SUNDAY, 17 DECEMBER 2017
The greatest joy was given to the world in that night when Jesus was born, but unfortunately not all group of people could sense that greatest joy. The Bible records 4 peoples who had the tremendous joy in that moment and it was happened because they had the winning attitudes which led them on the path of joy! As Christians, we must have all those 4 winning attitudes as well, so we can welcome the second coming of Jesus with joy. The message of Christmas has a very strong connection with the message of second coming of Jesus. We are no longer expecting Jesus to come as a baby in a manger, but we must get prepared to welcome Him in this last days. Praise God that the moment of Christmas 2000 years ago was recorded completely in the Bible through various aspects, so we could learn and develop those winning attitudes within our Christianity.
1: THE WISE MEN
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.” Matthew 2:1-2 NKJV
We may say that these group of wise men is the most joyful people after Joseph and Mary! We could not know where exactly they came from, but we could understand that they took a very long journey from the East to Jerusalem. The Greek translation of wise men is magus which means the name given by the Babylonians (Chaldeans), Medes, Persians, and others, to the wise men, teachers, priests, physicians, astrologers, seers, interpreters of dreams, augers, soothsayers, sorcerers etc. We may understand that these wise men had been waiting for a long time until finally they saw the most special star and then they decided to start that long journey because they want to come and worship Him! The wise men had an attitude of love to seek and they really meant it. They sought for baby Jesus seriously and were very committed, even though they only had few data.
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8 NKJV
Jesus had promised that everyone who seeks will find and how big is the joy when we find what we seek! That greatest joy was prepared beforehand and how wonderful it is that God already announced it in His miraculous way to all kinds people in that moment. These groups of wise men were only small part of wise men in East countries, however, that greatest joy finally was found by those who seek it seriously and faithfully! Let’s seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all other things shall be added to us Mt.6:33. It is very important to have this attitude specially in this last days. The second coming of Jesus actually is the greatest joy that we are expecting as believers and that event will deliver its greatest joy for those who are waiting upon the Lord.
Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. Luke 12:37 NKJV
2: THE SHEPHERDS
Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Luke 2:8-9 NKJV
The next winning attitude can be found within the shepherds. Every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians Gen46:34. Being shepherd is a usual thing in Israel, however God Himself respect this job very high so He sent His angel to bring that very good news to the shepherds. Who is shepherds? Shepherds are those who living out in the fields, to take care, feed, nurture, and also protect all the flock. Shepherds are those who keeping watch by night. Jesus Himself is the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep Jn.10:11. The good shepherds know their sheep Jn.10:14. These shepherds have an attitude love to care and they also take it seriously! The greatest joy was given as a reward for the shepherds – the simple people who love to care and protect others.
In the last days, God is seeking faithful and wise servant who diligently giving food for others Mt.24:45-46. God called all believers to be a shepherd who want and love to keeping watch over their neighbour, over their family, over their house. Having the attitude of a shepherd is not always easy. Shepherd is pushed to have a good stamina to stay overnight, a brave heart to face lion and other wild animals, and also a big heart to accept and love all flocks regardless their weaknesses. Peter was asked by Jesus 3 times to feed His lambs as the action for those who loving Him Jn.21:15-17. Let’s develop the heart of a shepherd within us so we can be fully involved in that greatest joy when Jesus come again for the second time.
And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbours, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ Luke 15:5-6 NKJV
And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. So, he came by the Spirit into the temple. Luke 2:25-27A NKJV
Simeon was recorded in the Bible because he obeyed the Holy Spirit and came into the temple, blessed the baby Jesus and encourage Joseph and Mary who had the special privilege being parent of Jesus! Among all baby brought to the temple, amazingly Simeon’s eye was stick to baby Jesus, and it was only because of the Holy Spirit. The most important attitude that we can find from Simeon is about his submission to the Holy Spirit! Holy Spirit is the spirit of joy, the fruit of Holy Spirit is joy Gal.5:22. Holy Spirit is the reason for joy in the heaven Rom.14:17.
It is very important to all believers to develop the attitude of loving the Holy Spirit! It means that we will always respect the presence of God wherever we may go because our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit 1Cor.3:16. Submit our life in the guidance of Holy Spirit will bring us to receive that greatest joy because Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth Jn.16:13. Holy Spirit will strengthen us through all difficult moments. Holy Spirit will embrace and comfort us through our valleys. And the most important thing is Holy Spirit will keep believers alert when Jesus come again for the second time, so all believers could join in the rapture in that glorious day! Let’s live in the Spirit, let’s walk in His guidance, and let’s obey His voice, so we can grab that greatest joy that God already prepared for us.
Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband, seven years from her virginity; and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fasting and prayers night and day. Luke 2:36-37 NKJV
The last but not least was Anna who also were in the same temple and then came to baby Jesus. Together with Simeon’s testimony, Anna established that testimony and gave more strength and encouragement to the blessed parent. Anna was joyful since she looked the Redeemer by her own eyes. Anna loved being very close with the presence of God. The Bible recorded how Anna did not depart from the temple and served God with fasting and prayer night and day. Even though Anna could have the opportunity to be married again after her husband passed away, Anna decided to stay close with God, serving Him, and she was being granted with the privilege of seeing the Redeemer! Anna had the important attitude of love to serve! Serving God will never be difficult as long as we love God with all of our heart. God is always looking those who want to set their heart fully to Him. Anna was very joyful because she met Jesus in the middle of her ministry. As a great age lady, Anna had a desire to serve God with the best thing she can do, she was fasting and praying. Fasting and praying is the simple form of ministry, yet it is powerful to draw the anointing from heaven. Let’s develop this attitude and let’s start serving God with love. AMEN.