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Matthew 2:1-12

FOLLOWING A STAR AND FINDING A STABLE

Intro: Have you ever noticed how life doesn't always turn out the way we carefully plan it to? Sometimes circumstances don't always follow our plans. Often, it seems that life is nothing more than a series of shattered dreams. Ill. These Wise Men, they had spent the last two years following a star, v.s. 7, 16. To follow this star, they had left home and family behind. They had left their country and were now pilgrims. Along the way, they no doubt had to face perils and obstacles. They even found themselves in the presence of a king. Then, when they finally arrive at their destination, they find the star they have been following stops over a stable. These men probably dreamed of finding the Messiah in a palace, this probably explains their going to Herod's first! I'm sure they at least expected luxury, and a nice home. What they found did not match their dreams. They found the King of Kings, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a feed trough. No doubt their dreams were shattered. Yet, amid the rubble of their torn and twisted dreams, these wise men found some things in that stable that changed their lives. Sometimes life has a way of shattering our dreams and destroying our hopes and plans. I want to help you tonight. I want to tell you what to do when you are following a star and find a stable.

I. WISE MEN RECOGNIZE GOD IN THE STABLES OF LIFE

A. Ill. The Context. It wasn't what they had expected, but they came to worship and worship they did! They saw God in that stable! They saw God in Jesus!

B. When life shatters your dreams, your first duty is to find the Lord. If you are His, then nothing can happen in your life that He has not allowed. (Ill. Job 1:1-2).

C. When your star leads you into a stable, remember that God is doing one of three things:

1. Correction - Heb. 12:6; Rev. 3:19

2. Instruction - He is trying to reveal Himself to you in a new way, Rom. 8:28. (Ill. John 6 - Storms; John 6 - Hunger; John 6 - Fear) (Ill. Israel - Had they never faced anything that they did, they would never have known that He could see them through!) (Ill. The men of Samaria - They believe because of what they had experienced - John 4:42.

3. Perfection - He is trying to mold you into His image. He desires a vessel that He can use and has chosen you as that vessel and He is getting you ready for service! (Ill. Moses - He could not have led Israel, until he first led those sheep in the desert!)

D. When you star leads to a stable - Look for God, He will be there!

II. WISE MEN RENDER GIFTS IN THE STABLES OF LIFE

A. Ill. The context. It would have been easy for these men to have turned around, packed up all they had and went home. After all, who would blame them? It hadn't turned out like they had planned. But, they didn't! They gave Jesus What was rightfully His. (Ill. The significance of the gifts and the necessity!)

B. When your star leads you into a stable, that is the time to give! Ill.

Most people's response to the stable. Most people will stop giving when they get in the stable. That is the wrong response! The way to get from God is to give to Him - Mal. 3:8-10; Luke 6:38; 2 Cor. 9:7, Ill. 2 Cor. 9:1-9. Ill. Matt. 10:40-42; Matt. 25:34-40.

C. These wise men received far more than they gave. That is always the way with God. No man can ever out give Him. No very many try, but those who do find Him to be over abundant in His supply.

D. The surest way to get a blessing is to be a blessing! (Ill. The Parable of the Talents - Matt. 25:14-30)

III. WISE MEN RECEIVE GRACE IN THE STABLES OF LIFE

A. Ill. The context. While they were there, the experienced two kinds of grace. First, they experienced saving grace. Secondly, they experienced sustaining grace. God saved them and then He directed their lives.

B. When our star leads to a stable, we can expect to find God's grace in that hour of need - 2 Cor. 12:9. Life is seldom fair, nor what we think it ought to be. But, even when life lets us down, we can be sure that God never will! (Ill. Heb. 13:5; Heb. 4:15!) (Ill. Heb. 2:17-18!!)

C. When our star leads to a stable, we can expect God to provide leadership and guidance for us, John 16:13!

D. As God's children, we are never alone and never without recourse. He will always make a way for us and will support us through the stables of life!

Conc: Have you ever been following a star and wound up in a stable, surrounded by the debris of your shattered hopes and dreams? Maybe you are there right now. If so, let me tell you that Jesus is still in your stable. He is working on your behalf and is concerned about your need. Why don't you do what the wise men did, fall down before Him and worship Him.




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