The Light of Christ Journey

Encouraging people on their journey with Christ

11 Unusual Facts About The Magi In The Bible | Think About ...

Have you ever received warnings from God? Warnings from the Lord are never to hinder us but help us accomplish the plans the Lord has for our lives. God’s warnings can be as simple as rethinking our plans for the day to protecting our life from unseen danger.

If you have ever been a parent, you know the importance of giving warnings to your children. There have been times in my life where I heeded the warning from the Lord and was thankful, I did. There have been other times when I thought I knew better and went ahead with my plan and suffered the consequences.

Wise Men Warned by the Lord

The wise men came to Jerusalem and met with the King Herod who pretended he wanted to go and worship the newborn king of the Jews. He told the wise men to come back and let him know where the newborn king was. The wise men had no idea how evil King Herod was.

God in his mercy and grace would protect the wise men and the baby Jesus from the clutches of King Herod through divine intervention. Matthew 2:12 When it was time to leave, the wise men returned to their own country by another route, for God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod. [1]

Warnings are a Gift from God

When we begin to think about warnings being a gift from God, it enables us to look at them in a different way. The warning the wise men received was a gift from the Lord. God is not about thumping you over the head. God is about warning, protecting, and transforming you. This is not because He dislikes you, but precisely because He loves you.

Warnings Can Impact Future Generations

When we think of warnings, we may just think of ourselves not realizing unborn generations can be impacted by God’s warnings. Hebrews 11:7Noah was warned of the upcoming flood. It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before.[2] You and I are alive today because our ancestor Noah heeded God’s warning.

Discerning God’s Voice of Warning

God can speak through His word, the Holy Spirit, and other believers to warn us. As you read this ask the Lord to give you wisdom to discern His voice when He does warn you. James 1:If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.[3]

To learn more about warnings from God, listen here:

https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/coming-of-messiah-visit-of-the-magi


[1-3] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Verse of the Week: Matthew 2:11 - philressler.com

Did you know that meeting with God in worship is our Lord’s desire? The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords knows your name and desires to meet with you in worship! Wow, that is amazing. Psalm 95:Come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.[1] How does knowing this make you feel?

The Wise Men Worshiped Jesus

The wise men had been following the star on a long journey of several weeks that would lead them to the newborn King of the Jews. But the good news is their journey was worth it! Whatever hardship they endured turned to joy as they met Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus. Matthew 2:11 They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. [2]

Worshiping Jesus is Transforming

Worshiping Jesus is the top priority of faithful churches. Why? When Jesus is lifted up and the Holy Spirit is free to work through preaching and worship, lives are transformed. Romans 12:Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. [3]

During worship we proclaim the Good News of Jesus. We proclaim that He died for our sins on the cross and rose on the third day. The church will proclaim this in worship until He comes again. Even when the persecuted church gathers and worships. At time they must sing hymns silently, but worship still has great power.

Worship Begins With and Builds Our Faith

As we praise Jesus and give Him thanks in worship it helps us to give thanks for what He has done. Nothing will change our attitudes, our relationships, or our response to circumstances like thanksgiving. Gratitude is when you respond in humility for all you have received, for all that Jesus has already done and will do. 1 Chronicles 16:34 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. [4]

To hear more about meeting with God in worship, listen here:  

https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/coming-of-messiah-visit-of-the-magi


[1-4] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Why Did the Wise Men Give Jesus Gold, Frankincense, and ...

Jesus is worthy of our treasure. What do you think of when you think of treasure? If you could have a great treasure, what would it be? One of my favorite stories of treasure in the Bible is about the Kingdom of heaven being a treasure. Matthew 13:44The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field. [1]

Jesus is Our Great Treasure

A relationship with Jesus as our Savior is the greatest treasure we will ever receive. This treasure opens doors for a life filled with purpose as we seek the Lord’s plan for our life and a heavenly home when we die.

The Apostle Paul tells us that a relationship with Jesus as our Savior is worth giving up everything. Philippians 3:8Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ [2] Have you received this great treasure?

Insight Into the Treasures the Wise Men Gave to Jesus

Matthew 2:11 The wise men entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. [3]

Gold – is a gift fit for a king. This gift acknowledged Jesus as king. Psalm 72: 15 Long live the king! May the gold of Sheba be given to him. May the people always pray for him and bless him all day long.[4]

Frankincense – is a gift for a deity. It was in the incense and offerings burned at the Temple and in the oil used to anoint the priests. It shows that Jesus was God and is also our high priest. Isaiah 60:6 Vast caravans of camels will converge on you, the camels of Midian and Ephah. The people of Sheba will bring gold and frankincense and will come worshiping the Lord.[5]

Myrrh – was used for embalming and was a gift for someone who was going to die. Jesus would be offered myrrh as He was suffering on the cross. Mark 15:23 They offered him wine drugged with myrrh, but he refused it.[6]

These valuable gifts show that Jesus is worthy of our treasure. To hear more, listen here:

https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/coming-of-messiah-visit-of-the-magi


[1-6] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

The 25+ best Psalms 16 11 ideas on Pinterest | Unspeakable ...

As we journey through life, we discover that it is not all mountain tops, but it can be difficult at times and discouraging.  It is easy to get discouraged, but the Lord gives us joy along our journey.

When we are down, we need to be encouraged by others and the Lord. The Apostle Paul encouraged Roman believers in a letter. Romans 15:13I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. [1]

As the wise men sought the baby Jesus, it was a long journey. When they arrived in Jerusalem, they spoke to king Herod who pretended he wanted to also go and worship the newborn king. King Herod was evil, and the Lord protected the wise men and the baby Jesus from this menace.

The Wise Men were Filled with Joy

Matthew 2:Then King Herod told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!” After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were filled with joy![2]

Were the wise men discouraged after their visit with King Herod? Were they beginning to doubt if they could find their way to the newborn King? The Scriptures do not say. What we do know is after a long, exhausting journey, the Lord gave the sign of the star and it stopped over where the baby was. This sign filled their hearts with joy. With new vigor and excitement, they quickly finished their journey to baby Jesus. This is the power of the joy of the Lord. It picks us up and helps us refocus on the journey the Lord has for us.

True Joy is in Our Relationship with the Lord

No matter my circumstances, if I know Jesus as my Savior, I can experience the joy of the Lord. Psalm 16:11 You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.[3] When we focus on the Lord, He shows all the good things that He is doing in our life and will do in the future. Take time right now and give thanks to the Lord for all that He is doing in your life. May the joy of the Lord fill you to overflowing. To learn how the Lord gives us joy along our journey, listen here:

https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/coming-of-messiah-visit-of-the-magi


[1-3] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Matthew 2.6 Poster - And you, Bethlehem, in the land of ...

Have you ever felt too insignificant to be used by the Lord? If you have, remember the Lord loves to use the least important. Being insignificant can be a humbling experience because we realize who we are. We realize it is a gift for the Lord to use us. It is not something we earned or deserved, but God’s grace and mercy.

Many people remember the first verse of the song, Jesus Loves Me, which speaks of our weakness and His strength. Although this song refers to children, I believe you could also include adults as being weak and needing Jesus. “Jesus loves me! This I know, For the Bible tells me so; Little ones to Him belong; They are weak, but He is strong.” [1] I believe the Lord loves to use the weak and unimportant because it shows us that God is the one doing the work.

Jesus Was Born in Insignificant Bethlehem

The prophet Micah prophesized hundreds of years before Jesus was born and said that Jesus would be born in the town of Bethlehem. Bethlehem was an insignificant both in the era of Micah and Jesus.

Matthew 2:King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem. He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?” “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote: ‘And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah, are not least among the ruling cities of Judah, for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.’ ” [2]

Our Weakness Helps Us to Depend on Others

It is a blessing not to have every gift or talent. When we don’t have every gift or talent it makes us appreciate others and depend on them to build His Kingdom. We need each other along our spiritual journey. 1 Corinthians 12:22In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary.[3]

Our Weakness Makes Us More Dependent on God.

The Apostle Paul gives great insight into the blessings of weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:2My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. [4]

Paul was one of the most capable missionaries who ever lived yet he had weaknesses. Paul realized his weakness helped him because it forced him to rely on Jesus and not himself. If you feel weak and not very talented as you work in God’s Kingdom, remember the words of Paul. Your weaknesses are a blessing.

The Lord loves to use the least important, here more here:

https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/coming-of-messiah-visit-of-the-magi


[1] https://library.timelesstruths.org/music/Jesus_Loves_Me/

[2-4] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

IS IT THE LIGHT OR THE DARKNESS THAT FRIGHTENS A CHILD OF GOD?

Why does Jesus disturb people? Why are they afraid of Him? As soon as Jesus is born, people are becoming disturbed. Matthew 2:1Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem.[1]

Darkness is Disturbed by the Light

Jesus calls Himself the Light of the World. John 8:12Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” [2] Those who are walking in darkness refers to people who are not believers in Jesus as their Savior and are blinded by satan. When you come to believe in Jesus as your Savior your eyes are opened, and you are no longer spiritually blind. Our enemy, satan, goes to great lengths to blind people to keep them from being saved. When we are spiritually blind, we are captive to sin, but Jesus came to set the captives free. (Ref. Luke 4:18)

2 Corinthians 4:Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God. [3] This verse shows that there is a great battle occurring in our world. It is a battle between good and evil, or light and darkness. Light cannot be anything other than what it is. It is bright, it dispels darkness and enables people to see what they are doing. Jesus is light, and since He sent His Holy Spirit to live inside believers, we are also. As His children we shine even when we don’t realize it.

Jesus Told His Followers to Let Their Lights Shine

Jesus has given us the Holy Spirit so we can be empowered to bring the Good News of Jesus to others so they can be saved. He wants all people to come to Him! Matthew 5:14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. [4]

Why does Jesus disturb people? Find more here:

https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/coming-of-messiah-visit-of-the-magi


[1-4] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Matthew 2.2 Poster - Where is the child who has been born ...

How did Jesus draw you to faith? Or are you in the process of being drawn to Jesus as you read this? Each human being has a hole in our hearts that can only be filled by our Lord Jesus Christ.

Many people chase wealth, power, or fame in order to fill their lives but find this is a futile pursuit. Solomon, the son of King David, wrote about the futility of pursing worldly things. Ecclesiastes 2:11But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere. [1]

The Wise Men Pursued Jesus

Something supernatural stirred in the hearts of the Wise Men and they began a long journey to seek out the baby Jesus. Matthew 2:1 Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” [2]

The Scriptures give very little detail about these men, so we don’t know what precipitated their journey to see the newborn King. The Lord had a perfect plan for these men to draw them to Jesus and they responded to His guidance. The God of the universe guided them by a star, which speaks to their familiarity with astronomy. God used something they were familiar with to draw them to Himself.

Jesus Pursues Us

Ponder how many people Jesus has already drawn to Himself. Jesus wants everyone to be saved. 2 Peter 3: The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.[3]

Our Lord pursues us like lost sheep to draw us into His fold. He is the one who draws us and fills our hearts when we come to faith. Jesus fills the emptiness people sense apart from knowing Him as their Savior. He is the Good Shepherd and never gives up pursuing those who don’t know Him as their Savior.

I pray that as the Holy Spirit draws you to faith or to mature in faith, you will cooperate with Him. When we are drawn to Jesus, we are truly wise in a spiritual sense. To hear more about being drawn to Jesus, listen here:

https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/coming-of-messiah-visit-of-the-magi


[1-3] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Verse of the Day - Psalm 28:7 - iDisciple

Are you affected by what is going on in the world? Is it getting you down? Know that God can bring transformation through praise. The question is, how does that work? How can the Lord help me out of the muck and the mire? The Lord has given us praise as a tool. It may not change our circumstance, but it will change how we deal with our circumstance.

God’s Word Lifts Us Up

Psalm 28:The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. [1] When we are discouraged, we start to look down and depend on ourselves. As we look up to God and remember His word, He tells us who He is. He is my strength and shield. In tough times this is exactly what I need so that the darts of despair will be deflected. As He helps me, my joy returns, and I begin to praise Him for what He is doing. Wow! Be uplifted as you meditate on this verse.

Anna Encountered Baby Jesus and Began to Praise God

Luke 2:36 Anna, a prophet, was also there in the Temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher, and she was very old. Her husband died when they had been married only seven years. 37 Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer. 38 She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem. [2]

Anna’s response to meeting the baby Jesus was praise! The Lord gave Anna the amazing gift of seeing the Messiah even in her old age. She shared this good news with anyone who would listen, I can almost picture the smile on her face as she told one more person what she experienced.

Praise is Uplifting

Think how uplifted they were to hear such good news. How many people began to praise God when they heard the news? The Messiah was here! God has kept His promise and the long wait is over! Praising God is contagious in a good way. 

Praising the Lord is uplifting. Psalm 146:I will praise the Lord as long as I live. I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath. [3]

We can praise the Lord no matter the circumstance: Psalm 34:I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises. [4]

To hear more about transformation through praise, listen here:

https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/coming-of-messiah-blessing-over-jesus


[1] The New International Version. (2011). (Ps 28:7). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2-4] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

How do I live a life of faith in a changing world? Throughout history the world has been a chaotic place, yet the Lord calls His children to be the salt and the light (Matthew 5:13-16.) The Lord wants us to make a difference in the world and those around us.

Becoming a Person of Faith Helps Me Live in a Changing World

To live a life of faith in a changing world you first must become a person of faith. When I become a person of faith, the Holy Spirit lives in me and guides me.  Hebrews 11:And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. [1]

The Scriptures tell us that God is the Potter, and we are the clay. When we are open to God’s will in our lives and led by the Holy Spirit, He molds, transforms, and makes us holy. When we let the Lord transform us, we begin to seek His plan for our life instead of our plan. I may not know how to live a life in a changing world, but God does. His plan will place me in the right place at the right time to build His Kingdom.

The Prophet Anna was Living in a Changing World

We don’t think of people living at the time of Jesus as living in a changing world, but it was. Israel was ruled by the Roman Empire. Life was not easy, and Anna had been a widow most of her adult life. Can you imagine how her world changed when her husband died? Yet, during this changing world she remained a faithful believer in the Lord. She had a deep faith which sustained her along her spiritual journey. This same faith will also sustain you in a changing world.

Luke 2:36 Anna, a prophet, was also there in the Temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher, and she was very old. Her husband died when they had been married only seven years. 37 Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer. 38 She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem. [2]

Be the Salt and the Light in a Changing World

Think of the lives Anna touched as she worshiped God with prayers and fasting. She was being the salt and the light as the Lord guided her prayers and her interaction with people. Think how encouraging she was to Mary and Joseph. As the Lord guides you, ask how you can live life in a changing world and make a difference through your prayers. You can be like Anna.

To hear more how to live a life of faith in a changing world, listen here:

https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/coming-of-messiah-blessing-over-jesus


[1,2] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

A Non-Calvinistic Exposition of Ephesians 1:1-6

God’s plans are amazing, an example is the creation of this world and all that is in it. Take time today to look around your natural world. Look at the trees, the clouds in the sky, the stars at night, and especially the people in your life. Think about what an amazing Creator we have. You are an awesome creation of God and He has a plan for your life. Not just one day, but each day. He is the master planner.

Psalm 139:13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. 15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. 16 You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. [1]

As you read this, how does this make you feel?

God’s Amazing Plan to Rescue Us by Sending His Son

Our God is a God of rescue and had a plan to rescue you before you were even born. Ephesians 1:4Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. [2]

In Luke, chapter two, an older man named Simeon is led by the Holy Spirit to enter the temple. There he encounters the baby Jesus. As he holds the baby Jesus in his arms, he tells Mary and Joseph that He is the Light of the world that will bring salvation to people.

God’s Amazing Plan Includes Free Will

The Lord did not create us as robots but gave each of us free will. God desired our love and true love must be freely given. God’s plan for us is to become believers in Jesus. 2 Peter 3:The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed but wants everyone to repent.[3]

Faith in Jesus as your Savior is a blessing that is hard to comprehend. Luke 2:34This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, and many others to rise. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him.[4]  This says the influence of Jesus will cause those who place their faith in Him to rise, while others who refuse to come to Him will fall.

Take the hand of Jesus and let Him be your Savior to fulfill the plans the Lord has for you. To hear more how God’s plans are amazing, listen here:

https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/coming-of-messiah-blessing-over-jesus


[1-4] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

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