November 19, 2020
Matthew 2:9-12
After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.  When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.  And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
New International Version (NIV)
             After he was a star on the New England Patriots, my friend Benton Reed moved to Austin, joined our church and started helping with our students.  Every time I read the Samson story I think of Benton.  Now his son Michael plays professional baseball.  What do you do after the NFL?  Benton has taken up stargazing.  He has a serious telescope that takes pictures which show us the skies shouting God’s glory. 
Benton has inspired me to ask for a telescope for Christmas.  (I wonder if I will get it?  We shall see.)  Just last night I saw Orion’s belt pointing down at a seriously bright blue star.  The name of this serious star is, you guessed it, Sirius.  Genesis says in the King James Version, “And he made the stars also.”  My God made that beautiful blue star.  This increases my awe for God.  The whole universe does his bidding.
The Magi were expert star-gazers.  So when they saw a new star in the sky, they followed it.  It led them from their home all the way to Jerusalem.  After visiting with Herod, the star led them seven miles further out to Bethlehem.  There they met the mighty Maker of the stars, lying, of all places, in a manger.  True, these men watched the stars but they worshiped the Maker of the stars, giving him their gifts.  What do we give to the God who gave us the stars and gave us life?  We give him our worship, to be sure.  My friend T. Grant-Malone says we have not worshiped until we give.
Christina Rossetti captured the heart of worship in the words of a poem, “What can I give him, poor as I am?  If I were a shepherd, give him a lamb.  If I were a wise man, I’d do my part.  What can I give him?  Give him my heart."  My friend Benton, mighty as a mountain gave Jesus his heart.  So did the wise men.  T. Grant-Malone did.  As did Christina Rossetti.  Will we?
Please join me in prayer:         
Father, wise ones still seek you.  Thank you for making stars.  The whole universe points us to you, if we are watching.  Give us eyes to see your handiwork.  Give us hearts to worship.  Give us hands willing to give to you and share with others.  Give us joy in the celebration of the birth of Jesus, in whose name we pray.  Amen.  
Join us in memorizing the Word.  Scripture for this week:    
Matthew 7:17-18
Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.
Our 2020 Every Day with Jesus readings will follow the Foundations New Testament reading plan.  Copies of the reading plan are available at Tallowood Baptist Church, or download your copy at REPLICATE.ORG 
We would love for you to join us as we read the New Testament through this year, five chapters a week.  In addition I will continue my long-standing practice of reading one Psalm a day through the year.  Use Robby Gallaty’s H. E. A. R. plan to study each chapter (also found at REPLICATE.ORG). Highlight verses which speak to you, explain what they mean in your own words in a journal, apply them to your own life, then respond by doing what God tells you to do.  

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