Don’t Be a Spectator of the Spectacular

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Don’t Be a Spectator of the Spectacular

Pastor Darrell Ingram

Matthew 2:1-2:12

How far was “afar”?

Why Bother?

Have you heard about Jesus?

Christmas Spectacular

Pastor Richie Thornton

This morning I want to give you 3 attributes that I believe qualified Marry to carry and deliver the most spectacular Gift the world has ever seen!

Main Text – Luke 1:26-38

Mary was Pure (Mathew 5:8; Hebrews 12:14; Psalm 51:10)

Mary was Willing (2 Chronicles 16:9)

Mary was Humble (2 Chronicles 7:14)

How to Participate in the Spectacular

Pastor Steven Roberts

Scripture Reference:   John 4:1-38

Be Present

God cannot use you if you are not there

Be Consistent

God cannot equip you if you do not keep showing up

Be Less

Human nature is always sinful. You need to be less you and more God.

Sermon Video Transcription

Darrell Ingram (00:00):
Morning. Hey, it’s good to Pastor James and Mrs. Debbie are away. They get a time of rest and relaxation, you know, but I’m excited because every time he leaves, he lets me preach. So I really appreciate Pastor trusting me enough to get in his pulpit and preach. So thanks, Pastor. Listen, we’re going to pray real fast and then we’re going to get right into the message. Father, right now, I ask you right now, Lord, as we come to you, Lord, that you would begin to work on our hearts, work on our souls. Lord, that we would give you honor and glory. That I would give you honor and glory. Father, right now, help us, lift us, use us, encourage us. Father, we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Darrell Ingram (00:52):
I remember as a child at Christmas time, I couldn’t go to sleep and I tossed and turned and tossed and turned. And it seemed like I would get up on the hour every hour. At one o’clock, I’d jumped up. At two o’clock, I’d jump up. At three o’clock, I’d jump up. At four o’clock, I’d jump up. But it was like I heard the reindeer on the roof and them landing on the roof. I even thought Santa at one time, we didn’t have a chimney, but I thought he was coming down the chimney. And I couldn’t wait for Christmas to get here. I couldn’t wait to open presents. I couldn’t wait because as a kid, as a kid, it was exciting. How many of y’all are excited for Christmas? As a kid, it was exciting. As a kid, it was amazing. Matter of fact, it was spectacular. And we wanted the spectacular.

Darrell Ingram (01:44):
I wanted the spectacular. And you know, I remember the year I was asking, I want a GI Joe. Guys, they’re not dolls. Okay? Not the little ones. I’m talking about the good ones, the big ones. Man, I wanted GI Joe and I kept on asking, kept on asking, kept on. I didn’t get it for my birthday. I was brokenhearted. Then finally, I look under the Christmas tree that morning and there he is, my own GI Joe. I was like, all right. So we played with these GI Joes, but, you know, we were kind of tough on them. We did things to them to make them be the right GI Joe, to make them be the manly GI Joe. Like at one time, I wanted to get the Jeep. And I finally got a friend to give me the Jeep that GI Joe went in and I stuck him in there. And I started, piled up a bunch of leaves and limbs and stuff. And I lit them on fire and I made a little ramp. And I, GI Joe, bam, right in the fire. I didn’t have a GI Joe anymore. I was heartbroken. All these years, I was wanting GI Joe and I was heartbroken. Y’all remember that as a kid. Y’all remember that as a kid. When you were growing up, and you were excited for the next day. And I asked myself the question the other day, why am I not excited to see the spectacular anymore?

Darrell Ingram (03:13):
What has happened? What has happened between now and then? And maybe you’ve asked that question. I know I have several times. Could it be that we get caught up in the season rather than the reason? Could it be that we’re so worried about getting presents and giving presents rather than receiving the only present that counts? Could it be, could it be that we got our eyes off of what needs to happen? Y’all remember the song or the little guys, three, the song, three kings, we three kings of Orient are bearing gifts, we traveled so far? The reason why I know that is because when I moved here when I was in the eighth grade, they made me put on one of them stupid gowns and a hat. And they may me. And here I am, I wasn’t as big as this, but still, it made me look ridiculous. And we had to walk through the sanctuary. We three kings of Orient. Man, I was like I can’t do this.

Darrell Ingram (04:25):
I remember, I remember those days. I remember the getting excited and I thought to myself, you know, I was singing this song. How far is afar? How far is afar? Well, some scholars think it’s about a thousand miles to Bethlehem. And some scholars said it should have taken about one to two years to make it to Jerusalem. For it to take a year to get to church, you have the desire for more. You have the desire for the spectacular. You have the desire to worship. You have the desire to want Jesus in your life. Have you ever had that desire? Have you ever had that desire where you wanted to be a part of the spectacular, you wanted to be a part of something amazing, you wanted Jesus to work in your life? Have you ever been there? I’m talking about something. I’m talking about something so spectacular, something so good that you just got to have it. You just got to have it. It’s like me and. Listen, y’all don’t bring these. Okay?

Darrell Ingram (05:36):
It’s like me and GooGoo Clusters. Someone brought me like tons of boxes and I’ve been eating them every day, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I was like, man, it’s Heaven for me, 20 pounds later. It is. But you know, it’s like a GooGoo Cluster. I can make a commercial for GooGoo Cluster. These are good. I like them. Why don’t you try them? I know I could. I know I could. But here’s what I would like to say. Jesus is good. I tried Him. Why don’t you try Him? Why don’t you try Him ? It’s spectacular. Listen, this journey wasn’t a safe journey. You know, the thieves would plague the roads all the way through. So it would cause the commoners to come and join together so that they would be protected. But these were Magi. They weren’t the ordinary. They had an authenticity to worship, the desire to want more of Jesus, the desire to want to see Jesus, to give Jesus more than they could ever give.

Darrell Ingram (06:50):
You know, you got to give it up. You got to give it up. You got to give more in your worship. You got to give it up to get where Jesus is to experience him more than ever before, to experience Jesus, the spectacular. You got to give it up to go to the next level. You got to be committed. You got to go to that whole other level. You got to give up something so it becomes inconvenient and it sends an inconvenience in your life just to prepare for this journey. Would have taken months. How did you prepare to come to journey today? How’d you come prepared to the journey? Did you spend time with God? Did you spend time in God’s Word? So that when you get here or got here, you couldn’t wait for something spectacular. You couldn’t wait to worship Jesus. You couldn’t wait to serve Him. That’s why the scholars, I believe they didn’t arrive until two years after the birth. In Matthew 2:11, it says this.

Darrell Ingram (07:57):
When they came, when they were come into the house, they saw a young child with Mary, His mother and fell down and worshiped Him. Where was He born? Where was He born? He was born in Bethlehem. In a what? In a barn. And they put Him in a manger, a feeding trough. They set Him in there. But He wasn’t there. Joseph and Mary had moved out of the barn and they settled into a home in Bethlehem. And Joseph was working as a carpenter and there these wise men found Jesus. And the Bible said they fell down and worshiped Him. They fell down and worshiped Him. Then they gave Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. They traveled a great distance, spent a great deal of money to get to their destination. They never counted the cost. Never counted the cost. They just wanted more than being a spectator of the spectacular. They wanted more. They wanted more of Jesus. They wanted to honor Him. They wanted to praise Him. They wanted to worship Him.

Darrell Ingram (09:17):
Where are you at this morning? Where are you at this morning? Are you ready to worship and praise Jesus for who He is? Are you ready to celebrate the birth of a savior? Or are we just here, oh, I’m just here? Why bother? Why bother? Jesus wasn’t born in their country. He wasn’t technically their king. In fact, when they found Him, He wasn’t much of a king at all. He probably wasn’t even very dressed. I mean He had been in an insignificant town, a Judean village. And He wasn’t even dressed like a king. He was probably a two-year-old boy sitting on the floor, I don’t know, playing with GI Joe or something. So why would they bother? Why would they go through all the trouble? Because they had been reading about Jesus for a long time and they wanted more than just words. They wanted more than just words. They wanted to experience the spectacular, the king of kings, the Messiah.

Darrell Ingram (10:25):
Are you ready to, are you ready? Are you ready to experience something spectacular? Something more than just today? Are you ready to just experience who Jesus is and what He has done for your life? In Matthew 2:1-2, it says this, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem, in Judea during the time of King Herod, Magi from the East came to Jerusalem and asked, where is the one? Where is the one who has been born King of the Jews? We saw the star in the East and have come to worship Him. They knew that a king would be born in Judea and they believed it. And that star guided them there. They believed. They believed that thing. You know, why would they believe that? They weren’t even in the same land or in the same area. A few hundred years ago, you know, before that, Jews had been taken captive and there were placed in Babylon. Y’all remember Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? Y’all remember them three little dudes? They get thrown in a fiery furnace and the king said there’s not three, but there’s four people in there. Huh? Y’all remember that?

Darrell Ingram (11:41):
What about Daniel? The story about Daniel in the lions’ den? Where Daniel was in the bottom of the pit and he was sound asleep because the Lord was with him. It doesn’t matter what you’re going through. If you have Jesus in your life, it doesn’t matter. If lions are trying to jump on you, there will be peace! They may have been the descendants of those Jews in captivity and become students of the prophecy of the Old Testament and the prophet Daniel and they knew, they knew the prophecy. And they knew about Numbers 24:17. Now write that down. You can go back and look at it. A star will come out of Jacob. A scepter will rise out of Israel. That prophecy could have led those Magi to follow that star to find the one, the one destined to hold the scepter of Israel. In Daniel 9, God sets the timetable for coming the coming of the new king called the anointed one, 70 sevens are declared for your people and your Holy City to finish transgressions to put an end to sin and atone for the wicked, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision of prophecy and the most Holy One, the anointed one from the issuing of that decree, from the issuing of that decree, to restoring and rebuilding Jerusalem until the anointed one, the ruler, the ruler. There comes 70 sevens and 60. I’m not going to go all in on that detail about them. 62 sevens. God was essentially telling them, pay attention. Pay attention. The clock starts ticking when the wall starts breaking.

Darrell Ingram (13:41):
Okay. Oh yeah. The Magi knew the prophecy. They knew where they were going. They knew. And they were watching the skies during their lifetime. They read about Jesus. They read about the King of Kings that was coming. Once you read about Him, once they read about Him, they were compelled to find Him. They knew there was something more about Him. There was something more about that name. There’s something more about the name of Jesus. There’s something more. Have you heard about Him? Have you heard about Him? How many of you, how many of you have heard about Jesus? How many of you heard about Jesus? How many of you have come to seek Him, to worship Him, to praise Him? There’s more than just seeking Jesus. There’s more than just showing up. The Magi, they could have showed up. They could have showed up, walked by the house, looked inside the house. Oh, there’s Jesus. And gone on their merry way. They could have. You know, there are regular church goers who show up to church every Sunday, Sunday after Sunday. And they look around and they see Jesus and then go on their merry way without ever getting close to Him.

Darrell Ingram (15:05):
They become spectators of the spectacular. They become spectators of Jesus. And there are many who haven’t come to spend time with Jesus. They’re coming, they come to church just to feel religious and church is a good place to feel religious. Church is a good place to come and feel like you got it all together. But you don’t. The wise men wanted Jesus. They wanted more of Jesus. They wanted to, they wanted to absorb Him in their lives. And they didn’t just show up. They had something more. They saw the child and the mother, Mary and they bowed down and worshiped Him. They bowed down and worshiped Him. They were willing to give more. They worshiped. When was the last time you truly worshiped Jesus? When was the last time that you literally fell down and worshiped Him, bowed down and literally worshiped Him? They gazed at the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. And they fell down and they worship Him. Have you come to give more? Have you come to give more? Or do you want more? Have you come to be a spectator? Or have you come to be a participant in Jesus Christ? Are you so compelled to come here Sunday mornings to get more of Jesus and feel frustrated when you can’t make it? Feel frustrated when you can’t make it.

Darrell Ingram (16:45):
And when you get here, you’re so filled with joy. When you sing, you praise Him more than ever before. I mean you don’t just sing the words. But the words permeate your soul and they come from your soul out. Do you want more? Do you want more of how to show Jesus how much you love Him? Do you want more of the meal that He has offered? Do you hunger to find more of what the Bible says about Him? You see, when we come to Jesus, like the wise men, we begin to act like someone who’s in love. And you want to spend more time with the one that you are love with. You don’t just simply spectate. You want to spend more time. As a young man, I’ll tell you about how I proposed to Beverly. I’ll do it later if y’all want to know. It’s the best way to do it. As a young man, I felt hopelessly in love with Bev. I wanted to spend as much time as possible with her. I wanted to be there every hour. I know it sounds nauseating. But some of y’all been there. I remember we’d stay on the phone for hours because we wanted each other. We wanted to hear each other. We wanted more of each other and we couldn’t wait until we got back together. When we fell in love and we didn’t really fall in love, we’ve grown in love. When we fell in love, we wanted to spend as much time together as possible.

Darrell Ingram (18:22):
And when we weren’t together, we were thinking about each other. To this day, to this day, I get off of work, I drive down the road and I want to hear my wife’s voice. I call her, hey, babe, how’s it going? What you doing? I’m working. What are you doing? Well, I’m driving down the road. But I just wanted to hear you. You know, I just wanted to hear your voice. Know that you still love me. Yeah. I still love you. But I’m working. Yes, baby. I love you. I just got through working. But we wanted to spend as much time as possible. In other words, I wanted more time, more days, more nights with Bev because I love her. And I still love her. And I still want to spend the time with her. When I go out of town, I don’t want to be out of town. I want to be in town next to my wife. When you reach that state of mind with Jesus, you find that you can’t live without Him, and you can’t help but bow down and worship Him.

Darrell Ingram (19:33):
And so what you do is you try to start finding them gifts. You try to find, start Jesus. They gave Him gifts. There were expensive gifts. Gold was one of the most precious metals of that time and it still is. Frankincense was a costly perfume. Myrrh was a precious oil. There’s a lot of money wrapped up there. And there are two things that come to my mind here. The first thing that comes to mind is that it was expensive. It was expensive. And the second thing that comes to my mind, these are hardly appropriate gifts for a two-year-old boy. He didn’t have any use for gold or frankincense or myrrh. He didn’t have any, He didn’t want them. He wanted GI Joe. That’s what He wanted. When I was a kid, I didn’t want gold even though it was precious. I didn’t want frankincense. I didn’t want myrrh. I didn’t want any cologne. I wanted to walk around stinking like a boy. My GI Joe, he may have had burned hair and burned up body, but I wanted to walk around, proud with him

Darrell Ingram (20:44):
Gold, frankincense and myrrh weren’t real practical gifts for a baby. And they didn’t have much need for gold, frankincense and myrrh. He didn’t care about it. Therefore the gifts couldn’t really be practical, could they? But they were. And the reason that they were practical is was because God helped them pick out those gifts, helped them pick out those gifts. And they were extremely practical for Jesus and His family. Do you remember what happened right after the wise men left for home? In Matthew 2:13, it says this, when the wise men had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dreams and said, get up. He said, take the child and His mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search and kill the child. He’s going to search for Him. Herod was jealous. He didn’t want to share the throne with anyone. He had no intentions of someone sitting right beside him. So Herod sent soldiers around to kill every child two years and under. But Mary and Joseph, they escaped. They fled where they had no family, where they had no friends. They had no one to help them. How could they survive?

Darrell Ingram (22:07):
That’s right. They had gold. They had gold. And have you ever got the price of gold nowadays? Eighteen hundred. Went to $1,800. Last week, when I looked at it, it was $1,400. So it’s still going up. An ounce. They had more than an ounce. They had a lot of ounces. They had more than enough. Then if the gold ran out, then they had frankincense and myrrh. They could’ve sold them off for cash. So they could have lived comfortable in exile. And then came back to Nazareth and set up shop. That’s why God has a plan. He always has a plan. He always has a purpose. God told us exactly what these gifts represented. Gold was the gift of a king. Frankincense was a gift of a priest, that the priest offered God. Myrrh was used as an oil to prepare the body for burial. In those three gifts, God declared, declared that His Son would be our King, our God, our sacrifice. In other words, He would die for us. By those three gifts at His birth, that He would come the Savior of the world.

Darrell Ingram (23:28):
You see, Christmas is based on the exchange of gifts. God’s gift to us is His Son. Our gift to Him is our lives. And it’s not as much as what He gave us. But we can attempt to give Him who we are. We can attempt to give Him all that we are. And listen, if you don’t belong to Jesus this morning, I implore you to come and find the Savior, to come and receive the gift. Don’t simply be a spectator, but start to be a participant. This morning, Pastor Steven preached about the woman at the well and it just caught my eyes. The woman at the well, he said, the well was big and they had to dig down deep and they did stairs around this well. And she had to walk down. Jesus was down there. She had to walk down these stairs by the people who knew she was bad woman, coming up the stairs. She had to walk past the people who knew she sinned. And she had to have her feet on the ground, walking towards the water. She had to walk to get into His presence. She had to do something to get into His presence. She had to walk down those stairs and she got to the water.

Darrell Ingram (25:01):
But she really found the living water. You see, this morning, if you’re looking for the water, the living water’s there. All you got to do is step out and say, I want that. I want some of that. Man, I want it. I want it every day of my life. I want to get up in the morning and I want to drink Jesus. I want to see Jesus. You know, sometimes like this morning, I got wrestled and I wanted to spend time with Jesus. Sometimes I don’t sleep at night and I get up at two o’clock or three o’clock in the morning. And Beverly doesn’t even know. And I sit in there and I’m tired the next day. But I want to spend time with Jesus. How about you? How about you? How much time do you spend with Him? Do you spend with Him now because it’s the season? Or do you make that season all year around? You see, God loves you. He loves you and He wants the very best for you.

Darrell Ingram (26:08):
Y’all stand and let’s by Lord and prayer. Father, right now, right now, Father, that we can truly worship you in our lives. That our lives can be a gift to you. And we can show everyone that you are alive, that you are our Savior, that you are King, that you are spectacular, that you are something to be recognized, that you are something to be served, that you’re something to be worshiped. Father, right now, help us, help us to do that. Help us to fall and seek you, seek your guidance, seek your peace. Father, we may be hurting about something totally different. Maybe our families are breaking up. Maybe we’re lost. Maybe we’re addicted. Father, all they need to do is walk towards the living water. Father, impress upon our hearts right now to walk toward you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Darrell Ingram (27:30):
On behalf of Pastor James, we’re so glad you joined us this morning. If you still want to pray with someone, we have people on standby right now that want to pray with you and for you. There are two events that I want to tell you about here at Journey Church. Our first one is the 16th of December at 6:30 right here. It is our children’s Christmas Pageant and we want to invite you and all to come. And then our second thing is January 22nd and 23rd. It is our marriage retreat. If you want to sign up, just go online and sign up. We’d love to have you. Hey, on behalf of Pastor James, we’ll see you next Sunday.

Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.

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