Christ Fulfills the Law – Matthew 5:17-20

Today is Wednesday, May 27, 2020, and I am Pastor Kim Alexander and you are listening to COVID-19 Connection Series # 58
Welcome and so glad that you have joined me.
How are you today?

Announcements:

 Daybreak – Search for Destery Hergret or Remnant Covenant on YouTube.

Church this week – 8:30; 945; and 11:00 A.M. through May 31st

No Children’s Church until July – We need volunteers.

VBS in June – We need your help. Please contact Annette Ward
  • Pre K- K Teacher
  • 1st & 2nd Teacher
  • 3rd & 4th Teacher
  • Lots of bodies to help
  • Register to help online at slbc2u.com
AWANA in September needs volunteers
H.E.L.P Ministries – school work/teachers salaries – $ 2,000 month

Mission Compound – $ 20,000 by the end of May

Today in the News: A social-distanced start to summer (Click on the links below)

 

As Americans crowd public spaces over Memorial Day weekend, officials reiterated the importance of social distancing. “You tell me how people act today, I will tell you the infection rate three days from now,” said New York governor Andrew Cuomo. CNN

 
 

The White House announced that foreign nationals who have recently been to Brazil will not be allowed into the U.S. Coronavirus infections have spiked in the country, putting it behind only the U.S. in confirmed cases. POLITICO

 
 

In a report to Congress, the Trump administration pledged to buy 100 million swabs by the year’s end to help states expand their testing capacity. THE WASHINGTON POST

 

The Republican Party sued California over its plan to send every voter a mail-in ballot for the November election, arguing it will increase fraud. Democrats say it will keep voters safe during the pandemic.
 CBS NEWS

 
 

What to know before you swim, plus simple ways to minimize risk outdoors, in our always-updating coronavirus hub. APPLE NEWS SPOTLIGHT

Bible Quiz Time:

Q: How did Moses’ mother save him from the Egyptian soldiers?
A: Put him in a basket in the river.

Q: What did Moses do after he killed an Egyptian?
A: Ran away into the desert.

Q: Through what did God speak to Moses in the desert?
A: A burning bush

Q: When Moses confronted the Pharaoh, what did his staff turn into when he threw it on the ground?
A: A snake

Q: What did Moses say God commanded the Pharaoh to do?
A: Let the Israelite slaves go free.

Q: How many plagues did God send on Egypt?
A: 10

Pause for Prayer:

  • Blair Strokes – 13-year-old niece killed by falling tree. Traveling to Utah.
  • Bob Ahsmuhs – cancer treatment
  • Tom Spann – Has decided to continue chemo treatment.
  • Terry Robinson – ALS disease
  • People working through COVID-19
  • Lowana LaBolle
  • Men’s Bible Study start up
  • Cup of Grace Ministry
  • E.L.P Ministries
  • Heal our nation/guide our president

Today our WORD from the Lord comes from Matthew 5:17-20

 17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

I want to have a Word with you about Christ Fulfills the Law.
 
   I. Scripture shall not be destroyed – 5:17

   “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.

   I am sure that you are aware that all of the Old Testament points to Jesus Christ – that is the point of the 39 books of the Old Testament. Jesus didn’t come to destroy the Law or the Prophets (books of the Old Testament), no, He came as the fulfillment of everything that was written.

  • People will seek to destroy God’s Word.
  • Jesus will fulfill God’s Word
 
   II. Scriptures shall all be fulfilled – 5:18

   For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

  • What is a jot?
  • What is a tittle?

   As long as we have a heaven and an earth God word will continue to be fulfilled – this is a promise. When this heaven and this earth pass away, then and only them shall all of God’s word will have been fulfilled.   I have read that over 333 prophecies were fulfilled at Christ’s first coming. They were fulfilled down to the very city where Jesus was born (Micah 5:2). Well, there are still hundreds of prophecies that still must be fulfilled for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. And we are promised that not one jot or tittle will not be left unfulfilled.   Today we would say that every “I” will be dotted, and that every “t” shall be crossed. Yes, all of God’s Word shall be fulfilled. What God says, He does!

   III. Scriptures is to be obeyed – 5:19

   Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

  What do we learn from this verse?

Commandment Breakers or Commandment Keepers?

A. Judgment
  • Judgment against those who break the least of these commandments.

   Do you obey God’s Word, or do you obey your own rules that you have set for your life? There is a judgment awaiting those who break God’s Word.

  • Judgment against those who teach others to break these commandments.

  I have heard, “Shared misery loves company”.  Well, the same is true with sin. People living in sin do not like to sin alone. They desire company. Paul wrote, “Do not be deceived, bad company corrupts good morals” (I Corinthians 15:33).

   I always tell young people to “choose your friends carefully as they will determine the direction and the quality of your life.”
 
   B. Reward
  • Reward for those who keep the least of these commandments.

   If you and I are faithful to keep God’s commandments we shall be rewarded. Not to mention we shall have a clear conscience. There is nothing sweeter than having a clear conscience.

   Jesus taught in John 14:15, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” And in John 14:21a he states, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves me.”

   Note: Do we have to be promised a reward to keep God’s commandments? Apparently, we do!

   Do people reward their children for keeping their earthy commandments? They do!   

  • Reward for those who teach others to keep the least of these commandments.

   Not only do bad people like to share sin, but God’s people who obey His commandments like to have others around them who are keeping God’s commandments. Perhaps this is what the preacher meant when he penned, “As iron sharpens iron so a man sharpens the countenance of his friends.” (Proverbs 27:17).

    Be a teacher of what is right, and God’s Word is always right.

   IV. Scripture and God’s righteousness – 5:20

   For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

   The scribes and the Pharisees had a self-righteousness. Anyone can actually exceeds their righteousness by placing their trust in the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

   People will not get to heaven in their own self-righteousness. I cannot think that I am better than how the Scripture presents me. I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I will not go to heaven based on my own merits. No, I need to trust in what Jesus Christ as done for me. I trust in His shed blood for the forgiveness of my sin against a holy God.

   Read: 2 Corinthians 5:21 – For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

   My righteousness than is not my righteousness, but the righteousness I have in Jesus Christ.

   Lessons for Learners:

  1. All of Scripture shall be fulfilled.
  2. All of Scripture – every jot and tittle of God’s Word shall be fulfilled.
  3. All of Scripture is to be obeyed.
  4. All of Scripture commandments are to be obeyed.
  5. All of Scripture points us to the righteousness found in Jesus Christ.

Remember, I’m in touch so you be in touch.

And as Dr. Robert Cook from the King’s College used to say, “Walk with the King today and be a blessing.



The Similitudes – Matthew 5:13-16

Today is Tuesday, May 26, 2020, and I am Pastor Kim Alexander and you are listening to COVID-19 Connection Series # 57
Welcome and so glad that you have joined me.
How are you today?

Announcements:

Church this week – 8:30; 945; and 11:00 A.M. through May 31st
VBS in June – We need your help. Please contact Annette Ward
  • Pre K- K Teacher
  • 1st & 2nd Teacher
  • Lots of bodies to help
  • Crafts and science teacher needed
  • Register to help online at slbc2u.com
June 1st meeting from 1-3 P.M. painting decorations

Donate cardboard for VBS set (Phillip F.) Thanks!

AWANA in September needs volunteers
H.E.L.P Ministries – school work/teachers salaries – $ 2,000 month

Mission Compound – $ 20,000 by the end of May

Daybreak Video by Destery Hergert (Remnant Crusade)

Today in the News:

 

 

As businesses start to reopen and Americans look to return to normal life, the coronavirus is still very much present: Confirmed cases are rising in 18 states and steady in 22. Arkansas is even experiencing a second peak, its governor said. CNN

 
 

The World Health Organization suspended trials of hydroxychloroquine after research showed COVID-19 patients on the drug were dying at higher rates. President Trump said he took a round as a preventative measure. NPR

 

 

Meat-processing plants, even after adopting new safety rules, are struggling to contain the virus. An analysis showed infections at the biggest facilities have almost quadrupled in the past month, and experts warn of more meat shortages and higher prices. THE WASHINGTON POST

 

 

Trump threatened to move the GOP convention out of North Carolina, criticizing the governor’s coronavirus restrictions. AXIOS

Bible Quiz Time:

Q: What position of power was Joseph given by the Pharaoh?
A: Second in command of Egypt.

Q: What catastrophe did Joseph predict by interpreting the Pharaoh’s dream?
A: A severe, seven-year famine.

Q: Who came to Egypt that Joseph recognized because of the famine?
A: His brothers.

Q: Who was Jacob’s second son with Rachel?
A: Benjamin

Q: What did Joseph tell the brothers to do next time they came back to Egypt?
A: To bring Benjamin with them.

Q: Which brother volunteered to stay in Egypt instead of Benjamin?
A: Judah

Pause for Prayer:

  • Bob Ahsmuhs
  • Tom Spann – Hospice Care
  • Terry Robinson
  • 15 year-old girl commits suicide in Spirit Lake
  • People working through COVID-19
  • Lowana LaBolle
  • Men’s Bible Study start up
  • Yard Sale this weekend
  • Cup of Grace Ministry
  • E.L.P Ministries
  • Heal our nation/guide our president

Today our WORD from the Lord comes from Matthew 5:13-16,

13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.

14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

 I want to have a word with you about SIMILITUDES

   The dictionary defines this word as, the quality or state of being similar to something.
   What are some synonyms for similitudes? They are: resemblance, similarity, likeness, sameness, similar nature, comparability.

   In verses 1-12 of Matthew 5 Jesus described kingdom people, and now in verses 13-16 Jesus describes the impact and the influence of kingdom people.

   I. You are SALT – 5:13

13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.

What do you know about salt?

  1. Salt makes thirsty

   If you eat potato chips that are salty, you will need a drink of water. Well the believer is to add salt to conversations with people. People should desire more from us having talked with us.

  Have you heard the statement, “You can’t make a horse drink water, but you can salt the oats”?

   The same is true in conversations with unbelievers.

  1. Salt add flavor

   Again the believer ought to be adding some flavor to the lives of those they come in contact with.

   Don’t be weird, but do be interesting.

   Christians ought to KNOW what they are talking about. Don’t shoot from the hip, and by all means don’t pass information along that you yourself have not studied.

  1. Salt is a preservative

   In the olden days before the invention of refrigeration people used salt to preserve meat. They covered it with salt, and that salt slowed down the decay process. How does this relate to the believer?

   We live in a very ungodly world, and a lot of our values have went down the road of the immoral. The only think that can preserve what is holy and pure is the Christian – the salt. We must STAND for what is biblical, and seek to preserve the holy.

   I also want to remind us that we will lose our saltiness if we get caught up along with the decaying world around us. Either we stand for what is right, or we allow the world to turn us to the left.

   II. You are LIGHT – 5:14-16

14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

  1. We are the light of the world – 5:14

   Have you noticed that the world is getting darker every year, maybe even every month? Maybe every day! More and more ungodly behavior is being made acceptable. It is even being legalized by the courts.

Steps of Ungodliness through the Decades

  • Sexual revolution of the 60’s
  • Drugs of the 70’s
  • Homosexuality of the 80’s
  • LGBTQ of the 90’s
  • Transgender of the 2000
  • Non-binary sexuality of the 2020

   It seems that darkness is enveloping our society. Where is the light? Christians are called to be the light of the world. Light exposes darkness. This is why the Jews did not receive Jesus – he exposed them, and they then refused to receive Him. They loved the darkness rather than the light (see John 3:19-20).

   Just comment against anything I’ve listed as darkness and see what kind of response you receive – it won’t be good. People do not like the light – it blinds them.

  1. Light is not to be hidden – 5:14

   A city is set on a hill cannot be hidden. You can’t hide a city on a hill. Neither should a believe try and hide his light.

   I have a friend that worked as a social worker for the state of Oregon. One day his supervisor called him into his office and said to him, “Richard, I know you are a Christian, but I need to have you turn down your light a bit.” Can you imagine that? Turn down your light a bit.

  1. Light has a definite purpose – 5:15

   Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.

   I have never met a person who buys a lamp only to put it under a basket – hides it. No, they bought a lamp to light up their home. Light has a very useful purpose. It was never meant to be placed where its usefulness is hindered.

   Christian the light in us is not our own. The light in us actually is Christ (John 8:12), and that light must shine through us. We have a purpose. The illustration here is that our light has been placed on a lampstand so that it gives light to all that are in the house.

   I am glad that I live in the era of the electric light. I cannot imagine having to use candles and kerosene lamps. But they too had a purpose – to give forth light to those using them.

  1. Let your light shine – 5:16

    16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

   Let your light so shine before men. Don’t miss this. Our light is to help others around us. They need to see the light shining from us.

   What is the best way for others to see the light in us? By our good works. We have been saved by grace, through faith, and that not of ourselves (not our works), however, we have been saved unto good works (Ephesians 2:10).

Good Works on Display

  • Kindness
  • Helping hand
  • Support
  • Finances
  • Listening
  • Generosity
  • Forgiveness
  • Bearing the load
  • Involvement
  • Gifting
  • Offering a ride
  • Invitation to home, church

Lessons for Learners:

  1. You ARE Salt – you cannot deny it.
  2. You are to make thirsty; you are to preserve.
  3. You are to protect your saltiness – don’t compromise.
  4. You ARE light – you cannot deny it.
  5. You cannot hide your light – the world must see it.
  6. You light must help everyone you come in contact with.
  7. You are to let your light be seen by your good works.
  8. Salt and Light for the glory of God.The 
Remember, I’m in touch so you be in touch.

And as Dr. Robert Cook from the King’s College used to say, “Walk with the King today and be a blessing.



The Beatitudes – Matthew 5:1-12

Today is Saturday, May 23, 2020, and I am Pastor Kim Alexander and you are listening to COVID-19 Connection Series # 56
Welcome and so glad that you have joined me.
How are you today?

Announcements:

Church this week – 8:30; 945; and 11:00 A.M. through May 31st
VBS in June – We need your help. Please contact Annette Ward
  • Pre K- K Teacher
  • 1st & 2nd Teacher
  • 3rd & 4th Teacher
  • Lots of bodies to help
  • Register to help online at slbc2u.com
AWANA in September needs volunteers
H.E.L.P Ministries – school work/teachers salaries – $ 2,000 month
Mission Compound – $ 20,000 by the end of May

Today in the News: No News is Good News!

Bible Quiz Time:

Q: Where did the slave traders take Joseph?
A: Egypt

Q: Who bought Joseph?
A: Potiphar, captain of the Pharaoh’s guards

Q: Who got Joseph thrown into prison by lying about him?
A: Potiphar’s wife

Q: Who else was in prison with Joseph?
A: The Pharaoh’s cupbearer and chief baker.

Q: What did Joseph do for them?
A: Interrupted their dreams.

Q: Why was Joseph summoned out of prison by the Pharaoh?
A: To interrupt his dream.

Pause for Prayer:

  • Bob Ahsmuhs
  • Tom Spann
  • Terry Robinson
  • People working through COVID-19
  • Lowana LaBolle
  • Men’s Bible Study start up
  • Yard Sale this weekend
  • Cup of Grace Ministry
  • E.L.P Ministries
  • Heal our nation/guide our president

Today our WORD from the Lord comes from Matthew 5:1-12,

And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:

3   “Blessed are the poor in spirit,

For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4   Blessed are those who mourn,

For they shall be comforted.

5   Blessed are the meek,

For they shall inherit the earth.

6   Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

For they shall be filled.

7   Blessed are the merciful,

For they shall obtain mercy.

8   Blessed are the pure in heart,

For they shall see God.

9   Blessed are the peacemakers,

For they shall be called sons of God.

10  Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,

For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

   I want to have a WORD with you about The Beatitudes

   I want to begin by saying, Let these Be Your Attitude! Many Bible teachers agree that these words describe a kingdom citizen, someone who is a part of God’s family. These verses are not so much telling you how to become a child-of-God as they are describing a child-of-God.

   This section of Scripture is also called The Sermon on the Mount – Look at Matthew 5:1 – Jesus goes up a mountain, and in Matthew 8:1, we see Jesus coming down the mountain.

   Let’s delve into our text for today.

  1. Jesus went up The Mountain – 5:1

   And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him

  • On a mountain
  • His disciples came to Him

   Disciples must come to Jesus! If we want to learn at the feet of Christ, we must seek Him.

  1. Jesus taught His disciple – 5:2-12

.    Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:

   Disciples must be ready and willing to be taught. Are you an eager student? Do you desire to know the truths found in God’s Word? Do you want to learn from Jesus?

   What are the marks of kingdom citizens?

  1. Humility – 5:3

   3  “Blessed are the poor in spirit,

For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

   The word “blessed” can also be translated happy.

   To be poor in spirit means that you are aware of your dependence upon the person of Jesus Christ. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, so wrote Paul.

   To be poor in spirit is the opposite of being haughty in spirit, or prideful. This verse is telling us that kingdom citizens walk in humility before God.

    Every followers of Jesus ought to have been humbled by the grace of God.

  1. Mournful – 9:4

   4  Blessed are those who mourn,

For they shall be comforted.

   Do you mourn your sin? When you sin against a holy God does it bother you? Have you shed any tears because of your sin?

  God comforts those who mourn their brokenness.

  1. Meekness – 9:5

    5 Blessed are the meek,

For they shall inherit the earth.

   Some people don’t like the word meek. They say that the word speaks of weakness. The truth is the word actually speaks of strength under control. It’s not the ones who push through life that will inherit the earth, no, it’s those who are meek in the sight of God.

  1. Hunger & Thirst – 9:6

   6  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

For they shall be filled.

   When I was a kid growing up there was a cereal called Sugar Crisp, and the mascot was a bear. He would sing, “Can’t get enough of that sugar crisp, that sugar crisp.” Well, we ought to sing the same thing when it comes to Scripture.

   Only the disciples of Christ hungers and thirsts for righteousness. It’s a sign that you are in fact a follower of Jesus. You can’t get enough of God’s Word into your life.

   George Beverly Shea – Fill My Cup, Lord

Words and music by Richard E. Blanchard  (1925-2004)

Like the woman at the well I was seeking

For things that could not satisfy:

And then I heard my Savior speaking:

Draw from my well that never shall run dry

Chorus:

Fill my cup Lord, I lift it up, Lord!

Come and quench this thirsting of my soul;

Bread of heaven, Feed me till I want no more–

Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole!

There are millions in this world who are craving

The pleasures earthly things afford;

But none can match the wondrous treasure

That I find in Jesus Christ my Lord.

Chorus:

Fill my cup Lord, I lift it up, Lord!

Come and quench this thirsting of my soul;

Bread of heaven, Feed me till I want no more–

Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole!

So, my brother, if the things this world gave you

Leave hungers that won’t pass away,

My blessed Lord will come and save you,

If you kneel to Him and humbly pray:

Chorus:

Fill my cup Lord, I lift it up, Lord!

Come and quench this thirsting of my soul;

Bread of heaven, Feed me till I want no more–

Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole!

  1. Merciful – 9:7

    7 Blessed are the merciful,

For they shall obtain mercy.

   We show mercy because we have been the benefactors of God’s mercy. We extend mercy because when we were, yet sinners God extended mercy to each one of us.

   You might be thinking, “They don’t deserve mercy”, and you are right, but neither did we.

   Who needs some mercy from you today? They may not deserve it, but you still extend it.

  1. Pure in heart – 9:8

   8  Blessed are the pure in heart,

For they shall see God.

   I John 3:3 – Everyone who has this hope purifies himself even as he is pure.

   Do you desire a righteous lifestyle? I hope you do.

  1. Peacemakers – 9:9

   9  Blessed are the peacemakers,

For they shall be called sons of God.

   I have peace with God – Romans 5:1

   I have the peace of God – Philippians 4:6-7

   I am to be a peacemaker in this world with those who are at war with God. I am to lead them into a relationship with the God who created them. God doesn’t want to be a war with them.

   One of the marks of the Christian is that we are to be ambassadors of peace.

  1. Persecuted for righteousness – 9:10

   10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, 11 For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

   God’s people are not free from persecution.

   2 Timothy 3:12 – 1Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.  

  • Words
  • Abuse
  • False accusations
  • Violence

   We are not the first to be persecuted, and we will not be the last. Jesus taught, “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Lessons for Learners: 

  1. Be teachable – learn from Jesus.
  2. Live as a Kingdom citizen – let there be evidence.
  3. Walk through the beatitudes and ask yourself is they are displayed in your life.
  4. Live as a blessed or happy kingdom citizen.
  5. Pick one or two of the beatitudes that you will work on in your own life.

Remember, I’m in touch so you be in touch.

And as Dr. Robert Cook from the King’s College used to say, “Walk with the King today and be a blessing.


The Temptation of Jesus Christ – Matthew 4:1-11

Today is Thursday, May 20, 2020, and I am Pastor Kim Alexander and you are listening to COVID-19 Connection Series # 55

Welcome and so glad that you have joined me.

How are you today?

Announcements:

Church this week – 8:30; 945; and 11:00 A.M. through May 31st

VBS in June – We need your help. Please contact Annette Ward

  • Pre K- K Teacher
  • 1st & 2nd Teacher
  • 3rd & 4th Teacher
  • Lots of bodies to help
  • Register to help online at slbc2u.com

AWANA in September needs volunteers

H.E.L.P Ministries – school work/teachers salaries – $ 2,000 month

Mission Compound – $ 20,000 by the end of May

Storytime with Jack – Funny Foods

Today in the News:

China Moves on Hong Kong

Conspicuous language from a Chinese Communist Party leader combined with reports of new crackdowns on Hong Kong’s autonomy have prompted widespread concern.

Additional 2.4M File Jobless Claims

More than 38 million people have filed initial unemployment claims since the coronavirus pandemic started in the U.S.

VOTE BY MAIL – MORE THAN HALF OF U.S. states have modified procedures for absentee or mail-in voting in response to the coronavirus, but alternative voting methods have been on the rise long before the pandemic outbreak. 

In the 2018 general election, 26% of all voters cast their ballot by mail, more than three times more than it was two decades earlier, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Just over half of voters went to the polls in person on Election Day in 2018, compared to nearly 90% in 1998.

Bible Quiz – Do you know the Answer?

Q: What did God change Jacob’s name to before his meeting with Esau?
A: Israel

Q: How many brothers did Joseph have?
A: 11

Q: What did Jacob give Joseph that sparked jealousy from his siblings?
A: A coat of many colors.

Q: What did Joseph tell his brothers about his dreams that upset them?
A: The dreams said he would become greater and rule over them.

Q: How did the brothers get rid of Joseph?
A: Sold him to slave traders.

Q: What did Joseph’s brothers tell their father had happened to him?
A: They said Joseph was killed by a wild animal.

Pause for Prayer:

  • Bob Ahsmuhs
  • Tom Spann
  • Terry Robinson
  • People working through COVID-19
  • Lowana LaBolle
  • Men’s Bible Study start up
  • Yard Sale this weekend
  • Cup of Grace Ministry
  • E.L.P Ministries

Today our WORD from the Lord comes from Matthew 4:1-11,

   1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ” Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ” Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ” Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.12 Now when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed to Galilee. 13 And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: 15“The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles: 16 The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.” 17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” 18 And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 19 Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 They immediately left their nets and followed Him. 21 Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him. 23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. 24 Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them. 25 Great multitudes followed Him—from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan.

Today I want to have a WORD with you about The Temptation of Jesus Christ

Jesus faced three temptations, and I want us to take a look at them together. So then, what were the temptations Jesus faced?

   Six realities found in verses 1-11. They are:

  1. There is a spiritual world.
  2. We are involved in a spiritual war.
  3. Our enemy in this spiritual war is formidable – 1 Peter 5:8
  4. The stakes in this spiritual war are eternal – heaven and hell hang in the balance with this war.
  5. The scope of this spiritual war is universal – it’s global in its scope.
  6. Our involvement in this spiritual war is personal – you and I face temptation right where we are. We may not even know it.

Satan’s Temptation of Jesus Christ

  1. First Temptation – Stones into Bread

Mark 1:12, 13; Luke 4:1–4

   1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”

   Who lead Jesus into the wilderness? The Spirit.

   I saw the area where Jesus was tempted – it was a barren wasteland. Rocky mountainous areas west of Jericho.

   What happened in the wilderness? The devil tempted Jesus.

   How long was Jesus in the wilderness? 40 days and 40 nights.

   Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. What a feat! I’ve fasted, but haven’t done very well.

   Where do we see Jesus’ humanity in these verses? Afterwards Jesus was hungry.

The Tempter Shows Up

   The devil seeks to get Jesus to doubt His sonship with the Father. He says to Him, “If you are the son of God.”

   Next the devil tempted Jesus to gratify His flesh. You are hungry? Feed yourself immediately!

   Jesus quoted Scripture – Deuteronomy 8:3 – “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeded out of the mouth of God.”

   Many times we seek to gratify ourselves outside of the will of God.

   Jesus didn’t do that – He trusted the all-satisfying, all-sufficient goodness of His Father.
  1. Second Temptation – Cast Yourself down from the Pinnacle

Luke 4:9–12

Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:

‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’

and,

‘In their hands they shall bear you up,

Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ”

Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ”

This second temptation is self-protection. It took place in the holy city, Jerusalem. It took place on the pinnacle of the temple. The highest point overlooking the land of Israel.

The devil quoted Scripture, out of context. The devil quoted Psalm 91:11-12, a song about God’s protection, and he tempts Jesus to prove that God will be faithful to Him as His Son.

Satan wanted Jesus to look out for number one first.    

Jesus however fully rested in the Father’s unshakeable security. He quotes Deuteronomy 6:16 where we read, “Do not test the LORD your God as you tested Him at Massah.” (more water – Exodus 17:7).

  • Third Temptation – Kingdoms of the World

Mark 1:13; Luke 4:5–8, 13

Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”

10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”

11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.[1]

    This final temptation is one of self-exaltation. You deserve better, bigger, greater things!

   The devil took Jesus to an exceeding high mountain. He showed him the kingdoms of this world. He wanted Jesus to worship him, and in exchange would give Him the kingdoms of this world. Note: They were not his to give. One author I was reading said, “That Satan, the usurper, would attempt to give the kingdoms of this world to Jesus, the Messiah, the rightful King is the height of absurdity!”

  Jesus said, “Away with you, Satan.”

   Jesus quoted Scripture again.

   We go after things while neglecting the most important thing, our walk and relationship with God.

   One man wrote, “Jesus refused to exchange the end-time exaltation by the Father for a right now exaltation of a snake.

Lessons for us Learners:

 

  1. Satan is real – he is a fallen angel.
  2. We are in a spiritual war – the battle ground is here.
  3. Scripture is true and powerful – use it in your daily battle.
  4. Jesus escaped His temptation.
  5. Jesus provides us with the ability to escape our temptations.
  6. Don’t give in to the temporary forsaking the eternal.
Remember, I am in touch, so you be in touch.

And as always, Dr. Robert Cook used to say, “Walk with the King today and be a blessing.”    

[1] The New King James Version. (1982). (Mt 4:1–11). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.



The Baptism of Jesus – Matthew 3:13-17

Today is Wednesday, May 19, 2020, and I am Pastor Kim Alexander and you are listening to COVID-19 Connection Series # 54

Welcome and so glad that you have joined me.
How are you today?

Announcements:

Church this week – 8:30; 945; and 11:00 A.M. through May 31st

VBS in June – We need your help. Please contact Annette Ward
  • Pre K- K Teacher
  • 1st & 2nd Teacher
  • 3rd & 4th Teacher
  • Lots of bodies to help
  • Register to help online at slbc2u.com

AWANA in September needs volunteers

H.E.L.P Ministries – school work / teachers salaries – $ 2,000 month

Mission Compound – $ 20,000 by the end of May

Today in the News:

 THE WALL STREET JOURNAL The U.S.’s top economic policy leaders offered very different visions of what lies ahead. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin expressed confidence in a rebound later this year, while Fed chair Jerome Powell was less certain, saying a true recovery won’t occur until Americans believe it’s safe to eat out, shop, and travel.

WIREDCarbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. have dropped by a third during the pandemic, due in large part to people driving less. 

CBS News – Michigan dam failure force 10,00 to evacuate and could leave one city under 9 feet of water.

Rapidly rising water overtook dams and forced the evacuation of about 10,000 people in central Michigan, where the governor said one downtown could be “under approximately 9 feet of water” by Wednesday. For the second time in less than 24 hours, families living along the Tittabawassee River and connected lakes in Midland County were ordered to leave home.

The National Weather Service on Tuesday evening urged anyone near the river to seek higher ground following “castastrophic dam failures” at the Edenville Dam, about 140 miles north of Detroit and the Sanford Dam, about seven miles downriver.

The Tittabawassee River was at 30.5 feet and rising Tuesday night — flood stage is 24 feet. The river rose another four feet by Wednesday morning, to 34.4 feet in Midland. According to the National Weather Service, the height has set a new record for the river, beating the previous record of 33.9 feet set during flooding in 1986.

REUTERS reports – JOHNSON & JOHNSON WILL STOP SELLING its talc-based baby powder in the U.S. after facing thousands of consumer lawsuits claiming it caused cancer. J&J will still sell its cornstarch-based baby powder, which is now more popular.

Bible Quiz – Do you know the Answer?

Q: As Isaac was dying and blind, who suggested that Jacob should steal the blessing?
A: Rebekah.

Q: How did Esau respond when his birthright was taken?
A: Threatened to kill Jacob.

Q: When Jacob met Laban, which daughter did he want to marry? 
A: Rachel.

Q: Who did Laban trick Jacob into marrying?
A: Leah.

Q: What did Laban make Jacob do to finally marry Rachel?
A: Work another seven years.

Q: Who was the first son Jacob had with Rachel?
A: Joseph

Pause for Prayer:

  • Bob Ahsmuhs
  • Tom Spann
  • Terry Robinson
  • People working through COVID-19
  • Lowana LaBolle
  • Men’s Bible Study start up
  • Yard Sale this weekend
  • Roy & Jane Moore – Uganda Ministry
  • Cup of Grace Ministry

Today our WORD from the Lord comes from Matthew 3:13-17,

   13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14 And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?” 15 But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him. 16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

 I want to have a WORD with you about The Baptism of Jesus

   Jesus’ baptism is also recorded in Mark 1:9–11 and in Luke 3:21–23.

   What do we learn about the baptism of Jesus in this section of Matthew’s Gospel? We learn the following:

  1. Jesus came to John to be baptized – v. 13

    Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.

   I absolutely love the words, “Then Jesus Came…” I know that this is speaking of Him coming to be baptized, but think of these steps with me for just a moment:

  • Jesus came into the world
  • Jesus came to John the Baptist
  • Jesus came to save people from their sins
  • Jesus came to the cross of Calvary
  • Jesus will come a Second Time
  1. John tried to prevent Him from being baptized – v. 14

   And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?”

   Why did John try to prevent Jesus from being baptized? Because he knew that Jesus didn’t need to repent – He was the sinless Son of God.

   John the Baptist knew he was a sinner, and that if anyone needed to be baptized it was him.

  1. Jesus said to John to permit Him to be baptized – v. 15

   But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.

Jesus said to John the Baptist,

  • Permit it to be so
  • Allow it to happen
  • Suffer it to be so

  Why did Jesus push John the Baptist to baptize Him? Warren Wiersbe provides the following possible answers: 

  1. Approval of John the Baptist’s ministry.
  2. Jesus needed to identify with the people He was coming to save.
  3. His water baptism would pictures a greater baptism to come – the baptism of His suffering on the cross (Matthew 20:22; Luke 15:50.
  4. John baptized Jesus as He requested – v. 16-17

   When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

   From your reading of this passage what is the mode of baptism? It appears to me that it is total immersion, Going completely under water. Jesus came up out of the water.

   The Greek word for baptism is baptize, and it means to dip or to immerse in water.

   What three supernatural occurrences took place here?
  • The heavens were opened.

  What this means is that the heavens parted. I’m not sure of the significance here, but something supernatural is taking place.

  • The Spirit of God descended like a dove and alighting upon Him.

   Bible teachers tell us that the symbol of the Holy Spirit in the Bible is the dove. The dove is a picture of purity and peace (Matthew 10:6). The ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Son (John 16:13-14).

   As I looked at the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus, I saw these three things:

  1. Spirit power
  2. Spirit peace
  3. Spirit presence
  • A voice from heaven spoke saying, “This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” 

    Here we find the Father’s approval for the baptism of His Son.

   One author I was reading wrote, “In the past God spoke to His son; today He is speaking through His Son.”

   Are you aware that three times the Father speaks in the New Testament?

  1. Here at Christ’s baptism – Matthew 3:13-17
  2. At Christ’s Transfiguration – Matthew 17:3
  3. At Christ’s approach to the cross – John 12:27-30

   In these verses we have the Godhead (the Trinity):

  • The Father speaks
  • The Spirit descends
  • The Son is baptized

   You may wish to mark the margin of your Bible with a Triangle. I use this when I come across a verse where we see the Trinity.

Lessons for us Learners:  

  1. Like Jesus you must come to be baptized. Identify yourself as a follower of Jesus Christ.
  1. Don’t put baptism off. Now is your time for baptism.
  1. It is the right thing for you to do. It fulfills all righteousness.
  1. Once baptized live like you have been baptized. 
  1. Baptism is an outward sign of an inward change. 
  1. Baptism is a picture of the Gospel – death, burial, and resurrection.
  2. Baptism is TRINITY approved.

Remember, I am in touch, so you be in touch.

And as always, Dr. Robert Cook used to say, “Walk with the King today and be a blessing.”



The Greatest Announcer – Matthew 3:1-12

Today is Tuesday, May 19, 2020, and I am Pastor Kim Alexander and you are listening to COVID-19 Connection Series # 53

Welcome and so glad that you have joined me.

How are you today?

Announcements:

Church this week – 8:30; 945; and 11:00 A.M. through May 31st

VBS in June – We need your help. Please contact Annette Ward

  • Pre K- K Teacher
  • 1st & 2nd Teacher
  • 3rd & 4th Teacher
  • Lots of bodies to help
  • Register to help online at slbc2u.com

AWANA in September needs volunteers

Today in the News:

 

CNN Reports: Navajo Nation, the biggest Native American territory, surpassed New York for the highest coronavirus infection rate in the U.S. Meanwhile, the nationwide death toll passed 90,000 as states continued to ease restrictions.

The Wall Street Journal Reports: The stock market jumped after pharmaceutical company Moderna reported positive early results from a vaccine trial. The data is preliminary and reflects a small number of participants.

NPR Reports: Trump revealed he’s taking hydroxychloroquine to protect himself against the coronavirus, even though the antimalaria drug is unproven against the virus and can have serious side effects. The FDA issued a safety warning about the drug last month.

USA Today Reports: Where coronavirus isn’t: What’s kept cases officially at zero in these 200 counties?

In just four months, the deadly COVID-19 virus has infiltrated every state and major U.S. city. But a scattering of remote counties continue without a single reported case, according to a USA TODAY analysis.

As of May 15, a total of 231 of 3,143 counties had no reported cases.

The list is getting shorter by the day, though. In the first half of May alone, 40 counties went from zero recorded cases of the virus to at least one.

Georgia started the month with two zero-case counties. Now there is none. Tennessee also had two counties with no reported cases on May 1; two weeks later, only one remained. Iowa went from eight counties with no cases to only four by mid-May.

Counties where there are no reported cases of COVID-19*

The long stretch without coronavirus cases in some counties likely reflects an undercount from limited testing. But in others it may also reflect the benefits of being relatively cut off. USA TODAY found a strong link between population density and official infection rates across the country.

People in case-free counties said they don’t consider their communities immune, just less exposed.

Bible Quiz – Do you know the Answer?

 

Q: What were Isaac’s sons’ names?
A: Jacob and Esau

Q: Who was born first?
A: Esau came first, with Jacob grabbing his heel.

Q: How did Esau provide food for the family?
A: He hunted.

Q: Who did Isaac favor of his two sons?
A: Esau

Q: What did Jacob do most of the time?
A: Stayed in the home with his mother.

Q: What did Esau receive in exchange for his birthright?
A: Some stew.

Pause for Prayer:

  • Bob Ahsmuhs
  • Tom Spann
  • Terry Robinson
  • People working through COVID-19
  • Lowana LaBolle
  • Men’s Bible Study start up
  • Yard Sale this weekend
  • Cup of Grace Ministry

Today our WORD from the Lord comes from Matthew 3:1-12,

 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.’ ” Now John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. 10 And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”[1]

   Today I want to have a WORD with you about The Greatest Announcer

   Do you remember “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson. I was pretty young, and so I didn’t watch the show very often. However, the iconic introduction by the announcer is famous – Here’s Johnny! Who was the announcer? It was none other Ed McMann. What a voice, and what an introduction.

   I want to talk about an even greater announcer, and he even introduced someone far more important that an entertainer. I’m speaking about John the Baptist, and the individual he announced was Jesus Christ. His announcement was, “Behold, the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29).

   Let’s take a look at the passage before us. What do we have in these verses?

  1. The Man – v. 1

In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea,

   You can read about the birth of John the Baptist in Luke 1. He was the son of Zacharias and Elizabeth. His father was a priest, and his mother was beyond child-bearing years. He was an answer to his parent’s prayers. An angel told his father that he was going to have a son. He was also told to call him, John. One other bit of insight – John the Baptist was a cousin of Jesus. He was born six months before Jesus Christ.

   John the Baptist was born for a specific purpose. He was considered a prophet and he was going to provide the greatest announcement the world has ever heard – the presentation of the messiah.

  

   This is what Jesus later said of John the Baptist,

   “Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” (Matthew 11:11)

  1. The Message – v. 2

and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”

   His message was one of repentance. What does it mean to repent? The word means: to change one’s mind and to act on that change.

   The second part of his message involved announcing the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is the sphere in which God rules and reigns. When you become a believer you actually become a part of the Kingdom of God.

  1. The Mission – v. 3

For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.’ ”

   As I mentioned a few moments ago, John the Baptist was born for a purpose. He was a part of God divine plan in the redemption of humanity. He was prophesized. If God were baking a cake, John the Baptist would have been an ingredient.

   Isaiah 40:3 – The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of

the Lord; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God.

  1. The Manifestation – v. 4

Now John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.

   In the Old Testament we read about a prophet named, Elijah. Well, John the Baptist was a lot like Elijah. As a matter of fact he was called, The Elijah who was to come (Luke 1:16-17).

   We read about the appearance of Elijah in 2 Kings 1:8,

   “So they answered him, “A hairy man wearing a leather belt around his waist.”[2]

   If you were to placed John the Baptist side-by-side they would look almost identical.

  • The way they dressed – camel’s hair with a leather belt.
  • The food they ate – locusts and wild honey. 
  1. The Ministry – vs. 5-6

   5 Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.

   The baptism of John didn’t wash the sins of the people away. There was no cleansing power in the baptism. No, it’s just like baptism today. It was the outward demonstration of an inward change. It was the outward sign of repentance – that you have turned your life over to God. You were telling those who watched your baptism that you want to live a different life. In the case of those being baptized by John, that you wanted to walk with God. Your life then produced the fruit of your repentance.

  1. The Method – vs. 7-10

 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. 10 And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

   John the Baptist didn’t beat around the bush – No! He was straight forward. He spoke the truth in love. Speaking the truth in love isn’t always done with flowery speech.

  • John the Baptist called the Pharisees and Sadducees a Brood of vipers.
  • He asked them, Who warned you?
  • He told them to “therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance,”
  • He told them not to think they were secure just because they could say that Abraham was their father.
  • He told them that even “now the ax is laid to the root of the trees.”
  • Finally he said, “every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

   Does that sound like a popular sermon? It’s a sermon about getting right, or getting judged.  

  1. The Mightier – vs. 11-12

11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

   John the Baptist came to be the announcer of the mightier – Jesus Christ.

   John the Baptist baptized with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

   What happened on the Day of Pentecost? There was a baptism of the Holy Spirit and cloven tongues of fire fell upon the 120 disciples in the Upper Room.

  John the Baptist said that Jesus Christ will gather His own. He will separate the wheat from the chaff, and the wheat will be placed in the barn, and the chaff will be burned up with unquenchable fire. This is speaking about hell.

Lessons for us Learners:

  1. God always has an announcer to announce important truth. We see this throughout the Scripture. Today, you and I are the announcers. We are Christ’s Ambassadors.
  1. The message we share is the same as John the Baptist. We too call people to repentance, and we tell them about the Kingdom of God. 
  1. The Church is On Mission – The Great Commission. 
  1. God’s people are recognizable.
  1. Be faithful like John the Baptist. Carry on your ministry.
  1. Reach those who will repent, and warn those who refuse to repent.
  2. Always tell of Jesus. He is CENTRAL to everything.

Remember, I am in touch, so you be in touch.

And as always, Dr. Robert Cook used to say, “Walk with the King today and be a blessing.”

[1] The New King James Version. (1982). (Mt 3:1–12). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[2] The New King James Version. (1982). (2 Ki 1:8). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.



Going Home – Matthew 2: 19-23

Today is Saturday, May 18, 2020, and I am Pastor Kim Alexander and you are listening to COVID-19 Connection Series # 52

Welcome and so glad that you have joined me.

How are you today?

Announcements:

Coronavirus and Christ by John Piper – https://youtu.be/S-J5SqB86LQ
Storytime with Jack Video –
Church this week – 8:30; 945; and 11:00 A.M.

Today in the News:

 No News is Good News! Let’s stick with that thought for today.

Bible Quiz – Do you know the Answer?

Q: What was Abram’s name changed to?
A: Abraham

Q: What was Sarai’s name changed to?
A: Sarah

Q: What was the second son Abraham had?
A: Isaac

Q: Who did Abraham have his second son with?
A: Sarah

Q: Where did Hagar and her son leave to?
A: Into the desert

Q: Who did Abraham send to find Isaac a wife?
A: His oldest servant

Q: Who did the servant choose?
A: Rebekah

Pause for Prayer:

  • Great Worship Service for Mother’s Day
  • Bob Ahsmuhs
  • Tom Spann
  • Terry Robinson
  • People working through COVID-19
  • Lowana LaBolle
  • Pastor/Deacon meeting
  • Men’s Bible Study start up
  • Summer activities
  • Cup of Grace Ministry

Today our WORD from the Lord comes from Matthew 2:19-23,

   19 Now when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.” 21 Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee. 23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”[1]

I want to have a word with you about Going Home.

Is it safe to go home? Have you ever heard that question before? It is usually a question we hear after a natural disaster, or some major tragedy. Well, this same question is on the minds of Joseph and Mary.

  1. In Egypt – vs. 19-20

   19 Now when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.”

   Herod is dead – It is recorded in history that Herod died somewhere around March 29 – April 11, 4 B.C. Death removes even kings. This goes to show us that even Kings cannot control the day of their death. It is appointed unto men to die.

   If we take the timeframe of Herod’s death we know that Jesus Christ must have been born sometimes between 6-5 B.C.

   An angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt

   Alexandria, Egypt is 312 to Nazareth, Israel. On foot it would take 204 hours to walk. By car you could drive that distance in a little over 12 hours.  

   Joseph was told that it was safe to return to Israel, and that he was to take the young child and Mary back home. For the ones who sought the Child’s life are dead. Remember I told you that Herod hired people to do his dirty jobs.

  1. In Israel – vs. 21-22

   21 Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee.

   Joseph acted in obedience without question, and he took the Child and His mother, and they came into the land of Israel. Once within the boundaries of Israel he heard word that Herod’s son, Archelaus was reigning over Judea, and he was afraid to go there. I have read that Archelaus said that he was going to be a good ruler, but he ended up being like his father. Herod willed the kingdom to his son. He is the son of Herod’s Samaritan wife, Malthrace. I think if I was Joseph that I too would been scared!

   Joseph was warned by God in a dream, and so he turned aside and went into the region of Galilee. If you looked at a map you would see that Galilee is North of Judea.
  1. In Nazareth – v. 23

   23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”

   Jesus’ family settled in the city of Nazareth. What do we know about Nazareth? It was an obscure town in the region of Galilee. It is never mentioned in the Old Testament. Some suggest that it was for this reason that God had Jesus grow up in Nazareth.

  • Jesus was a child in Nazareth.
  • Jesus was a boy in Nazareth.
  • Jesus was a youth in Nazareth.
  • Jesus was a man in Nazareth.

   Jesus worked with Joseph in a carpenter’s shop. As I thought about Jesus being a carpenter my mind though what it would be like to own a piece of furniture that Jesus made. Wouldn’t that be cool?

   Are you aware that people argued one-time Nazareth never existed? It wasn’t until the archeologist spade uncovered the city of Nazareth. And it was in 2009 that the spade of the archeologist found what they call a Jesus Era House in Nazareth. Let me read the article for you.

   Next we read, “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”

   It has been suggested that many prophets spoke about the future messiah coming out of Nazareth. However, many critics of the Bible have discounted the Scripture based on these few words alone.

   Question: Do we discount all of Scripture just because we can’t find this exact phrase in Bible prophecy? The answer is a resounding, No!

   The Bible Knowledge Commentary offers us the following solution: Isaiah said the Messiah would be “from [Jesse’s] roots” like “a Branch” (Isa. 11:1). “Branch” is the Hebrew word neer, which has consonants like those in the word “Nazarene” and which carry the idea of having an insignificant beginning.

Since Matthew used the plural prophets, perhaps his idea was not based on a specific prophecy but on the idea that appeared in a number of prophecies concerning Messiah’s despised character. Nazareth was the town which housed the Roman garrison for the northern regions of Galilee. Therefore most Jews would not have any associations with that city. In fact those who lived in Nazareth were thought of as compromisers who consorted with the enemy, the Romans. Therefore to call one “a Nazarene” was to use a term of contempt. So because Joseph and his family settled in Nazareth, the Messiah was later despised and considered contemptible in the eyes of many in Israel. This was Nathanael’s reaction when he heard Jesus was from Nazareth (John 1:46): “Can anything good come from there?[2]

Lessons for us Learners:

  1. We have all been called out of Egypt. Egypt in the Bible is a picture of the world.
  2. One day it will be safe to go home. For us that’s, heaven.
  3. When God provides revelation we need to act in obedience.
  4. Be careful to discern God’s Will. This may means that we will be to pause and wait. Don’t be in a hurry.
  5. It’s not the place where you reside that determines the person, it is your inner character.
  6. People may call you names, but they cannot deny your testimony.
  7. The best things often come from the most despised places.

Remember, I am in touch, so you be in touch.

And as always, Dr. Robert Cook used to say, “Walk with the King today and be a blessing.

[1] The New King James Version. (1982). (Mt 2:19–23). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[2] Barbieri, L. A., Jr. (1985). Matthew. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 23). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.



Herod the Tewrrible – Matthew 2:16-18

Today is Friday, May 15, 2020, and I am Pastor Kim Alexander and you are listening to COVID-19 Connection Series # 51

Welcome and so glad that you have joined me.

How are you today?

Announcements:

Coronavirus and Christ by John Piper – https://youtu.be/S-J5SqB86LQ

Storytime with Jack Video – Little and Big

Church this week – 8:30; 945; and 11:00 A.M. No S.S. and No Nursery

Today in the News:

 No News is Good News! Let’s stick with that thought for today.

Bible Quiz – Do you know the Answer?

Q: Who did God call out of Ur to move to Canaan?
A: Abram

Q: Who was Abram’s wife?
A: Sarai

Q: Even though Abram and Sarah were too old, what did God promise them?
A: A son

Q: When God showed Abram the stars in the sky, what did he promise?
A: That Abram would have more descendants than the number of stars.

Q: Who was Abram’s handmaid?
A: Hagar

Q: What was Sarah’s idea for Abram to have a child?
A: For Abram to have a child with Hagar.

Q: Who was the first son he had?
A: Ishmael.

Pause for Prayer:

  • Bob Ahsmuhs
  • Tom Spann
  • Terry Robinson
  • People working through COVID-19
  • Lowana LaBolle
  • Pastor/Deacon meeting
  • Men’s Bible Study start up
  • Summer activities
  • Cup of Grace Ministry

Today our WORD from the Lord comes from Matthew 2:16-18

   16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying: 18    “A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted, Because they are no more.”[1]

   I want to have a word with you about Herod the Terrible or Herod the Madman.

    What do we have in our text today? I want to share 4 D words with you. And they are:

I. Deceived – v. 12
 
   1. Herod recognized the wise men deceived him

   No one likes to be deceived, but especially those who rule with an iron fist. Herod didn’t like it that the wise men didn’t come back to him. He thought he had an iron clad agreement from the wisemen. He believed that they accepted his “lie” that he too wanted to come and worship the new King of the Jews. No, the wise men didn’t report back to Herod. They went home another way.

   2. He became exceedingly angry
   Herod was a hot head. He was short fused. He was quick tempered. He was very mad at the wise men. I can picture in my sanctified imagination that he probably picked things up and threw them, or kicked things with his feet, or perhaps even punched his hand through a door.

   Can you picture the steam coming out of his ears?

II. Decree – v. 16
  1. He issued a decree to kill

   Herod was a mad man/murderer/lunatic. Like I mentioned earlier he had his wife and two brothers murdered because he accused them of treason. Herod didn’t murder himself, no, he hired someone else to do his dirty work. Murder for hire.

   2. All the male children
   Herod wanted all the male children killed. He didn’t want any future competition for his throne.
 
   3. In Bethlehem and surrounding districts

   Herod ordered that the killing start in Bethlehem, and then widen to include surrounding regions. Here we have the original killing fields! Nowhere in Scripture are we told of the number killed, but one death is one too many.

   Wiersbe suggests that perhaps not more than 20 children were slain. But again, even one child was one too many.

   4. Two years and under

   Killing the innocent shouldn’t surprise is today. Herod ordered that all the male children two years and under be killed. Well, as of today in America over 70 million innocent children have been aborted. And now in America we are killing children at full-term. What a very sick society that kills its own children.

   Herod will not escape divine judgment, and neither will those who kill the innocent today. Shame on those who kill their babies. You will face judgment before Almighty God.
 
   6. According to the time of the wise men

   Herod was calculating as he used the time frame from when the wise men saw the star to the present, and he figured that the King of the Jews was born somewhere in the two-year time frame.

   III. Determined – v. 17
  1. Then was fulfilled
   Think this through – the death of the male children was “fulfilled”. You see none of Herod’s murders took God by surprise. God knew all along what Herod was planning to do. So much so that his actions were actually predicted, and now “fulfilled”.
 
   2. Spoken by the prophet Jeremiah

  It was the prophet Jeremiah that wrote some 600 years before the birth of Jesus Christ. His prophecy was in reference to the death of Rachel as recorded in Genesis 35-16-20. Rachel gave birth to a son, she called him “Benoni” which means “son of my sorrow”, but Jacob called him, “Benjamin” meaning “son of my right hand.” It is interesting that this incident prophetically relates of Jesus Christ. He is actually a fulfillment of both of these names: He was the son of sorrows (Acts 5:31), but He is also the son of my right hand (Hebrews 1:3).

   What became the burial place for Rachel, became the birthplace for the Messiah.

   IV. Disturbing – v. 18
  1. A voice was heard

   What’s that sound? Have you ever asked that question? Well, when Herod’s soldiers were killing the male boys two years and younger there were lots of sounds. Wailing, weeping, loud cries.

   2. Lamentations, weeping, and great mourning
  • Lamentations
  • Weeping
  • Mourning
 
   3. Rachel weeping for her children

  Here we are given an Old Testament comparison. Here we have Rachel weeping for her old children.

   Rachel’s tomb is alongside the road as you enter into Bethlehem today. Rachel weeping represents the mothers of Israel weeping as they saw their sons going off into captivity. Rachel weeping is also in reference to the make children dying at the command of Herod the butcher.

   4. Refusing to be comforted

   If a mother loses a child, you cannot comfort that mother. A loss is a loss, and it is a terrible pain that never stops aching.

   5. Because they are no more

   Birth is a magnet – it attaches a mother and a child. There is a bonding that occurs between a mother and child. And to remove the child from the picture, well, it is most difficult to bear.

Lessons for us Learners:

  1. We will always have madmen around us (Herod, Stalin, Hitler, Castro).
  2. Earthly rulers will decree antigod decisions – we live in a fallen world.
  3. Nothing takes God by surprise, and He will use bad for His purposes.
  4. Emotions and feeling are God given. Nothing wrong with lamentations, weeping and great mourning.
  5. Our hope is not found in the world, but what we do see makes heaven look delightful.

Remember, I am in touch, so you be in touch.

And as always, Dr. Robert Cook used to say, “Walk with the King today and be a blessing.”

[1] The New King James Version. (1982). (Mt 2:16–18). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.



The Flight to Egypt – Matthew 2:13-15

Today is Thursday, May 14, 2020, and I am Pastor Kim Alexander and you are listening to COVID-19 Connection Series # 50

Welcome and so glad that you have joined me.

How are you today?

Announcements:

Church this Sunday at 8:30/9:45/11:00 A.M. Three services aimed at social distancing and honoring our governors Idaho Rebound Guidelines.

Coronavirus and Christ by John Piper – https://youtu.be/S-J5SqB86LQ

Storytime with Jack – Book: Play Time

Today in the News:

CNET – If you haven’t received a stimulus check, yesterday was the deadline to sign up for the direct deposit IRS website. Meanwhile, house Democrats unveil a new 3 trillion-dollar aid package, though it’s already getting pushed back from the left and right. It’s on the house floor today!

Los Angeles Times – California State University comma the biggest college system in the U.S., said it will move almost all its classes online for the fall semester. We are truly living in a REMOTE world.

BBC News – Officials in Wuhan, China, where the virus was first discovered, order test for all 11 million residents after a cluster of new infections emerged.

CNN Business – Grocery prices are soaring. Here’s what’s getting more expensive. Overall the price of groceries grew 2.6%, including seasonal adjustments. No doubt some of this is the coronavirus. We’re seeing prices increase in the meat Department because the corona’s virus is showing up in meatpacking plants. another reason for the spike in prices is due to panic shopping – customers are buying lots of food they don’t need to eat immediately. Eggs shut up 16.1%, breakfast cereals rose 1.5% milk, bread and juice rose 1.5% then 3.7% and now at 3.8%. Donut prices shot up by 5% last month and muffins are at 4.7%. roasted coffee prices rose by one point 2% and instant coffee was up by 2.5%. – and that was just breakfast! Prices are shooting up for lunch and dinner too. Goodbye Stimulus check!

Bible Quiz – Do you know the Answer?

Q: Who did God tell to build an ark?
A: Noah

Q: Who were Noah’s three sons?
A: Shem, Ham, Japheth

Q: How many days and nights did it rain when Noah was on the ark?
A: 40

Q: How many people were saved on the ark?
A: 8

Q: What was God’s sign to Noah that he would never destroy the earth again?
A: A rainbow

Q: What were men trying to do at the Tower of Babel?
A: Built a tower to reach to Heaven.

Q: How did God make them spread out across the earth?
A: Confused their languages.

Pause for Prayer:

  • Bob Ahsmuhs
  • Tom Spann
  • Terry Robinson
  • People working through COVID-19
  • Lowana LaBolle
  • Pastor/Deacon meeting
  • Men’s Bible Study start up
  • Summer activities
  • Cup of Grace Ministry

Today our WORD from the Lord comes from Matthew 2:13-15

13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.” 14 When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, 15 and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”[1]

Today I want to have a word with you about, The Flight to Egypt
 
   Not by plane – American, United, ot Alaska
   Probably by donkey
 
  1. A Message from an Angel – v. 13
 
   A. A Dream

   When we sleep, we dream! While Joseph was asleep an angel of the Lord spoke to Him. God often speaks and reveals in dreams:

  1. Abimelech’s warning – Genesis 20
  2. Jacob’s ladder – Genesis 28:12
  3. Joseph grain – Genesis 37:1-10
  4. Pharaoh’s cows/stalks – Genesis 41
  5. Gideon’s barley – Judges 7:13
  6. Nebuchadnezzar’s statue – Daniel 2
  7. Daniel’s four beasts – Daniel 7
  8. Magi warning – Matthew 2
  9. Joseph’s warning – Matthew 2
  10. Pontius Pilate’s wife – Matthew 27:19

   How does God speak today? Through His Word. Primary.

   B. A Message

   The angel of the Lord gave Joseph a message from God. Angels do not create a message; they are messengers of God’s message.

   Warning: Be careful about those who tell you that they are receiving messages from angels. Mohammad, founder of Islam claimed to receive a message from the angel Gabriel. Joseph Smith, founder of Mormonism claimed to receive a message from the angel Moroni. Paul the Apostle warns us about this in Galatians 1:8-9.

Popular book in 1979-80 – Angels on Assignment by Roland Buck

   The message that Joseph received was to flee Israel, and to leave Bethlehem.
 
   C. A Warning

   The warning told Joseph that King Herod sought to destroy the young child. Herod wanted the real King of the Jews dead. Remember he was a very wicked person.

   Herod sought to kill anyone who got in his way. Ambition will often blind a man, and he will convince himself that no matter what he does that it’s okay – even murder.

  1. An Action from a Husband – v. 14
 
   A. He arose (action on Joseph’s part)
  • What if Joseph thought he could handle Herod himself? What would have been the end result? Death!
  • What if Joseph thought he could have hid his family from Herod’s henchmen? What would have been the end result? Death!
  • What if Joseph hesitated and waited? What would have been the end result? Death!

   Joseph didn’t think he could handle Herod, nor did he think he could hide his family, or hesitate and wait. No, he acted in obedience to the guidance and direction of the angel.

   B. He took the young child and His mother
   Instead we find that Joseph “arose” and he acted upon the message he received immediately. Underline the words, “He took…” Joseph did what God revealed to him by the angel.
 
   C. Departed to Egypt
   And we know the end result. The whole family arrived safe in Egypt. Scholar tell us that there were a large Jewish population in Egypt, especially in and around Alexandria. It is believed that Joseph, Mary, and Jesus would have been assimilated into the Jewish community quite nicely.
  1. A fulfillment from Prophecy – v. 15
 
   A. Stayed in Egypt until the death of Herod

   How long did Jesus, Mary, and Joseph stay in Egypt?

   Herod died somewhere between March 29 and April 11, 4 B.C.

   Jewish Historian Josephus records in detail the death of Herod.

   B. That it might be fulfilled

   We read in verse 15, “Out of Egypt I called My Son”

   Bible teachers believe that the prophecy being spoken of here is Hosea 11:1, which reads,

   “When Israel was a child, I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son.”

What is interesting is that this prophecy first relates to Israel coming out of Egypt, but has a second-fold prophecy in the person of Jesus Christ.

Lessons for us Learners:

  1. God used angels to bring messages – be careful here.
  2. God speaks to us in dreams and visions – stick with His Word first.
  3. God expects us to obey His word – act on what God reveals.
  4. God does protect His people (especially His Son)
  5. Bad people will die – Herod died (people probably threw a party)
  6. Prophecy will be fulfilled (every one of them)

Remember, I am in touch, so you be in touch.

And as always, Dr. Robert Cook used to say, “Walk with the King today and be a blessing.”

[1] The New King James Version. (1982). (Mt 2:13–15). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.



The Visit of the Wise Men – Matthew 2:1-11

Today is Wednesday, May 13, 2020, and I am Pastor Kim Alexander and you are listening to COVID-19 Connection Series # 49

Welcome and so glad that you have joined me.

How are you today?

Announcements:

Coronavirus and Christ by John Piper – https://youtu.be/S-J5SqB86LQ

Today in the News:

  • Americans witnessing what real, raw power looks like – See Article.
  • Dem stimulus bill one-ups GOP on cash for everybody – 3 trillion dollars, a monthly payment of $ 2,000 for every man, woman, and child. This is called the HERO ACT and it is 1,815 pages.
  • Veritas: CBS staged line of patients. They used video footage from an overrun Italian hospital and claiming it was from New York City.

Bible Quiz – Do you know the Answer?

Q: How many days did God take to create the world?
A: 6

Q: What day did God create man?
A: 6th

Q: Who was the first man?
A: Adam

Q: Who was the first woman?
A: Eve

Q: Where did they live at the beginning of the world?
A: Garden of Eden

Q: Who were their three sons listed in the Bible?
A: Cain, Abel, Seth

Pause for Prayer:

  • Great Worship Service for Mother’s Day
  • Bob Ahsmuhs
  • Tom Spann
  • Terry Robinson
  • People working through COVID-19
  • Lowana LaBolle
  • Pastor/Deacon meeting
  • Men’s Bible Study start up
  • Summer activities
  • Cup of Grace Ministry

Today our WORD from the Lord comes from Matthew 2:1-12,

2 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”

When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.

So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:

6   ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,

Are not the least among the rulers of Judah;

For out of you shall come a Ruler

Who will shepherd My people Israel.’ ”

Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.”

When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

12 Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.[1]

Today I want to have a word with you about, The Visit of the Wise Men.

Verse 1 – Setting the Stage

  • Who was born? – Jesus was born
  • Where was Jesus born – Bethlehem of Judea, also called Ephrath. It was located 5 miles south of Jerusalem. Bethlehem means; house of bread. It was also the birthplace of King David.
  • Who was king? – Herod (the Great). Herod had his wife and two brothers killed suspecting them of treason. He was married 9 times. Herod wasn’t a Jew, he was an Idumean, a descendant of Esau – here we have the old struggle between Esau and Jacob.
  • What event took place? -Wise men came from the East. Wise men were magi, who were probably students of the stars (astrologers).
  • Where do they come too? – Jerusalem. This was the capital city.

Verse 2 – Asking the Question

Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?

Can you see that this would have been a troubling question for Herod the king?

What did the wise men follow? – We have seen His star in the East. This wasn’t just a star. No, it was a directional beacon for the wise men.

Why did they come? To worship Him

Verse 3 – Seeing the Trouble

Who was troubled at the news? Herod

Who else was troubled? All Jerusalem with him.

When a king is unhappy, usually the subjects are the brunt of his unhappiness. So is the case with Herod.
Note: Herod really isn’t a king. He was appointed king by the Roman senate in 40 B.C. He was extremely cruel and killed many people.

Verse 4 – Discovering the Facts

Who did Herod gather around him?

  • Chief priests
  • Scribes

What was Herod seeing? Where the Christ was to be born.

Verse 5-6 – Grasping the Significance

Where was the Christ born? Bethlehem, in the land of Judea

How did they discover this? Through the Prophet

What Prophet? Micah 5:2

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from old, from everlasting.”

  • Micah 5:2 – Ruler – some translations use governor
  • Matthew 2:6 – Shepherd – lead, feed, and protect

Verse 7-8 – A Secret Meeting

Who called a meeting? Herod

Who did he call? The wise men

What did he ask? What time the star appeared?

Where did he send them? Bethlehem

What did he request? Go and search for the young child, and when you find him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.

Question: Did Herod want to come and worship the young child, Jesus?

Answer: No

Verse 9-10 – Lead by the Star

The wise men left Herod

The wise men followed the star

The wise men were led to where the young Child was

Supernatural leading of the wise men to the Christ child.

You have got to love verse 10 – When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.

Verse 11 – Seeing the Christ Child

Where did they arrive? A house (not a stable)

What did they see? They saw the Child with Mary His mother

What did they do? They fell down and worshipped Him

What did they present – Gifts to Him

What were the gifts?

  • Gold – fit for a King
  • Frankincense – fit for the Son of God
  • Myrrh – fit for a suffering Savior

Verse 12 – A Divine Warning

What did the wise men receive? A divine warning

How were they warned? In a dream

What were they told? That they should not return to Herod

Note: Herod probably would have had the wise men murdered. He would have sought to silence those who were eyewitnesses of the Christ child.
What did the wise men do? They departed for their own country another way.
Lessons for us learners:
  1. Jesus was born – it is a fact in history.
  2. God did use a star – today God uses Scripture and Christians.
  3. Wise men did seek Jesus – are you seeking Him today?
  4. We should worship Jesus – we were designed for worship.
  5. Jesus deserves our gifts – our bodies as living sacrifices (Rom. 12:1-2).

Remember, I am in touch, so you be in touch.

And as always, Dr. Robert Cook used to say, “Walk with the King today and be a blessing.”

[1] The New King James Version. (1982). (Mt 2:1–12). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.