Sermon Outline

Gifted: What God Has Given Us and What We Can Give Back – Part 2

Pastor Amie Dockery

Sunday December 11, 2016

 

Theme – Frankincense was the second of three gifts given to Jesus by the magi.  Frankincense was very valuable at that time, and had practical as well as prophetic significance.

The story of Jesus’ birth and the magi

  • Matthew Chapter 2 tells what happened when the magi came to visit Jesus.

  • The magi were “magicians, seers/prophets, or healers” from the land of Babylon, where the Old Testament prophet Daniel had been held captive.

  • The magi knew and studied the prophecies of Daniel.  Therefore, they were attentive to the signs in the heavens announcing Jesus’ birth.

  • The magi brought gifts to Jesus worthy of a very special person.  

  • The magi’s presence at Jesus’ residence was also a prophetic gift for Joseph and Mary.  Their arrival affirmed whom Jesus was.

Prophetic implications of important gifts

  • The first gift of the magi was gold; it had value for what it could purchase, but also prophetically represented royalty.

  • The second gift was frankincense; it had value as a medicine, but also prophetically represented healing and the priesthood.

  • Important gifts should have prophetic significance.

Frankincense

  • Frankincense is a resin that comes from the Boswellia Carteri tree found in Africa.  The resin is known as “tears of the desert”.

  • When the tree is pierced, the frankincense resin comes out.  The frankincense is the instrument used by the tree’s auto immune system to heal itself.

  • A tree resin like frankincense may seem like an unusual gift, but it was very valuable at that time.

  • Frankincense was used in religious ceremonies as an aromatic incense, and was also used as a salve to help heal wounds.

  • Today, there is a growing awareness of the healing value of frankincense.

  • The gift of frankincense was a prophetic statement from the magi saying, “We see you (Jesus) as a healer and high priest.”  This was a dual declaration: Jesus was to be both King and High Priest.  These were usually two different positions, not held by one person.

  • Frankincense was a prophetic gift because it declared what Jesus was going to do in the future.

Our gifts with prophetic meaning

  • Gifts we give others can also have prophetic significance.

  • If we ask the Holy Spirit to speak to us, He will provide a prophetic word for a person to whom we are going to give a gift.

  • InMatthew 2: 13, 19-20, & 22, Joseph received prophetic dreams from God after the magi had given their gifts and departed.

  • The gift we give someone can be very simple, but will have great value because of what it represents.  The gift may enable to person to hear from God.

  • A prophetic word attached to a gift can wake up things in a person s/he may have forgotten.  A prophetic word can also affirm something the person may be feeling.

Reflective Questions for Gifted: What God Has Given Us and What We Can Give Back – Part 2

  1. What was the practical usefulness of frankincense for Joseph and Mary?

  2. What was its prophetic significance?  

  3. What – do you suppose – was more meaningful to Joseph & Mary: the practical or prophetic significance of the frankincense?

  4. Have you ever received a gift with prophetic significance?  What was the gift, and what was its significance?