Seek the star that burns so bright Let

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Seek the star that burns so bright Let it be your guiding light To

Seek the star that burns so bright Let it be your guiding light To a stable cold and bare You will find the Saviour there Wise men lay your treasure down Worship on this holy ground Bow before the Prince of Peace For His kingdom will not cease --Noel and Tricia Richards

Matthew 2: 1 -2 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the

Matthew 2: 1 -2 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 who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him. ”

Matthew 2: 9 -12 After they had heard the king, they went on their

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.

Because of the love of the Father for the whole world, there’s always a

Because of the love of the Father for the whole world, there’s always a star rising… …even in the darkest of nights.

Acts 26: 26 And King Agrippa knows about these things. I speak boldly, for

Acts 26: 26 And King Agrippa knows about these things. I speak boldly, for I am sure these events are all familiar to him, for they were not done in a corner!

Magi: learned men of the Eastern nations devoted to science and philosophy, probably Chaldean

Magi: learned men of the Eastern nations devoted to science and philosophy, probably Chaldean or Arabian astrologers, who, by divine grace, had been led from the knowledge of nature, to that of nature’s God. Matthew Henry: Those who live at the greatest distance from the means of grace often use most diligence, and learn to know the most of Christ and his salvation.

A priestly caste among the Persians and Medes, which occupied itself principally with “science”,

A priestly caste among the Persians and Medes, which occupied itself principally with “science”, at least as it was known in that day (mixed with superstition). Daniel became president of such an order in Babylon (Daniel 2: 48). Wise men still seek

Like the magi, WE also always have the choice to stare at the darkness,

Like the magi, WE also always have the choice to stare at the darkness, or…FOLLOW THE STAR!!!! Follow the star… …across reason… …across boundaries and borders… …across history…. …across distance… …across obstacles and challenges…

Think about the scope of it all! A massive and intensely hot ball of

Think about the scope of it all! A massive and intensely hot ball of gas appeared and guided those who studied the skies to Jesus! God wants to display (and “show up”)! God wants to direct! God wants to announce and proclaim! God wants to transcend! God wants to INCLUDE! He will STILL do amazing things to initiate the conversation with man!!!!

There is always something “on fire” with His Presence, even in a black sea

There is always something “on fire” with His Presence, even in a black sea of void and darkness! Psalm 139: 12 Even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

Genesis 15: 5 God took Abraham outside and said, "Look up at the sky

Genesis 15: 5 God took Abraham outside and said, "Look up at the sky and count the stars--if indeed you can count them. " Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be. " It’s impossible for your dark sky to be empty. Go outside your tent and look again…. You’ve been counting the threads in your tent ceiling too long….

Romans 15: 13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and

Romans 15: 13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Not just our ONLY HOPE or LAST HOPE—not a “desperate” hope, but a “LIVING

Not just our ONLY HOPE or LAST HOPE—not a “desperate” hope, but a “LIVING HOPE”!!!!

I Peter 1: 3 -5 According to his great mercy, he has caused us

I Peter 1: 3 -5 According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Jesus said, “All things are possible…” (Mark 10: 27; Matthew 19: 26; Mark 14:

Jesus said, “All things are possible…” (Mark 10: 27; Matthew 19: 26; Mark 14: 36; Mark 9: 23) Love bears all things, believes all things, HOPES ALL THINGS, endures all things. I Corinthians 13: 7

God’s kind of hope is “SPRING FED” (Not from your own head or history!)

God’s kind of hope is “SPRING FED” (Not from your own head or history!)

Open versus Closed Systems: A “system” is a specific part of the universe being

Open versus Closed Systems: A “system” is a specific part of the universe being studied or observed… (Your life is a system…)

Open systems have input and output flows, representing exchanges of matter, energy or information

Open systems have input and output flows, representing exchanges of matter, energy or information with its surroundings.

KINGDOM!!!!!!

KINGDOM!!!!!!

II Corinthians 6: 11 -13 (the Message) Dear, dear Corinthians, I can’t tell you

II Corinthians 6: 11 -13 (the Message) Dear, dear Corinthians, I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!

THE HOPE FOR US INDIVIDUALLY IS THE SAME HOPE THE WHOLE EARTH NEEDS: THE

THE HOPE FOR US INDIVIDUALLY IS THE SAME HOPE THE WHOLE EARTH NEEDS: THE HOPE THAT THIS ADVENTURE CALLED LIFE IS NOT A CLOSED SYSTEM!!!!! IT IS AN OPEN SYSTEM WITH ACCESS TO, AND EXCHANGE WITH, A GOOD, GOOD FATHER WITH A WONDERFUL KINGDOM TO SHARE WITH US!

And, guess what? If you see no stars to offer hope, then look inside!

And, guess what? If you see no stars to offer hope, then look inside! YOU ARE THE STAR!!!! Philippians 2: 15 So that you may become blameless and pure, "children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. " Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky. Colossians 1: 27: Christ in you, the HOPE of glory!

We have seen his star in the “east”! Don’t limit the Kingdom to the

We have seen his star in the “east”! Don’t limit the Kingdom to the local shepherds—this gospel can speak for itself all over the world! Follow the star: What you celebrate grows! Light is sown for the righteous…. (Psalm 97: 11) Follow the star to HOPE! Bible hope is SPRING FED HOPE! Remember EVERY DAY that the system is still OPEN! (Refuse to let the enemy close it!) CHRIST IN YOU=OPENEST OF SYSTEMS---THE HOPE of glory--not just in general but appearing in your life in all kinds of specific ways!!!

FIRST CHRISTMAS was the ultimate opening of the earth’s “closed” system--what about your life?

FIRST CHRISTMAS was the ultimate opening of the earth’s “closed” system--what about your life?

EVEN WHEN I’M TRYING TO BE THE MOST “REALISTIC”, it occurs to me that

EVEN WHEN I’M TRYING TO BE THE MOST “REALISTIC”, it occurs to me that this is a “RIDICULOUSLY OPTIMISTIC GOSPEL” that we have! It’s an “impossible” Gospel, therefore, if you’re going to believe it, why not have the whole mind-shift—why not embrace a spirit-born open system view that isn’t even in the realm of human effort?

TAKE A LOOK AGAIN AT WHAT WE ACTUALLY BELIEVE!!!! Access to a perfect God…an

TAKE A LOOK AGAIN AT WHAT WE ACTUALLY BELIEVE!!!! Access to a perfect God…an access in which we do not have to check ourselves before approaching… A completely redemptive death died for us without us being there…or even knowing about it… A book full of promises that are true for us now, simply because of our restored connection with God (not because we “did” anything)… The Spirit—essence, reality, empowering entrance—of God dwelling inside us, regardless of our devotional piety or lack thereof…simply because we accept a death and resurrection on our behalf…

A connection to the resources of another invisible realm in which there is only

A connection to the resources of another invisible realm in which there is only unending supply… A union with God which aligns every other element of life and even organizes our thought patterns… A purpose and destiny which is not an end in itself but rather a part of a large redemptive drama—a metanarrative of Godinteraction with mankind—a vital role in the most important thing in the universe…