Follow the Star

There are only 3 days until Christmas! *imagine the shock-faced emoji here*
There are presents to buy, presents to wrap, cookies to bake, hams to thaw, movies to watch, Christmas Eve services to attend, and bathrooms to clean before hosting a weekend full of festivities! Anybody else sweating a little just thinking about it all??

We could learn a lesson from the Wise Men. Now's the time - in the midst of the chaos - to choose to Follow the Star.

From Matthew 2, verses 9-11:
After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 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.

Follow the Star. The wise men made a purposeful decision to get on their camels (or horses?) and to find the Messiah. They stopped at the palace to see if the newborn King was there (it only makes sense, right?), and they did not find him. But they continued on! They were not deterred by their lack of finding Him or by a jealous king who sought to trick them. They kept going. Friend, amid the chaos of the next 3 days, keep seeking Him. Don't get distracted, don't give up.

Be joyful. The wise men rejoiced exceedingly with great joy when they found Him! Have you ever been so happy that you cried? Or giggled uncontrollably? Or jumped up and down? That's what I imagine it means to rejoice exceedingly with GREAT joy! If you seek Jesus, you will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13). But when you find Him, will you rejoice? Friend, give yourself the chance to be swept away with exceedingly great joy! Laugh, cry, jump up & down!  Let that public display of affection be a form of worship; He will love it!

Give of yourself. Finally, the wise men offered gifts. And not just any gifts, they gave their best gifts. And while we don't give precious metals and perfume to Jesus these days, we do have great things that we can give: our time, our resources, our talents, and more. Once you've found Him, once you've rejoiced in worship to Him, do you give Him your best gifts? This one is a little harder to do than the first 2 (seeking and rejoicing), because this one requires more in commitment. Let this be a challenge as we approach Christmas and then begin a New Year: Offer your best gift to Jesus this year. Give from your heart and it will please Him (2 Cor. 9:7).

I pray that this post has been both a blessing of encouragement, and a challenge that spurs you on towards good works. Merry Christmas, friends!

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