TITLE: HAVE SOME FRUIT
DATE: January 6, 2020
Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed.
TEXT: James 1:22 - ESV -But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
Imagine a man owes you $100. Which would please you the most?
For that man to say, "One of these days, real, real soon, I'm going to pay you the money I owe", or for the man to slip you a bright, crisp, 100 dollar-bill. The answer is obvious. Talk is cheap. Cash speaks volumes. When Jesus was here on earth, He had very little patience with those people who tried to substitute words for actions.
No, Jesus expects His disciples not just to talk a good game. He wants them to live a good game. He wants them not just to talk the talk of Christianity. He wants them to walk the walk. That's why, this Epiphany I put before you a command of Jesus. It is just command of two, very simple words: "Follow me."
This Epiphany, I ask: "Will you follow Jesus?"
Will you, like the wise men follow Jesus to Bethlehem? Don't assume that it's an easy question. Look around. Hundreds of others did not do so. Herod the Great would not follow Jesus. The scribes who had been given and knew the entire list of Old Testament prophecies did not follow Jesus to Bethlehem. The people of Jerusalem , terrorized by the questions of the wise men decided not to make the six-mile trip.
Only the magi, the sages from the east went to the town which was the place of the manger, the place of humility, the place where God became flesh and dwelt among us for the redemption of sinful souls.
Only the Wise Men went to the house where Jesus was staying. Only they could be bothered to see this human child, the Son of God, born of a peasant woman. Only they were motivated to present their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
It was nice of them to do so.
But they had already given the Christ Child the best gift of all. They had given themselves. Just as you are. In comparison, the finest of gold is cheap. The purest of myrrh is dust. I give thanks that you have come to with the Wise Men to Bethlehem. You have joined with the Wise Men and bowed down to worship Him.
On this Epiphany, I ask you, will you follow Jesus? Will you follow Jesus to Galilee where He preached out His Gospel. Will you walk with the disciples along the dusty and rocky roads? Will you watch and see how the Son of God is touched by the cries of a widow who mourns her son....or a leper who has been banned from the presence of his family? Will you watch as Jesus feeds the physical hunger of thousands, even as His words touch the spiritual hunger of those are lost and trapped in their sins. Will you come to Galilee and slowly realize that Jesus never turned away from any person who actually needed His help. Come and see that He was never too busy or too tired to meet the needs of suffering people all around Him.
If we are His disciples, we must never be too busy to hear the cries of a needy world and do what we can to alleviate the suffering and heartache. We must never be so busy that we cannot take the time to speak to someone about his soul's salvation. That is what it means to follow Jesus to Galilee.
THE PRAYER: Lord let me be a doer of the word and not just a hearer. Make my life a gift of thanks. Jesus’ Name. Amen
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