Monday, December 18, 2023

The Gift of Worship

After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. (Matthew 2:9 NLT)

As the years go by, it’s interesting to see what Christmas gifts have fallen in and out of fashion. For instance, the hottest gift of 1975 was the Sony Betamax. It recorded television programs and came with a whopping price tag of $2,300.

Another popular, less-expensive gift from the same year was the mood ring. It changed colors according to whatever mood you were in. And believe it or not, it was one of the hottest gifts of that time.

Also hitting the market in 1975 was the pet rock, which simply was a rock in a box. But it was one of the biggest gifts of the year, and 1.3 million of them were sold.

For Christmas in 1983, people stood in line for hours for the Cabbage Patch Kids doll. They were almost impossible to get.

The Bible tells us about gifts that mysterious messengers from the East brought to Jesus. They were called Magi, and in keeping with their office, they were schooled in astrology, astronomy, and mathematics.

Although the Magi brought three gifts—gold, frankincense, and myrrh—the Bible doesn’t say there were three wise men. And calling them the kings of the East isn’t accurate, either, as they were more like kingmakers, those who would influence the king.

They made the journey from the East and arrived in Jerusalem. There they had an audience with King Herod, and they inquired about this King of the Jews. And then they made their way to Bethlehem, following the star and looking for a newborn King.

They understood what their objective was. They realized what was more important than anything else—that it was a time for worship. And God invaded their world.

There is only one God who is worthy of our worship, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ whom we celebrate at Christmas. Whatever world you live in, whatever lifestyle you have chosen, and whatever belief system you have, Jesus Christ can invade it.

The Magi, or so-called wise men, were into astrology. They looked to the stars to chart their course and guide them into the future. So, God came to them in a way that they could understand: through a star that guided them out of the darkness and into the light.

They made their way to where the child Jesus was, and they brought their gifts to Him. This serves as a reminder that wherever we are and whomever we know, no one is beyond the reach of God.

Maybe you have children that you’ve raised in the way of the Lord, but they’ve grown up and have gone astray. Maybe you won’t even see them this Christmas. Or maybe you will, but you know there will be tension. You wonder how and when God will ever get hold of them. But know this: God always has His people in every place to reach the lost, no matter their background or what they believe.

God reached the Magi and brought them to faith. And He can reach your family, your children, and your friends as well.

Copyright © 2023 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.

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Cartoon companions Ben Born Again and YellowDog teach kids how to read the Bible, how to pray, how to know the will of God, how to resist temptation, and much more in this engaging resource written for children. A copy will be sent to you for a gift of any amount to Harvest Ministries this month.

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