Wineskins Archive

November 26, 2013

Follow the Wise Men Following the Star (Nov-Dec 2001)

Filed under: — @ 3:09 am and

By Max Lucado

Suppose you could give a gift to Christ, what would it be?  How could you possibly select a gift for the One who not only has everything, but who made everything?

The Wise Men did. They can be an example to us. In addition to the gold, frankincense, and myrrh, they gave the Savior some gifts we can give him today: their hope, their time, and their worship.

The wandering wise men gave Jesus their hope. When everyone else saw a night sky, this small band of men saw the light. The sight of the star sparked a desire in their hearts that sent them packing. They went, seeking Jesus.

When night comes to your world, what do you see? The darkness or the stars? Hopelessness or hopefulness? Sometimes, just as he did so long ago, God uses the darkness to reveal his stars. The light shines in the darkness (Jn. 1:5). If your heart has been shadowed by the darkness of loneliness or grief or disappointment, look for the light that only he can give. “I am the light of the world. The person who follows me will never live in darkness but will have the light that gives life” (John 8:12). Give God your hope for Christmas.

While you’re giving, give God your time. The wise men did so. Before they gave God their presents, they gave their presence. It’s likely that these men traveled as long as two years before locating the prince of heaven. Before that one incredible moment when they knelt before Jesus, the wise men spent many moments, months, perhaps years searching, in anticipation of that meeting. Just as the wise men devoted themselves to seeking the Savior, so can you: “You will seek him and find him when you seek him with all of your heart” (Deut. 4:29).

And when they did find him, the wise men gave Jesus another gift: their worship. It’s probable that these were men of wealth (how else could they embark on an extended journey and still have gifts to give at its end?). It’s likely these men had influence (how else could they have commanded an audience with Herod?). They must have had intellect (How else could they have navigated across thousands of miles of terrain following a star?).

Men of wealth, influence, and intellect: what did they do when they saw Jesus? “. . .they fell down and worshiped him” (Mt. 2:11). It’s a gift that extends to the giver as well. Through worship, we come to see God more clearly. God invites us, through worship, to see his face so he can change ours. “We all show the Lord’s glory, and we are being changed to be like him. This change in us brings ever greater glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18).

He loves to change the faces of his children. By his fingers, wrinkles of worry are rubbed away. Shadows of shame and doubt become portraits of grace and trust. He relaxes clenched jaws and smoothes furrowed brows. His touch can remove the bags of exhaustion from beneath the eyes and turn tears of despair into tears of peace. How? Through worship.

In worship, we simply stand before God with a prepared and willing heart and let God do his work. And he does. He wipes away the tears. He mops away the perspiration. He softens our furrowed brows. He touches our cheeks. He changes our faces as we worship.

The wise men sought the child of God, just as God seeks his children. “The Father is actively seeking such people to worship him” (Jn. 4:23).

The gifts of hope, time, and worship. Three gifts that the wise still give.

(excerpts from Just Like Jesus, p. 82-83 and sermon What Christ Wants for Christmas © 1998; used by permission)

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