Today’s Gift from the Magi – Dan Stolebarger

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TODAY’S GIFT FROM THE MAGI
Dan Stolebarger

Ahhh … the day after!

Sometimes Christmas Day feels like I have overloaded on sugar and have a massive sugar high when I am in the midst of foods I usually don’t eat, tons of wrapping paper and a sense of being overwhelmed by too many gifts! So, I really do enjoy the ‘day after’ as I begin to prepare for a New Year!

Last night my mind began to wonder and I thought about the Magi and what gifts they brought to the newborn King. Some believe that their visitation was twelve days after Christmas and is commonly known as Epiphany. Interesting with all that is going on in the world today that some believe the Magi came from Persia or Babylon (hmmm … think Iran and Iraq). One thing that is for certain is the Bible does tell us what gifts they brought to the One named Emmanuel.

This week, before the new year, I want to ponder those gifts and think about how they may fit in today.

First of all, one of the Magi’s present was GOLD which would be a fitting gift for a King! I know you might be thinking … “I know where he’s going with this” but nonetheless, here goes. We need to present our King with our gold today as well. Let me challenge you to be generous when it comes to your offerings, no matter where God has called you to provide. Today’s reading from Psalm 37 includes the following –

21  The wicked man borrows and does not repay; the righteous is generous and keeps giving.

I am blessed with is a wife who is always GENEROUS and challenges me in regards to how we handle our gold! Let me encourage you in this upcoming year to be generous!

The second gift was that of FRANKINCENSE. This gift would be fitting for a PRIEST, which we know is one of the titles of our Lord … He is our GREAT HIGH PRIEST! This spice was used as incense and the smoke and aroma are pictures of our prayers rising to God.

This year may we all take our prayer lives to a new level. The ability to pray is what sets us apart from the rest of all that He created! Prayer is simply the ability to talk to God! We can bring our petitions, we can intercede and just as important is to listen for that still small voice! I know you know all the cliches about how prayer changes things and how it is the most powerful force in the universe etc. , but with what we see on our 2018 horizon, I think we as Believers need to be warriors when it comes to prayer! No longer can we be casual (just be praying over our food)! We need to be devoted to prayer like those we read about in the second chapter or Acts! Our heritage!

Finally, we come to the one gift that needs an explanation. Sometimes I wonder what Mary and Joseph were thinking when this gift was unwrapped. The gift of myrrh, whose use was primarily for preparing one’s body for death! E-gads, what a gift! But as you all know, our King was born to die! His death as NOT a tragedy … it was an ACCOMPLISHMENT!!!

So, what modern day usage might there be for the gift of myrrh today? It was Dietrich Bonhoeffer who simply said – “When Jesus calls a man, he bids him to come and DIE!” There is no other way to put it. The scriptures are clear that in order to be His talmidim (disciple), we must put others before ourselves … we must die to ourselves! This concept is so opposite in the culture of our day, a day which proclaims a self-centered existence is what life is truly all about! It is a ME-centered world and this message has soaked into the minds of modern-day believers. If we want to be part of a movement that once again has the reputation of turning the world upside down then we must seek His Kingdom FIRST and walk in His ways!

Now is our time to make our Epiphany trip to Bethlehem and bring our gifts to our newborn King!