New Hope Notes

Herod's Hidden Gift: Unpreparedness
Discovering the Hidden Gifts of Christmas

Pastor Randy Furushima
December 12, 2010 - W1050

Today we are going to peek into the heart of King Herod. King Herod's hidden gift was: Unpreparedness. There is a story in the Bible that is about secret meetings, international intrigueand espionage. It includes powerful people coming together that represented 2 world powers of the day. The conspiracy also went up to the highest ranking officials of those countries. The story continues of a King who felt so threatened that he set out to kill baby infants, making him a murderer. We have a family fleeing in the night for their lives. Two adults and a child wouldend up as fugitives in a foreign land. They all were in danger.

How do we know that this is a true story? Because it is the Christmas story. Out story today is about King Herod and the Three Wise men.

We need to have fresh knowledge of what Jesus has meant to you and me. So let us all make room in our hearts. It was Benjamin Franklin who said "BY FAILING TO PREPARE- YOU ARE PREPARING TO FAIL"

Singing Joy ToThe World tells us to let every heart prepare him room.

Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King! Let every heart prepare Him room, and heaven and nature sing!

King Herod was known as a great builder. If we visited the Holy Land we could see some of the buildings of King Herod.King Herod prepared a plan before building, but failed to prepare his heart.When the Wise men came searching for the Christ child, King Herod set out to kill the child.This was done because he was not prepared in his heart for the child.

God wants us today to prepare room for Him in our hearts.God wants us to flushout the non essentials to make room for Him. How many of you today want to make room in your heart to make Christmas fresh? This is what God wants us to do.

What is it that God wants us to see? To see the things that God has brought ina new way or in another fashion -so that we are not surprised and unprepared like King Herod. Why is it important to be prepared?Because the consequences of not beingprepared could be devastating.

Here are 3 CONSEQUENCES OF BEING UNPREPARED

1. FEAR.
As the Bible says, "
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 saw His star when it rose and have come to worship Him.' When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him." (Matt. 2:1-3)

Jerusalem. The fear that King Herod felt in his heart was felt in the city. The 2nd consequence is


2. INSECURITY.

King Herod was so worried about losing his position that he began a secret investigation: "...and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born... Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared." (Matt. 2:4, 7) Another consequence of being unprepared is

3. DISHONESTY.

King Herod started to plan the death of the Christ child. He tried to deceive the Wise Men as the Bible tells us, "And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, 'Go and search diligently for the Child, and when you have found Him bring me word, that I too may come and worship Him.'" (Matt. 2:8)


He wanted information to eliminate the Christ child, whom he thought to be a threat to his power. King Herod deceived the Wise Men and himself.

Reflection Questions
Were you ever unprepared for something significant?
What were the consequences?
What would you do better to prepare yourself?


THREE SECRETS FROM THE WISE MEN TO AVOID BEING UNPREPARED


1. Cultivate a DISCIPLINED heart.


The 3 Wise Men did not let anything distract them. As it is written, "...
wise men from the east came to Jerusalem saying... 'For we saw His star when it rose and have come to worship Him.'" (Matt. 2:1-2)


2.
Explore your SOURCES of knowledge.

The Magi examined the prophecy and discerned carefully what it meant. Accordingly, the Bible says, "They told him, 'In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: "And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a Ruler who will shepherd My people Israel"' ... After listening to the king they went on their way." (Matt. 2:5-6, 9)


3.
Invest in the things that MATTER.

The Wise Men invested their riches, time and effort in Jesus. As the Bible tells us, "And going into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother, and they fell down and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh." (Matt. 2:11)


Reflection Questions

What in your heart is "under training" (learning discipline)?
What "sources" of knowledge do you need to access?
Where are you primarily investing your time?