Saturday, December 19

And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. (Matthew 2:11)

            If you read yesterday’s devotional, you will remember that we learned of the unbelieving Wise Men expressing believing trust in Jesus, by faith. J.C. Ryle says it this way, “We read of no greater faith than this in the whole volume of the Bible.” What is normal response to believing trust in Jesus? Worship and giving.

            I love how Douglas Sean O’Donnell explains this passage:

“On Tuesday, January 6, twelve days after Christmas, the Western church celebrates Epiphany. The word epiphany comes from a Greek word that means “to manifest” or “to show,” and on this date the church has traditionally commemorated the visit of the magi and the “epiphany.” What epiphany? God’s manifestation to the Gentiles. God showed himself in the person of Christ to the Gentiles. That’s what that holiday is all about… on that day, before you pack away your Nativity set, celebrate by looking closely at this passage again and noticing how the whole scene is filled with scandal. We have a teenage mother, a child conceived out of wedlock, lowly and dirty and usually irreligious shepherds (as well as lowly and dirty and certainly irreligious animals) and then … the magi—a bunch of ‘Star-led Wisards,’ magicians of sorts, Gentile sinners. This scene depicts so perfectly the good news of the gospel of the kingdom. This good news is for all people, even the ‘least likely candidates for God’s love.’”

            Those least deserving people – shepherds, Wise Men, and us – we have been given the gift of receiving this good news. We should rejoice as well and worship him. God has saved us eternally, saved us from so much, blessed us with so much grace. Let’s worship Jesus with heart and soul, body and mind.

            Let’s also give to him, again and daily, ourselves. Let’s give to him what is valuable to us because we value Jesus more. I don’t know what that is for you, but when we are led to worship and adore Jesus, God leads us to return our worship through giving in joy.

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