food and shelter for their flight.  We could safely assume that there were more than three wise men.

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What did they see in the sky?

The magi were obviously men of education. They knew this Star was of importance. Assuming they were from this “Daniel School” they may have studied to know that in Numbers 24:17 it says,

“I see him, but not now;
    I behold him, but not near.
A star will come out of Jacob;
    a scepter will rise out of Israel.
He will crush the foreheads of Moab,
    the skulls of all the people of Sheth.

They knew the prophecy and seeing the star rise, they knew it had to be the star that has “come out of Jacob”. According to Rick Larson, ( Bethlehem Star link info ) the Star was actually the joining of three host: Regulus, Jupiter and Venus. The King star, the King planet (named after the King god), and the planet named after a goddess. See how God has things in control. These magi joined together to form a bright “star” in the sky. Its “track” through he sky led the wise men to Jesus.

Matthew 2:2 says:

“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”

This “Star” was special. They, the wise men, had to go and see why. They set out know the importance of this even and had to find the One who the star would lead to. They knew this was special because they brought gifts of Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh.

Why the Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh?

This is about the coolest thing I have come across in my study of the Magi (other than the Rick Larson information on the Star) When we hear this part of the story at Christmas time as a kid we think, “see Jesus got gifts!” But there is some great importance to these gifts.

Gold

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Gold represents: success, achievement and triumph. Exactly what a king would bring to his kingdom or has when we begins his reign.  Jesus IS the King of our hearts. He reigns victorious as we know. But, did the magi know this? Perhaps if they studied old prophecies they did. From our previous mention from above, God knew Mary and Joseph would have to leave quickly. Herod had found out about Jesus, and being jealous made a decree to kill all babies who were born up unto a certain age. Joseph had been warned in a dream by God to leave quickly. See, Mary  and Joseph had not lived there for long and may not have had the means to travel all the way to Egypt so quickly, to escape. But…God provided.He provided before hand with these gifts to pay for any travel expenses. God is amazing to provide the escape and the means to do it. So, what the magi brought to honor the king of kings God used as provision.

Frankincense

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Frankincense is a resin used in perfumes and incense and or oils. In the temple priest would burn incense as they prayed. A smell that would raise to  the heavens as their prayers were lifted up. Incense was given as a symbolism as to things to come. Things that Jesus would do on our behalf to the Father. He is the high priest after the order of Melchizedek.

“24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely[c] those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.26 Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.” Hebrews 7:24-28

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Myrrh

myrrh

Like frankincense, Myrrh is also from the Persian regions (thus confirming the magi were from this region) Why bring myrrh? Though myrrh can be used as a fragrance or oil it is also used in medicinal purposes. As well as, to dress wounds or injuries. The magi may not have known the significance of what they brought. But, if they had studied prophecy from Daniel they just may have. Knowing that one day the Savior of the world would come, suffer and die. And to honor this special child, the magi brought what would foreshadow the suffering that he would go through.

Maybe the Magi knew just what to bring. I like to believe God put it on their heart. However it happened, the Magi brought gifts to honor this babe, And It was provisions for the holy family as they escaped from the evil king.

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What does this all mean?

It means, God is in control. He sent His only Son for us to have salvation. The Magi had recorded the significance of this Star. Maybe they never kept a record of who they saw, but there is a record of the Star. We know this because even today in certain museums they have shows on the Bethlehem Star and is track through the sky. In fact, this year the Bethlehem Star made its appearance(2015). Many were interested because the timing of the Star and being around a significant and rare four blood moon cycle.

This season as you hear the story again, listen with a grateful heart. Grateful that we know a God who loves us, who provides for His own, and who is willing to come and save us.

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