Gifts For A King: GOLD & FRANKINCENSE 12/08/2019
Gifts For A King • Sermon • Submitted • Presented • 39:57
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Introduction of sermon series: Gifts For a King. The three gifts brought by the wise men represent perfect gifts that we can give to our King. Today we are going to focus on the first two of those gifts. Next Sunday we will have a guest minister and the following Sunday at our Candlelight service I will preach about the last of the three gifts. Can you believe there are only 3 more Sundays in 2019?
Candlelit Service Dec. 22nd 11:00 AM
Champions Week starts Jan. 12th Rev. Jeremy Mills will be ministering to us. Jan. 19th we will have a vision service.
Gifts For A King
Gifts For A King
1 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, 2 saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: 6 ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.’ ” 7 Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.” 9 When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.
Herod was concerned not with worshipping the new King. He was concerned with losing his position of power. Had every child age two and under killed to ensure he retained his throne.
Just like what faced the wise men, there is a battle of two kings to the death in our lives. One king must die for the other King to reign.
We don’t know how many wise men there were that came to visit Jesus. But we do know the gifts that wise men give to the King. Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. The Queen of Sheba brought similar gifts to Solomon. Matthew 12:24 says one greater than Solomon is here!
Each of these, gold, frankincense and myrrh, represent gifts from our own lives that we can and should give Jesus.
GOLD was the usual offering presented to kings by their subjects, or those wanting to pay respect. As long ago as 2500 BC, gold was especially prized, and used as a medium of exchange. In both the Old Testament Tabernacle and the Temple, gold was used plentifully, so we see that gold is also associated with worship. And we are told that in the heavenly city we will walk on “streets of gold."
Gold represents our money and the materialism of life.
I love Christmas, but I don’t like the mass commercialism that it has become. It has been enveloped in the spirit of materialism. We are continually bombarded with the message, “What you have isn’t enough. You need more. A bigger house, a better car, a newer cell phone, a larger salary, whiter teeth, fresher breath, nicer clothes, etc. etc.” Materialism is the “Monster of MORE!”
One of the Ten Commandments forbids COVETING. That’s an old word that we don’t use much any more, but it simply means “the uncontrolled desire to acquire.” The Hebrew word “CHAMAD” in that commandment means “to desire something you were never meant to own” – that’s why the command specifies not to covet “your neighbours’” possessions. Just because someone else has it doesn’t mean that you need it!
None of us can enthrone the true King unless in the process we dethrone our other “kings.” If Christ is not Lord over our money and possessions, then he is not our Lord – period. In Luke 19, Jesus gauged Zacchaeus’ spiritual condition by his WILLINGNESS to part with his money; In Matthew 19, He gauged the rich young ruler’s spiritual condition by his UNWILLINGNESS to part with his money. There’s an undeniable connection, so Jesus calls us to take action that breaks our bondage to money and possessions and frees us to live under His Lordship.
Our handling of money is a litmus test of our true character – as an individual, as families, as leaders, and as a church. Our stewardship of our money and possessions becomes the story of our lives.
Materialism is a bad investment of our time, talent, and treasure.
26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
This is exactly why the Bible devotes twice as many verses to MONEY (2350 of them) as to “faith” and “prayer” combined (500 each). Why did Jesus say more about MONEY than He did about “Heaven” and “Hell” combined? Why did the Savior spend 15% of His recorded words on MONEY? Why are 1 out of every 10 verses in the Gospels about MONEY? Why did Jesus devote 16 out of His 38 parables to MONEY? Why did He say more about MONEY than any other subject? Because money and possessions (called “mammon” in the Bible) have the greatest potential to replace the Lordship of Jesus in your life and my life!
This is why I preach and teach about the principles of Tithe and Offering. Tithe is the first tenth returned to the Lord. Offering is everything above the tithe given out of our own free will. I feel that the majority of Christians do not understand the significance of these principles in their lives.
There was not just one tithe for Israel, but three. One tithe supported the priests and Levites, another provided for times of worship (feasts) in the house of God, and a third tithe supported orphans, widows and the poor. This third tithe was collected only every third year, so this amounted to an average “tithe” of 23% per year. And that’s just the Old Testament! TITHING (10%) IS A MINIMUM STANDARD, NOT A MAXIMUM GOAL.
GIVING is not just about donating MONEY, it’s about conquering the king named MAMMON. That means we give, not just our TREASURE, but TIME and TALENT. And if you are a “high capacity” person in any of those areas, you are robbing God and His church if you are not giving!
What would you tell the little widow woman in Mark 12 who gives her last two coins in the offering at church? What did Jesus say?
43 So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; 44 for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”
What would you tell the diligent businessman in Luke 12 who wants to expand his business so he can live comfortably in the future and retire early? What did Jesus say?
20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ 21 “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
Lord help us to do what we must to be rich toward you!
One of two kings will receive your gifts of time, talents, and treasures. Self or Jesus.
FRANKINCENSE was a very costly and fragrant substance distilled from the Boswellia tree found in deserts in the Middle East, where it has been traded for over 5000 years! It is a white resin or gum obtained by slitting the bark of the tree, allowing the sap to flow out. The Hebrew word for frankincense is “labona” ("whiteness"), referring to the white colored juice flowing out of the wound in the tree. This gum hardens for three months, and is gathered at the end of the summer, then sold in the form of "tears" (clumps of hardened resin). It was used as medicine and as perfume, but its most important use was in worship. Frankincense is highly fragrant when burned, and was therefore burned as “a sweet savour” to the Lord (that phrase is found 16 times just in Leviticus).
Frankincense represents worship.
Instructions on how to properly use frankincense can be found in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. Frankincense was associated with sacrifice. It was burned on the Altar of Incense, burned in the “meat (meal) offering,” and placed on the loaves of the Table of Shewbread. It was also taken behind the vail on the Great Day of Atonement.
Frankincense in Scripture represents prayer and worship, our sacrifice which must be pleasing to God.
Frankincense was burned on the altar, where the fire was never allowed to go out. God describes Himself as a consuming fire and a jealous God.
24 For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.
Paul says that our WORK will be judged by fire. Our WORK is either worship or idolatry in God’s eyes!
13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.
What is your passion “burning” for? Our worship must be burning for Him.
Frankincense was WHITE in color, a pure substance. Our worship must come from a holy LIFESTYLE, or it is worthless.
15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
Our worship must be holy.
Frankincense had a heavy scent to provide a “sweet smelling sacrifice.” What does that mean? Think about it – the tabernacle was constantly filled with the smell of burning FLESH! You can’t worship God and flesh!
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Our worship must include the death of our flesh.
Frankincense was produced as a result of a WOUND in a tree. This is one of the reasons it was an appropriate gift for Jesus, who was wounded and died on a tree for us! Can you worship when wounded? There is no sweeter worship given than that of a person who has been wounded and chooses to continue worshipping the Lord.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise.
Our worship must continue even when we are hurting.
One of two Kings will receive your worship, self or Jesus.