A Moment with the Messiah: Day 17

No matter how you choose to celebrate Christ this season, let the Messiah–not the mayhem–reign in your heart. May you be richly blessed in Him!

Read: Matthew 2:9—11

9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 

Reflect: Unlike our traditional stable scenes we see at Christmas, the magi appeared later after Mary and Joseph had moved from their temporary dwelling place (see Luke 2:7) “to the house.” We understand from this passage that they couldn’t see the star at all times, but as they got closer, the star stopped over where Jesus and His family were located. Friends, sometimes we can’t see God directing our lives, but it doesn’t mean He’s failed to guide us. When you’re on a long journey, trust that He will show you when to stop–and rejoice in His faithfulness to direct you.

Respond: Father, when “north” is difficult to find in my life, please show Yourself so I can see where You want me to go. Help me to trust in Your path and be overjoyed.

Tot Time: Here are some ideas of what you can discussion with the tots: “The magi traveled an extremely long way to see Jesus. What’s the furthest you’ve traveled to go see someone?” There were no trains, planes, or cars, so when they had finally arrived, it says they were overjoyed because they had waited so long. Talk with the children about what overjoyed means and why it was so special to the magi to meet Jesus.

Exodus 32: Shiny Things

There are lots of things we can “worship” in this world, even without realizing it. Make a list of the things you do with your time, with your money, and with your thoughts. You're digesting those things into your life. The idols in our lives go down to the inmost parts (Proverbs 18:8) and they don’t just stay compartmentalized. They travel throughout our spiritual bloodstream.

Exodus 20: Law v. Grace

Be Moses today. You have the opportunity to approach God’s throne freely and with confidence (Hebrews 4:16). Most of the world today – even Christians – are standing at a distance. Be the one person who chooses to go into the thickness with God. It is in God’s thickness that our troubles become muted, the chaos lessens, and the distractions diminish. Enjoy the Lord’s great love and peace enveloped around you!

Exodus 9: Truth Ignored

The Lord strongly cautions believers about idols because idols are sneaky. The King James Version often refers to idols as “graven images” and that is pretty fitting because idols can start out as good things. But over time, we allow that thing to engrave itself onto our heart. This is why Proverbs 4:23 tells us, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

Exodus 8: Puffed Up

Notice what the Lord tells Pharaoh: Let my people go, so that they may worship me. He didn’t tell Pharaoh to let them go so they’d complain less or so they’d get a few extra days of rest; the purpose was to worship. To worship means to credit worth to something. God doesn’t need us to worship Him, but He does desire it. He desires it because when our eyes are focused on Him, we can’t help but be transformed into His likeness.