Download as PDF Lesson 3 of Christmas Hearts
The Wisemen’s Seeking Hearts
Christmas shopping during the year of 2003 is one that I will not forget. Tickle Me Elmo was the toy my husband and I were on the search for our oldest daughter. She was then 13 months old and Elmo was the character that made her eyes brighten when he came on the screen. We wanted to make sure she had the latest from the Elmo products and felt like this one would be easy to find this year as the year before, 2002, people were trampling over each other to get to the Elmo toy. My husband and I searched everywhere. I guess a character like Elmo continues to keep his fans throughout the years. I remember that I was about six weeks pregnant with our second daughter at that time and I was exhausted just from God using my body to knit her together in my womb. However, the search had to go on. We had to find this special toy for our dear daughter and finally we did.
Over the years of being a mommy of two little girls the search has changed from that special toy to mommy being the search engine in the family. See if these sound like familiar quotes in your house.
Mom, where are my shoes? Mom, where is my other shoe?
Mom, I can’t find my jacket. Do you have it? (Okay, side note here: why would I have a child’s jacket? Yes dear, I was just wearing it – Really! I haven’t fit into that size since I was . . . well, a child.)
Mom, where’s my library book? It’s due today.
Mom, why can’t I find the hair brush?
Mom, I just had my socks, where are they now?
Then hubby doesn’t like to feel left out . . . Honey, where did you put my camouflage jacket? (Okay, another side note here: you know he really didn’t say Honey, but notice the blame being placed on me for him not being able to find his jacket . . . yeah, that is real AND again – Really!)
We all have had to hunt for items in our households and usually moms are the only ones who know their location. I wish that was true! God did give us the memory to see items and program them in our mind for future reference. So if we have seen it in the past, we might have a chance of locating it. He also gave us the ability to move items as we search! I think that is something you develop after either marrying or having your first child. I don’t think many men have developed that ability!!
Searching for things in our life is an ongoing venture. We search for love in all the wrong places; joy in the empty material things in life; peace from the world’s security; and happiness from others who cannot provide it. Thinking back over my life, I recall many unfruitful trips down lanes that led towards empty findings. It was not until I realized my need for Christ in my life that I understood more of how to search for the things I desire. The Lord over the years has taught me how to focus my search engine towards Him. He has taught me to seek Him first and let Him take care of the desires of my heart. And the amazing thing is that He does know where to find all that I desire. Why wouldn’t I go to Him?
As we look at the heart of the wise men, who traveled a long distance to find the Christ Child, let’s think of how our heart searches for the Lord. Open your mind and heart to experience what the Lord wants to teach you about searching for Him.
Deepening the Walk
Begin this study by reading Matthew 2:1-12
Who were the magi, those gift-bearing wise men from the east so central to the traditional telling of the Christmas story? The Bible tells us very little about the magi. Their story appears but once, this account of the gospel of Matthew. It is almost like they are mysterious visitors “from the east” who come to Jerusalem looking for the child whose star they observed “at its rising.” These men were searching based off of their knowledge of the stars and their knowledge of Jewish prophecy. It also seems they were searching for the truth as they had a purpose for coming, “to worship him.” There were many magi during that time who were not searching for truth. In fact, many of them were wrapped up in being magicians or sorcerers. In the Greek of Matthew 2 the magi are referred to as “magoi.” We see this same word used in the form of “magos” in Acts 13:16 where it talks about the Jewish Sorcerer. From this we see that these were not ordinary magi, but ones who were seeking more than knowledge. They were seeking truth.
A seeking heart is one that searches for truth. On many occasions I have to stop and ask myself this question, “Am I seeking the truth?” This seems like a simple question to answer, but with the deception of the spirit of Satan in the world, it is hard for us to tell at times. We may get so wrapped up in our own desires that we stray away from the truth that God has in our lives; The truth of Jesus being our Savior and also our life.
What does Jesus say about Himself in John 14:6? In what ways does this apply to your life today?
In 1 Corinthians 3:18-23, Paul is correcting the church about choosing sides of human leaders. How does he describe the wisdom of the world in God’s sight? In what ways have you allowed the wisdom of the world to take you away from the truth in God’s wisdom?
As we seek for truth in our lives, what does Matthew 7:7 tell us we must do? What does Matthew 7:8 promise will happen if we do this?
As believers, we all have been given the Holy Spirit. What kind of guidance will the Holy Spirit give us according to John 16:13?
The truth we seek is in Jesus Christ. He is the truth and the only way we can approach the Father. His redeeming blood and acceptance of His sacrifice is what gives us access to the wisdom of God. This is a wisdom that the Father has chosen to give to us through His very own Spirit – the Holy Spirit.
After meeting with King Herod, who feigns an intention to worship the child but actually plans to destroy him, the magi follow the same star to Bethlehem. In other words, they continue on their journey. We see that King Herod has ulterior motives for the magi to continue their search, but we must realize at this moment the magi had failed in an attempt to find the “king of the Jews.” There travels took them to Jerusalem because that would be the logical worldly wisdom answer as to where the king of the Jews would be born. However, that was a futile end because the child was not there.
Realize that at the moment of not finding the child in Jerusalem they could have given up. However, a seeking heart does not give up when it is in search of truth. What does Galatian 6:9 tell us we will receive if we do not grow weary in doing good?
According to Ephesians 6:18, how should we seek God in prayer?
What does Hebrews 6:10-12 tell us about God and our labor of love? What do these verses encourage us to do? To not do?
Perseverance is a key element in our Christian walk. As we seek God, our enemy the devil does not want us to find Him. Therefore, he will throw up many obstacles in our way. However, we must always keep in mind the Lord’s promise in Deuteronomy 4:29, “But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
Upon seeing the baby Jesus and his mother Mary, the magi kneel down and worship him, presenting him with their three famous gifts—gold, frankincense and myrrh. After being warned in a dream, the magi did not report back to Herod but instead departed for their homeland via another route. An encounter with Christ is one that we will leave us not wanting to return to our ways of error. A true repentance of the heart is shown by one turning around and going in the opposite direction of the error or sin in their lives.
One who has a seeking heart desires true repentance and to please the Lord. Ephesians 5:10 tells us to, “find out what pleases the Lord.” To please the Lord we must live our lives through Christ. What does Galatians 2:29 tell us as to how we can do this?
The magi brought gifts to the Christ Child. We can bring a gift as well. What are we encouraged to do in Romans 12:1-2? How have you done this lately in your own life?
In what ways should we bring God glory according to 1 Corinthians 10:31?
Our desire to have a seeking heart is one that will empower us as we deepen our walk with Christ. God’s love for us has overflowed into our lives and we respond with a love for Him. We love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). This is a love that we show through our desire to please Him and obey all He has commanded. This obedience begins by presenting ourselves as a living sacrifice and renewing ourselves in Him. When we encounter Christ, we no longer see the world as something we want to conform to, but instead we see the truth shining through a Savior that has changed our life forever!
Do you have a seeking heart? Is it seeking the truth of who God really is in your life? Don’t shy away from God thinking that you can’t find out more about Him. He desires for you to seek Him. He desires to change your life through Christ!