"Do not just hear the Word of God and think hearing is enough. DO what it says!" James 1:22

Friday, January 7, 2011

A New Way

"Then Herod called the Magi secretly
and found out from them the exact time
the star had appeared.
He sent them to Bethlehem and said,
"Go and make a careful search for the child.
As soon as you find him, report to me,
so that I too may go and worship him."
After they had heard the king, they went on their way,
and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them
until it stopped over the place where the child was.
When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.
On coming into the house,
they saw the child with his mother Mary,
and they bowed down and worshiped him.
Then they opened thier treasures
and presented him with gifts of gold, incense, and myrrh.
And having been warned in a dream
not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country
by A NEW WAY."
Matthew 2:7-12

In a previous lesson of Acts,
we learned how
"the Holy Spirit kept them from preaching
the Word in the province of Asia"
(Acts 16:6)
Scripture goes so far as to tell us that
"Jesus would not allow them to enter
Bithynia at the border of Mysia."
(Acts 16:7)
God wanted Paul and his companions to go
Paul knew the people of Athens
would not respond as his previous audiences
had responded to the Good News
because they knew nothing of the old testament.
They knew nothing of pophecies
foretelling of the Christ child and
all He would offer mankind.
They knew nothing of their "ignorance"
and how "in the past God overlooked such ignorance."
(Acts 17:30)
As Paul "looked carefully
at the Athenians' objects of worship,"
(Acts 17:23)
he knew for them to understand the Good News
he would have to deliver it in
For our Wrap Up in class this week,
some of the students were able to play a "guiding game."
(I wish we had had time for all of the students
to have had a chance to participate.
We just might have to try this again
during our end of the year party!)
One student closed his or her eyes
while the other kept their eyes open.
Then the student with the open eyes "guided"
the student with the closed eyes
through a little maze of chairs and tables.
It wasn't as easy as it sounds!
Each set of students got further through the maze
having watched the previous set of students
and learned from the previous guiding techniques.
Each set changed their guiding strategies
based on the previous group's strategies.
The Magi were "overjoyed" at seeing Jesus.
No doubt their lives were changed.
Not only did they take a different route home,
but their lives were different now forever.
"In the past God overlooked such ignorance,
but now He commands all people everywhere to repent."
Acts 17:30
Because of Jesus, the Magi would live

Will YOU live in A NEW WAY?
Has your life been changed because you know Chirst?
Will you do what you're already doing
but do things in A NEW WAY for Christ?
And if you're doing things that can not be done for Him,
will you stop and live

It is my prayer that with each new year,
God will remind us of
to know Him more
to serve Him better
and to live the lives He intended for us.