It’s still Christmas on Happy Lane! (That’s the name of the street where we live.) The tree is still brightly lit. The stockings (including the UK one) are still hung with care. The nativities are still on display with old Bibles all around. I just don’t want it to be over!
This week, I’m fixated on the Wise Men. Even though I have read about them so many times, this Christmas they have stayed on my mind a little longer than usual. Matthew 2:1-23 tells the story. There’s so much good stuff to squeeze out. It has so much that applies to life today!
1. When they met Jesus, the Wise Men bowed down to Him. They laid themselves down. What would 2020 look like if you and I fully surrendered to Him? Would people see a difference? Would my ministries, my writing opportunities, my teaching opportunities and my employment change if I laid them down, surrendering each one to the One and Only?
2. The Wise Men worshipped Him. How would I rate my worship? Am I just singing along with the congregation during the church service, or am I fully engaged, truly acknowledging the Creator of the Universe, my Heavenly Father? Do I give Him glory?
3. The Wise Men were generous; the gifts were costly but they did not hold on to them, trying to dictate how they would be used. Placing them fully in the hands of Mary and Joseph, they knew they would be used as needed. (Some scholars feel that some of the gifts might have been sold to pay for their urgent flight to Egypt!) When we surrender to God, He can use our gifts. What gifts do you have that He can use? Are you LETTING HIM use your gifts?
4. After they met Jesus, the Wise Men went home another way. When we meet Jesus, we will not walk the same path. What is different about you since you met Jesus? What has changed most? Your words? Your friends? Your attitude? What NEEDS to change?
5. After the Wise Men met Jesus, the devil attacked. He always tries to kill good things in the beginning. Sound familiar? When we try to do the right things and walk in the right path, Satan always, always tries to detour and destroy. Don’t be surprised when it happens! First Peter 5:8 warns us: “Be sober and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.” (Decades ago during a difficult time, our friend, Dan Garland, told my beloved, “You KNEW he was coming!” “What a strange thing to say!” I thought all those years ago. But, oh, how true it was/is! I have never forgotten it!)
6. The Wise Men kept their heads up, eyes up to the sky. It’s a good example to follow! Hebrews 12:2 is a great verse for the year “2020”: “Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus…” (GNT), “Stay focused on Jesus…” (VOICE), “Keeping our eyes on Jesus…” (HCSB).
No matter the time of year, wise men (and women) still seek Jesus!