These wise men traveled thousands of miles to find the new born King of the Jews. When they did find Him, they poured out lavish gifts fit for a king in an act of worship. This is not how people react today. Most people go to God wanting Him to give them gifts rather than giving gifts to Him. Those who are wise still seek and worship Jesus today, not for what they can get, but for who He is. God with us. 

Are you taking some time this Christmas season to worship?

“Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” ... When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way. (Matthew 2:2, 10-12).

Even a decision to do nothing is an action that often results in a consequence. In 2 Samuel 20:10-12 once again we see David allowing Joab to murder someone and allow his act to go unpunished just like he did with Abner (2 Samuel 3:26-27). Sometimes treachery appears to go unpunished in our fallen world; however, God’s justice is not limited to the rewards and punishments on this earth. Sooner or later everyone faces the Lord’s judgment just like Joab (1 Kings 2:28-35).

With all the chaos going on in our world, with all the riots in our streets, with all the rebellion in peoples hearts and with all the evil decisions coming from our political leaders, it is refreshing to know God  will have His way in the end.  

In Psalm 86 David displays devoted trust during times of deep trouble. His life is in jeopardy and he pours his heart out before the Lord. He can’t see immediate relief in sight so he acknowledges the greatness of God, asks for lessons in the right way to live, and prays for a sign of God’s goodness. He knows God answers prayer.

Sometimes the troubles in life are so great that all we can do is cry out to God for mercy, forgiveness, relief, and restitution. When relief is slow to come, we can acknowledge the goodness of God and wait on His answers. He will always answer our prayers but not always in our desired time frame or in our desired outcomes.

In 2 Samuel 7:18-29 David understood the blessings from God to him and his descendants would impact his family heredity, the people of Israel, and ultimately every nation on earth. Ever since Genesis, God continues to fulfill His greater purpose through His promises.

The crowning fulfillment of these promises is in Jesus Christ. He lived a sinless life and provided salvation for the human race through His life, death, and resurrection. After His death, he arose from the grave to sit at the right hand of God. There, He reigns until His enemies become a footstool for His feet (Hebrews 1:8-13). God keeps His promises.

How does this promise from God impact your life and or the life of your family? What are some promises from God that incite you to offer the Lord praises and thanksgivings?

Sometimes God speaks through His word, circumstances, people, peace of mind, Holy Spirit, and prayer. Occasionally, He uses all of them but most of the time one will stand out. Yesterday at the end of a church service, the worship team played Take Me In.  As I sang these words the truth hit me and I found myself going in to the presence of God. 

Take me past the outer courts
Into the holy place
Past the brazen altar
Lord, I want to see your face

Pass me by the crowds of people
The priests who sing your praise
I hunger and thirst for your righteousness
And it's only found one place

Take me in to the holy of  holies
Take me in by the blood of the lamb
Take me in to the holy of  holies
Take the coal, cleanse my lips, here I am

Here I am Lord, send me.

Read more: Petra - Take Me In Lyrics | MetroLyrics 

1. Take Me In - 

In verse 2 Samuel 5:12 we see that David realized the Lord had established him on the throne. In contrast the pagan leaders based their rise to power on military might, battlefield victories, and a sizable war chest. True greatness in a leader comes from walking with God privately and publically. Although David was famous, successful, and popular, he gave God first place in his life and served the people according to God’s purposes. 

Just as David rules over the entire nation, Christ should rule over an entire man’s life and ministry. Anything left outside of God’s will is sure to bring rebellion and strife. Every man in the family of God needs to invite Him to reign over all of his life. With Christ as Lord, men experience peace and victory. 

Is there an area in our life that you need to give God total control?

This morning I spent some time going through David's Psalms looking for a verse that expressed his want for truth and God's Word and found an excellent set of versus in Psalm 24:4-5. These should be our daily prayer just before we have our daily bread.

Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.

During my quiet time and prayer this morning I was impressed with the life of David and his close friend Jonathan. In 1 Samuel 23 David is on the run and facing constant danger and we begin to see him seeking God in prayer before taken some sort of action (1 Samuel 23:1-14). Immediately after this, we see his good friend Jonathan meeting him in the wilderness to encourage him in the Lord.

This chapter illustrates two great principles. 1. Men need to seek the Lord and His guidance. And 2. Men need brothers who will pray with them and encourage them in the Lord. I am so thankful for the men who routinely meet with me to pray and encourage me in the Lord.

When was the last time you met with a brother for prayer and encouragement in the Lord?

This morning I woke up thinking about the future. As a recent widower I am finding life alone is tough to handle on one side but my time with God is rich on the other side. I am forced to lean on Him more each day.  The question that rang through my mind today was, "What kind of man do I want to be known for?"

I have made plenty of mistakes and failed many times. Do these mistakes and failures define me? Do yours define you? I hope not. In the end after meditating on the topic and praying over it, I felt God nudge me with this word, "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things is no law. And those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires" (Galatians 5:22-24).  And then Jesus words in John 15:8 "By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples."

I hope to prove my commitment to Christ by the life I now live, a life of faith and fruit.

Yesterday while waiting to start a meeting, I read Psalm 143 My Soul Thirsts for You. Verses 9 and 10 stood out, "Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord! I have fled to you for refuge. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground!

Those of us who are continually waging spiritual warfare for the souls of men are in constant need of God's Spirit and level ground. This world is filled with dangers and a lot of men are failing in the battle of life. I think RA Torrey said it well,  “The reason why many fail in battle is because they wait until the hour of battle. The reason why others succeed is because they have gained their victory on their knees long before the battle came. Anticipate your battles; fight them on your knees before temptation comes, and you will always have victory.” —

Are You Waging Warfare On Your Knees?