San Lo Community, an update for the week of December 16, 2018…
Thank you Pastor Joshua, for the message from Matthew 2:7-15, “God’s Plan = Best Plan.” Aside from my well detailed and successful plans to drink eggnog every Christmas season, though many of you might think drinking eggnog is a failure in itself already, I know I’ve had many other plans in life I’d try to follow through with, thinking I know what’s best for myself, only to come up short. And I’m sure everyone could say the same thing of themselves as well. But this isn’t only a past thing. The failed plans of our past are probably eerily familiar with the plans of our present; that there are things right now, plans we’re making and chasing after that are failing, failing ourselves, failing God. But the cool thing about this passage is that, despite man’s plans, God’s plans are better. In fact, God’s plans are best. Which brings us to our Key Idea: Because God is sovereign and His plans are better than our own, we can rest in the secure hope of Christ. So let’s get into it… Why should we trust in God’s plans? Why should we see His plans as better than our own? How is it that we can we trust God with our lives?
For one, we can trust in God’s plans because…God always has a better plan. (Vv.7-8) Herod had his own plans but God had a greater one. He hides the fact that he’s troubled, beguiling/deceiving the wise men by saying he wants to worship the child like them too. Herod had his own failed plans to protect his throne but God had a greater plan to protect the life of His Son. Now, we’re no King Herod trying to kill the toddler Messiah, but like Herod we are trying to keep Jesus off of our thrones, that is… the thrones of our lives. Instead of living by our own plans, instead of living our lives as if we’re the rulers of our own thrones, we need to give up the ultimate authority of our lives to God because He always has a better plan.
God’s better plan is Jesus. (Vv.9-11) God’s better plan is for us to know Him deeply and personally, to worship Him, as we see with the wise men, to have Him on the thrones of our lives. This is only possible because God’s better plan is Jesus. God’s better plan is His Son, to sacrifice Jesus on our behalf. So after Herod’s secret meeting with the wise men, the wise men take off in search of the child Messiah, still not yet privy to Herod’s true intentions. And as verse 9 describes, a star, the same one that led the wise men to Jerusalem in the first place, now leads them to the place where Jesus was, the child Messiah, to worship Him and their worship was more appropriate than they realized. But unlike the wise men, we today should be able to better understand who Jesus really is as revealed through the entirety of Scripture. You see, God gave His Son to us because He knows our greatest need… Him. Jesus was born to die… but the end was not in His grave, for He rose from the dead, conquering the consequence of sin, death itself, so that we too, would not die but have a share in His eternal life through Him, together with Him. During the Christmas season, we can focus so much on this image of wise men, the manger, shepherds, angels, animals, Mary and Joseph surrounding the cute baby Jesus in a manger and forget the seriousness and the depth of God’s sacrificial love that it’s all meant to represent. So let’s take a moment to examine our hearts now and remember the real reason of the season: Christ. And would Christ lead us to align our lives, our plans, our everything with Him. But how can we trust in God’s plan over our own?
God’s plan is always secure. (Vv.12-15) There were plenty of things that could have gone south real quick in the beginning of Jesus’ life. But as we’ll read, God kept Him safe and secure because His plan is always secure. For one, God steps in to warn the wise men in a dream in verse 12. Two, God also warns Jesus’ family by dream in verse 13. For three, this was all prophesied from long ago, showing us that God had planned things out safely this way all along. It’s very clear that God was securing Jesus’ life by looking out for Him, securing His safety even centuries before He would be born, all to carry out His plan to save us. God’s plans were secure from the start, and because of His careful care and complete control in protecting Jesus’ life for us, even while He was just a child facing a murderous king, we can be assured that we can trust God’s plans and trust that things really will work out the way they should. The underlying theme of God’s Word to us is that He is in control. His hands are on everything that happens in this world including our lives. Through anything and everything in life, we can trust and know that God’s plan is always secure because He’s already provided for our greatest need in Christ. And as Romans 8:32 says, “He [God] who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?” God not only provides for our greatest need in Christ but provides for all of our other needs too.
So church, what are you placing your hope in? What are the plans you’ve set out for yourself? Are you rooting your plans in your own hearts or are you finding peace and rest in God’s by giving it all to Him? For there’s no better place to be than to rest in the secure hope of Christ.