April 29, 2017

What Would You Have Given Him?

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They entered the house and saw the child with His mother, Mary,
and they bowed down and worshipped Him.
Then they opened their treasure chests
and gave Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Matthew 2:11

In manger scenes, either on coffeetables or mantles, there is Mary and Joseph, the baby Jesus, a few animals, the shepherds, and the wise men.  As we know, though, Jesus was around one or two when the wise men found Him.  Herod was king then and he had called a meeting with his religious leaders.  He wanted to know where Jesus was to be born.  “In Bethlehem of Judea” they told him.  “For it is written by the prophet: for from you shall come a Ruler…Who will shepherd My people.”  Herod was threatened.  He told them to go and search for the child, and come back and tell him so he could worship Him.

And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah,
are not least among the ruling cities of Judah,
for a ruler will come from you
who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.
Matthew 2:6

The wise men went on their way, guided by a star in the east, and they were filled with joy.  The wise men brought gifts and worshipped Jesus for Who He was.  These gifts were extremely valuable and each one stood for something:

  • Gold – a gift of royalty
  • Frankincense – a gift for deity
  • Myrrh – a spice used to anoint a body for burial

The wise men were so excited to meet the Christ-child that they were willing to part with these gifts, out of love and respect and just joy.   They were honoring Jesus for Who He is and they worshipped Him because He was and is perfect.

There is much more to this story and I encourage you to finish reading the whole story of Herod and the wise men. (Read the whole account here.)  But for now, let’s search our own hearts.

What would you have been willing to give Him?

What is most precious to you and would you have  been willing to lay it at the foot of the manger on that cold night in Bethlehem? I would like to think that I would. And what about today?

Sometimes the things that we hold onto aren’t really so precious yet we have a hard time giving them to Jesus.  Sometimes our own ideas of how our life should go are hard to give over to God, and to wholly trust Him with it.  Even though we know in our heart of hearts it is the best thing for us and that God is our Sustainer and He does know what is best for us.  Yet we hold onto it.  Some days we lay them at His feet, only to pick them up not too long after.  We may not have a star to follow like they did, but we have the Spirit of God guiding us and directing us.  We owe Him so much…we can never ever repay the debt.  But on that night, so long ago, the wise men didn’t have a debt to pay. They just wanted to give all they had to the Baby Jesus.

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Oh, friends, we too have so much to give Him!  It may not be gold, frankincense, and myrrh but we have our praise and we can honor Him with our lives every day.  Do you know this Jesus?  I really want you to.  He is so in love with you already, even if you aren’t yet.  But you will be once you get to know Him.  Why not start today?

Pray this simple prayer with me:

Dear Lord, I know I am a sinner and I need a Savior. I need forgiveness for my sins. I believe that Jesus is Your Son, Who was born and lived here on earth and died to save me from my sin. He rose again and is preparing a place for me.  I ask You to come into my heart and be Lord of my life.  Guide and direct me.  In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Oh Come to My Heart, Lord Jesus

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Thou didst leave Thy throne and Thy kingly crown,
When Thou camest to earth for me;
But in Bethlehem’s home there was found no room
For Thy Holy Nativity:

Oh, come to my heart, Lord Jesus!
There is room in my heart for Thee;
Oh, come to my heart, Lord Jesus, come,
There is room in my heart for Thee.

Heaven’s arches rang when the angels sang,
Proclaiming Thy royal degree;
But of lowly birth cam’st Thou, Lord, on earth,
And in great humility:

The foxes found rest, and the birds had their nest
In the shade of the forest tree;
But Thy couch was the sod, O Thou Son of God,
In the deserts of Galilee:

Thou camest, O Lord, with the living Word
That should set Thy people free;
But with mocking scorn, and with crown of thorn,
They bore Thee to Calvary:

Oh, come to my heart, Lord Jesus!
Thy cross is my only plea;
Oh, come to my heart, Lord Jesus, come,
Thy cross is my only plea.

When heaven’s arches shall ring, and her choirsshall sing
At Thy coming to victory,
Let Thy voice call me up, saying, “Yet there is room,
There is room at My side for thee!”

And my heart shall rejoice, Lord Jesus!
When Thou comest and callest for me;
And my heart shall rejoice, Lord Jesus!
When Thou comest and callest for me. 


Oh, Come to My Heart, Lord Jesus ~ Lyrics by Emily Eliott; Score by Timothy Matthews

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Oh the memories this song brings to mind;  really, all my childhood Christmases are wrapped up into it. Every Christmas, our church put on a Christmas musical called “Carols by Candlelight” and my sweet precious daddy sang this song and my sweet little sister sang in the children’s chorus behind him. My sweet precious mom and I sat side-by-side in the pew, along with my dad’s parents.  We were all dressed up in our Christmas best and I remember how much I loved sitting right beside my mom. I remember how I loved holding her hand and how safe I felt. How she knew my every need before I asked, and how she knew I would want that piece of gum she had in her purse. Oh, how she loved me and how she took such good care of me. Isn’t that a picture of how our Father in Heaven loves us? And takes care of our every need before we even realize we need it?

The hymn was sung a little differently than the lyrics above. It started like this:

“Welcome, we’ve gathered today to praise the Christ of Christmas.
Let’s invite Him in today!” And then these beautiful words:
“Lord, You left Your throne and Your kingly crown,
when You came to this earth that day.
But in Bethlehem’s home there was found no room for your Holy Nativity.
Oh! Come to my heart, Lord Jesus!  There is room in my heart for You.”

Our God, our Creator sent His only Son to this earth as a baby. He entrusted Him to a carpenter and his wife, Mary. He came into this world in a filthy stable where He was and is still most comfortable—among the dirty. He was laid in a manger, made of wood, and He was to be the Savior. He would later die on a cross, made of wood, so that we, the dirty, could be clean. Do you realize what a miracle this was?

“You came, Oh Lord, with the Living Word that should set Your people free! But with mocking scorn, and a crown of thorns, they sent You to Calvary. Oh come to my heart, Lord Jesus, Your Cross is my only plea. Oh, come to my heart, Lord Jesus. “ And the final verse, that’s full of hope, send chills and brings a smile I can’t contain. “Let Thy voice call me up saying ‘Yes there is room,there is room at My side for you!’” Isn’t that what we long to hear one day? I know I’m living for that day!

So today, if you haven’t given your life to Him or made room in your heart for your Savior, He is waiting. All you have to do is ask. I can’t imagine a better birthday gift for Jesus than to have another of His children ask Him to be in their heart. Can you? Doesn’t matter how dirty you are or how you live or where you live, He meets you where you are and He can’t wait to walk with you through this life. Once He comes into your heart, you will never be the same and He will never leave you or forsake you!

Where are you this Christmas? He knows and He cares and He wants to sit beside you and hold your hand and make you feel safe. Will you ask Him to come into your heart today?

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Let us pray: Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You so much for the gift of Your Son! He came to earth and paid the ultimate price so that we don’t have to. You know where we are right now and You meet us and You love us! Help us to remember and to celebrate You this season and to not get tangled up in the material aspect of it. Help us to keep You in the center of Christmas and the center of our lives. We love You and praise You. Give those who don’t know You the courage to try life with You. Give us Your Holy Spirit to guide and direct us until that awesome day when face-to-face we will see You!  In Your Son’s name we pray. Amen.