Today we are finishing up our series called “Unwrapped.” What a perfect name for a series at Christmas right? We learned about a few of the gifts that God has provided for us as His children and followers. So the first gift was the gift of justification, which was really the gift of peace with God. We talked about the gift of redemption, which brings us joy, the joy of salvation. And then last week we talked about the gift of sanctification, which is really the gift of love as we are molded in the image of the one who loves us.
Now, let’s discuss some gifts that WE can give to God. Let’s look at Luke 2:10-14 which says, “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Something very important to mention here is that the angel of the Lord did not go to the wise men or to the King or to the prominent or even the religious people here. God sent His messenger to shepherds who took care of sheep. They were stinky, poor and maybe even uneducated. Why? This was no more an accident than Jesus being born in a barn. God wanted it to be abundantly clear to all that He works with and through anyone and anything.
These shepherds first went and spread the news and then they worshipped Jesus. They had no fancy clothes or gifts, probably not even a bath. What could they give? They gave their service by spreading the news and their worship was their gift. We should never compare ourselves to anyone when it comes to what we can do for God.
God had given these shepherds the gifts of humility, obedience, the ability to worship and the gift of being present. These men were considered some of the lowest in the community, there was nothing sophisticated or fancy about them. If God had wanted fan fare for baby Jesus, He could have had Him born a real prince in a real palace. He would have been trained to be king. This is not God’s way. God is ALL about the heart and the ones with humble hearts were the guys hanging out with sheep for a living. They were able to recognize the miracle and to worship. They were obedient in that they spread the word. They were present enough to see with their hearts what was going on. Their spirits were tender enough to understand that this was no ordinary baby. What an awesome lesson for us as well. Do we really see what God is doing in our lives? Are we present enough to hear Him speak?
So, we have been talking about the birth of Jesus and so let’s discuss the three gifts that the wise men brought as well. The Bible says that the brought gold, frankincense and myrrh. Gold is of course a precious metal that can represent wealth. God looks at us and values us far beyond any precious metal. Gold is also tested by fire and what come out is beautiful. Our faith is also tested by the fire of trials and testing. When the testing is over what should be left should be beautiful before the Lord. Frankincense was used as an aroma that was burned for a pleasing fragrance. In the Old Testament it would be burned with the sacrifices which brought people closer to the presence of God. We don’t use frankincense anymore, but our worship is a sweet aroma to the Lord.
Myrrh was used as a healing oil when someone had a wound. It was also used as an anointing oil in burial. In fact John used Myrrh when burying Jesus. We can share Jesus with the lost and introduce Him as a healing oil to the wounded and dying world.
The thing about gifts when it comes to our Heavenly Father is that He accepts them all. Jesus came to the tax collectors, the prostitutes and those rejected by society. Why is that? They were hungry for Him! They gave what they had and Jesus accepted it all.
Let us not forget that God is not impressed with your wealth, titles or accomplishments. He is most impressed by your hungry hearts and your gifts of humility, obedience and worship! This is great news for us all!! We don’t need to waste time trying to impress God, we need only give the best from our hearts!