Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
After listening to the king they left, and once again the star they saw when it rose led them until it stopped above the place where the child was. When they saw the star they shouted joyfully. Matthew 2.9-10
The wise men from the East had traveled to see Jesus. They had followed a star and had arrived in Jerusalem asking where the one who was born king of the Jews could be found. It caused a stir. Herod, who was the actual king at the time was alarmed.
Herod sets about learning what he can about the Christ. He calls a meeting with all the chief priests and experts in the law. Where is the Christ to be born? It is of utmost concern to the actual king.
After finding the location through the prophecies, he calls for the wise men. Arranging to meet with them privately, he enlists their help to find the baby. His intentions are not honorable.
Upon leaving Jerusalem, the wise men once again are able to see the star and follow it to Bethlehem where they are directed by the star to the place where Jesus can be found. Their reaction is to shout joyfully.
In the parable of the sower, Jesus talks about four different types of soil where the seed that are sewn may fall, Matthew 13.1-9. There is the person who hears the word about the kingdom and does not understand it. The evil one comes and snatches it away. There is the one who hears the word, immediately receives it, but has no root within and does not endure. There is the one who hears the word, but allows worldly cares and the seductiveness of wealth to choke the word so that it produces nothing. Finally, there is the good soil where the seed is planted. This is the person who hears, understands, and obeys, Matthew 13.18-23.
Have you found Jesus? What was your reaction? We choose the reaction that we will have. Will you be like the wise men and shout joyfully when you find him? Will you be good soil?
#risingjoy #Matthew #reactions
Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.
Here are the topics you will find:
- Living in Trying Times (Kevin W. Rhodes)
- Using the Unusable (Cody Westbrook)
- You Won’t Like Heaven (Trent Kennedy)
- “They Have Not All Obeyed” (Don Walker)
- Imitating God in Forgiveness (Kevin Cauley)
- Some Reasons for Christians to be Happy (Mike Batot)
Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.
You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions.
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Our interpretation of events around us, and the language we use to describe them, determine our emotional reaction to them.
How we place ourselves in relation to those events colors our emotions. If we selfishly put ourselves in the center of all that happens, we will take the actions and comments of others personally. So we will feel anger, frustration, and resentment that events did not conform to our expectations. With self in the center, objectivity is lost.
Expressing such emotions will not defuse them, but will only cause them to root themselves more deeply in our soul. Thus, we reinforce our behavior of interpreting events through the lens of self.
Through our conversion to Jesus Christ, he becomes the center of our being and the lens through which we see all events. The sovereign control of God becomes our focus. So there is no one technique, nor a set of them, for a more healthy reinterpretation of events, but rather a transformation into a new man that looks at people and events from a new light.
And he died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised. So then from now on we acknowledge no one from an outward human point of view. Even though we have known Christ from such a human point of view, now we do not know him in that way any longer. So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away—look, what is new has come! 2 Cor 5.15-17
The popular reaction to the gospel today seems to be to ignore it.
If you say something outrageous, people will love you for it.
If you are maudlin, with images of kittens or soft-light children, you’ll get plenty of likes.
If you throw labels at the faithful and bash the truth with snottiness, people will fall at your feet.
If you faithfully speak the truth of the gospel, you’ll get stony stares, at most.
But out there somewhere, at some point, is a soul who will be listening.
Stephen Covey writes about the significant pause between a stimulus and one’s reaction to it. In that space lies the key to a proper response and creative solutions. It’s a time for thinking and considering, a silent pause, if you will.