Intro: Someone said, “An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in, and a pessimist stays up until midnight to make sure the old year leaves.”
Today is also known as Epiphany Sunday. I doubt that any of you were up late last night waiting for Epiphany. More and more people have never even heard of Epiphany.
Today we also celebrate the arrival of the Wise Men in Bethlehem. Epiphany in the early church was one of the biggest feast days –second only to Easter in its importance.
Why was Epiphany so important then, and now why is it so unimportant? The word IMany people today have lost that sense of excitement and expectation of worship. Worship is attributing ultimate worth to something. Worship is valuing one thing above another thing.
Its origin of meaning is from the word “worth” so it is literally “worth ship”.
Today we are going to look at “How to Know You Are Worshiping the Savior.”
I. You Find Him.
“In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men[ from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising,[ and have come to pay him homage.” Matthew 2:1-2
“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east [think about the phrase “from the east” because this tells us something very important about worship.] came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one [think about this phrase also: “Where is the one?” That also tells you something about worship. They had traveled a great distance. They had journeyed from faraway lands. These were astronomers.
They had been watching the moon, the planets, the stars for years.
Mapping the design calculating the patterns, analyzing the data and predicting the behavior of the celestial bodies. Then suddenly out of no where came this star.
They knew it would lead them to the one who is worthy to be worshiped. Because they had been studying the holy scrolls of the prophets. They knew the promise that God would send a Savior.
They came to a house and they see the child with his mother Mary. “On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage.” Matthew 2:11
They knew they had found the Savior. Where do you find the Savior? How do you find Jesus? How far will you travel to find Him? When you find Jesus you will know that you are worshiping the Savior.
Our focus needs to be on finding Jesus in 2019. I want to live in a state of worship. I want to be fully involved in worship. Tell somebody beside you, “Life is better with Worship.”
In your daily life when there is no Worship things get out of sync. If something didn’t happen for you this past year that you wanted to happen it might be because you got out of worship you took a spiritual detour. Your life went the wrong direction away from the blessings and favor that God had planned for you.
It is time to get back on the right path and go in the right direction to finding Jesus. How to Know You Are Worshiping the Savior
II. You Receive Him.
“When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.” Matthew 2:10
The star appeared to them. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. They received the message from God. They followed his direction. You know you are worshiping the Savior when you follow where he is leading you.
Not everyone is open to receive God. Here was this star that stopped directly over a house. There was a spotlight on Jesus.
And the only people who came to worship him were people who were from out of town.
When you have received Jesus into your life you will want to tell others your God story. That’s the kind of church I want to belong to is to be around people who know their God story.
Will you start off this New Year receiving what God wants to do in your life? The wise men were overjoyed by what they saw.
Can you list the things you have seen God do in your life? What things has God brought about in your life? What prayers has God answered for you? How has your life been restored and overjoyed since receiving Jesus?
III. You Praise Him. “On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.” Matthew 2:11
[think about the words “bowed down”] and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts [think about the phrase “presented him with gifts” – that’s part of worship.] of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Worship is participation. How do you participate in worship? Did you come to watch worship Or did you come to do worship?
That is the difference that God is looking for in your life. There were a lot of watchers of the stars. Everyone could see this huge, bright, shining star over Bethlehem But only a few wise men came to the house and bowed down and worshiped him.
Some people will say I worship in my heart. Or they say I worship in my home. Those are internal expressions of worship. Internal expressions of worship alone are not enough. That is why there has always been external expressions of worship called praise.
When your desire is to praise Him Then you will Know You Are Worshiping the Savior. How to Know You Are Worshiping the Saviour
IV. You Are Changed by Him.
“Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold and of frankincense and of myrrh.” And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.” Matthew 2:11b
[Think about those words “return by another route.”] That’s also part of what it means to worship. When the authority of Jesus was validated by the signs and miracles he performed
–like changing water into wine
–by the voice of God thru the Holy Spirit descending like a dove at his baptism
Those signs were God’s way of saying, “Hey, this is the guy!”
and Epiphany was the church’s way of saying, “And we can never be the same again.”
When you become a Christian your life will never be the same again. Everything changes. You are not the same anymore. Your life takes on new meaning and purpose and direction.
When times are tough so often we forget to focus on what God has done for us. We begin to magnify the negatives around us
We let that consume our thoughts and even our actions. Or worse yet we don’t let it change the route we are taking.
When you want to change the course of your life. Begin with worshiping the Savior. When we worship God it magnifies His greatness it brings into focus who He is;
So here’s what you need to do: don’t wait until you arrive at church to start preparing for worship. Get up a few minutes early on Sunday and pray. Ask God to prepare your heart.
Read a Psalm. Listen to some worship music. Start the process a couple of hours ahead of time. That way, when the singing starts at beginning of the service your heart will be ready to worship God.
Authentic worship comes when you put Jesus first in your life. Then nothing else will come between you and God. It all has to do with what you value the most. What is worth the most in your life?
What do you value the most in life? What are you worshiping?
That’s why you’re here – to focus in on him. To do the most important thing you can do this year of 2019 is to worship God.m And when you worship it actually changes you. It does something great to you. Your life is like this big map. There’s the “You are here” arrow and it’s at the busyness and the messiness and the routine of your life. There is this destination over here called “Worship.”
So how do you get from where you are to this place of worship? Those first worshipers that first Christmas teach us. They knew how to find Jesus. They knew how to receive Jesus
They knew how to praise Jesus. They knew how to be changed by Jesus.