December 27, 2015


Matthew 2:2 “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”

The magi may not have known much about Christ, but what they knew, they acted on, even at considerable personal expense and inconvenience to themselves. This is in stark contrast to so many people today, who know a lot of the facts about Jesus but basically can’t be bothered. These men apparently didn’t even have the Old Testament, and that makes you really wonder just what information they did have. Today we have so many translations of the Bible that it’s hard to keep track of them all, and the Gideons even give Bibles away for free, yet we fail to seek out the Savior for ourselves. It is no good knowing the facts if you don’t act on them, just as James pointed out. (James 1:22) I have always liked the aphorism, “Wise men still seek Him.” If we know that we are sinful and we know that God has provided a Savior, it is the height of folly not to seek Him. The problem comes in a lack of willingness to confess our sinfulness. John nailed it when he said, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) If we know that and fail to act on it, we could hardly be called wise!

I’ve certainly had my times of not recognizing my own sinfulness, and I’m sure I am blind in some areas even now. However, I have learned the blessing of forgiveness, and I’m not about to let go of it! I have had various “career choice” opportunities throughout my life, and I am grateful to have been led to where I am now, focused on seeking the Lord myself and helping others to do likewise. There are some who are impressed at my “sacrifice,” when as I see it, it was the only logical choice. I am constantly reminded that I can accomplish nothing good in my own strength and wisdom, but God does choose to use me in various ways, and I am deeply grateful. Today I will be preaching on gratitude. I desire that all would recognize the magnitude of God’s grace toward them and respond in humble obedience, but I can’t force that to happen. I’ve got to keep my focus on Jesus, and allow His Spirit to use my words and actions to draw people to Him.

Father, this is the last Sunday of an eventful year, but then every year is eventful in one way or another. Help me indeed practice the truth You have given me to share this morning, focusing on Your grace and blessings and not on the “bumps in the road.” May Your words through me open the eyes and hearts of those who hear, so that together we may move into the new year as Your obedient children, rejoicing in You, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

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About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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