Does the Christmas story ever get old for you? Each Christmas season, I ask God to show me something new from His story. I don’t want to become so familiar with Christmas that I miss the miracle in the greatest story ever told and what He wants me to focus on this season. I typically read from the book of Luke but recently, I read the announcement of Jesus’ birth from the book of Matthew. Once again, I was caught up by the work of the Holy Spirit, the dreamy intervention, Joseph’s obedience and Mary’s utter abandonment to accept her lot in life. But this year…My eyes and heart were drawn to the wise men. Not so much their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, but the attitude in which they presented it. After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Matthew 2:11
First, they fell to the ground and worshiped Him.
Yes, In the giving of these gifts, the Magi demonstrated a prophetic understanding of who Jesus was and why He came. However, the greatest gift the wise men gave Jesus wasn’t found in the gold, frankincense or myrrh; it was found in their worship and obedience.
They saw a star (Matt.2:2), left their homelands, found the Christ, bowed down and offered themselves. The Magi were great and highly respected people in their own countries, yet they saw a newborn baby cuddled in the lap of a poor woman, fell on their knees, worshiped Him and confessed that He was Lord.
Action step – Look deep within your heart to see where your worship comes from. Is it with a grateful heart and a loving spirit you bow down to your Savior and fully give yourself to Him? Is it Him, who you live your life for with full dependence for each breath you take and a “sold out” abandonment to live each day to the fullest?
Secondly, they opened their treasure.
A treasure is where good and precious things are collected. The Magi gave what was precious to them. They gave something that was dear to them. They gave their treasured possessions.
They willingly opened their treasures. It didn’t seem they had to have their white-knuckled-hands pried off their treasures, does it? Luke 12:34 tells us, For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Action step – What treasure is God asking you to give Him this Christmas season and for 2017? If you are holding onto something so tightly that God is asking you to release to Him, open up your hands and lay it down at your Savior’s feet. When you willingly open your treasure to the One who gave it to you, you will find great freedom in the obedience of giving. Will you willingly lay it down at His feet? Or, will you keep holding on to it another year?
Thirdly, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
It’s all in the presentation. How excited are you when you take the time to thoughtfully purchase something for another and the day finally arrives to present the gift to them? I know for me, when my grandmother happily gave me a piece of her treasured jewelry in her old age, I found it thoughtful as I know it was meaningful to her and it was her desire to share it with me.
Similarly, the Magi offered their most precious treasures without hesitation. Gold: fit for a king; Frankincense: to honor a priest; Myrrh: to console a Savior. They carried their gifts along their journey and when they arrived beneath the star, they fell to the ground, worshiped Him and offered their treasures.
Action step – Do you present your gift to God with a cheerful heart? For each one of us, your gift will be different. Take some time this Christmas season to reflect on all God has blessed you with and how you can honor Him with your gifts.
For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own.
2 Corinthians 8:3
May you and I, this Christmas, be found worshiping our Savior with a grateful heart and open hands as we present our lives to Him as a living sacrifice that will have eternal impact.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Romans 12:1
Journeying with Him,