Friday, December 19, 2014


When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 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. And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way. 
Matthew 2:10-12

This is supposed to be the happiest time of year.  Joy is one of the themes of the season and it seems that it is oozing out of everyone. But joy sometimes escapes us this time of year.  Yesterday we began looking at the Magi – or Wise Men – to learn a lesson on finding true joy this season.

Our level of joy at Christmas is directly related to what we seek. 

Our level of joy at Christmas is directly related to where we look.

Our level of joy at Christmas is directly related to what we give.

Hoping to have joy from what we receive is a sure plan for disillusionment. You may not receive the gift.  You may receive it and be disappointed.

The Magi came to Jesus’ house bearing gifts. Although the wise men may not have fully understood the significance of their gifts, in giving them they acknowledged the royalty, deity, and mortality of Jesus Christ.  The gifts they gave were entirely appropriate.

·      They gave gold. Gold was a gift for a king. By giving it they acknowledged that Jesus was and is the King.

·      They gave frankincense. Frankincense was a gift for a priest. It was incense used by priests in temple worship. By giving it they acknowledged that Jesus was a priest—the One who would bring us to God.

·      They gave myrrh. Myrrh was a gift for the dead. It was a fragrant ointment used to anoint a body before burial. By giving it they acknowledged that Jesus had come to die for the sins of the world.

·      They gave themselves"they fell to the ground and worshiped Him."

Their worship was spontaneous – a willing expression of their devotion.  By their worship, they surrendered to His authority and acknowledged His right to rule in their lives. In their worship, the wise men were giving their greatest gift – themselves.  God does not want our gifts, whether talents or treasure, until He first has our hearts and lives.

We would be wise to follow their example:
1.    In following the star, they exhibited real faith.
2.    In their worship, they demonstrated their submission.
3.    In departing, they displayed genuine wisdom.

We cannot give our Lord gifts, but we can give ourselves.  This is what He truly wants more than anything we could give Him.  He is the lover of our souls.  He wants us to yield to Him in every way, in every area of our lives.  He wants our physical bodies to be treated as His temple, His dwelling place.  He wants our hearts in a relationship with Him and He wants our minds focused on Him.
We can also give ourselves to Christ by giving ourselves to others.  We can give the gift of our love and kindness to our friends and family. We can give the gift of our help to those who are hurting. We ought to give the gift of forgiveness to those who have hurt us. Giving these kinds of gifts will result in a joyous and meaningful Christmas.

What are you giving for Christmas this year? Why not consider giving yourself? Giving your time to your family? Giving your compassion to the hurting? Giving your forgiveness to the isolated? And giving your heart to Jesus? I promise you, when you look for the right thing, look in the right places, and give the right gift you will have joy at Christmas.

Scripture to Claim:
Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.
Luke 6:38

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