DAY ONERead all of Matthew 2:1-12 and then read verses 1-2 again. For the Wise Magi, this is a story of grace and mercy. God leads them from distant lands by a star, and then by Scripture, to Bethlehem… to JESUS. God will use all things to lead you to Jesus. But He will (above all) use Scripture to give you the clearest and truest wisdom about Jesus. I love the desire and longing of these wise people who are seeking the One True King—Jesus.
For Reflection and Prayer:Today, be alert to the many “stars,” signs, clues, evidence, and invitations from God to find Christ in all things. Look for Jesus. Pray to see Jesus. Ask for a heart of wisdom that seeks Christ daily.
For Mission:Be alert to the way God is helping others find Jesus. Be alert to how God will use you to point others to Jesus. Who is the JUST ONE PERSON you would most want to come to LWCC this month? Invite them to one of our Christmas Eve services.
DAY TWORead Matthew 2:3-5, 7-8, 13-18. This is the dark side of the story. This is the story of Herod and what he thought when he heard about a King born in Bethlehem. In certain ways, Herod was a great king, and in other ways (many of them) he was a power-hungry, crazed tyrant. He was constantly suspicious of others. He murdered three of his sons so they could not replace him as king! He plans to murder this Jesus-King if he can find Him. For Herod, it is not so much my way or the highway; it is my way or the hangman. Herod has no interest at all in bowing to another King. He will not bow to the King of Kings. Herod will be his own god and he will not worship the One True God. Herod was real, but Herod is symbolic as well. Herod is a “type” that helps us understand we all have some Herod inside us. We all have a little Herod who can abuse power and authority, who is fearful, who is self-centered, who hurts others, and who always wants to have things his way.
For Reflection and Prayer:When is your little King Herod the strongest? When does that king act out to get his own way? When does your inner king go on a rampage or revert to subterfuge? Like I said, this is the darker part of the story. It is a story of resisting the plans and purposes of God. When do you most resist God? What is something that God wants you to do that you are resisting? Is there reconciliation and forgiveness God wants you to pursue about a broken relationship, but you resist? Are there acts of service and kindness to others in need, but you resist? Is there something you hold on to, a sin, that you must surrender to God, but you resist? Pray for a heart that is warm and open to the plans of God for your life. Pray that God would cast out that little King Herod inside of you so that the King of Kings and Prince of Peace can enter in.
DAY THREERead Matthew 2:6. Also read Psalm 78:70-72. Jesus is indeed our King, and what a King! This short verse is loaded with deep truth. Bethlehem is a little, ordinary, out-of-the-way village. Nothing important happens there. Until NOW. God uses lowly origins and humble beginnings to launch redemption in the world He loves. King Jesus is utterly different from King Herod. King Jesus will be a shepherd king. He will be a servant king. He will be a king who suffers and ultimately sacrifices Himself for you and me. This is why the Wise Magi came to find Jesus. They lived under their own King Herods. They were looking for a different kind of King. They found that King, in King Jesus.
For Reflection and Prayer:Who is Jesus to you? Make a list of the names, titles, and most important qualities that define Jesus. Think about each one and what each word means for you and your relationship with Jesus. What do you see when you look at Jesus? Remember, what you see depends on who you are. It depends on what kind of person you are. So, what do you see and what does that say about who you are? This is a deep question that will generate self-awareness.
To Go Much Deeper:Read Philippians 2:1-11 and reflect on the great humility and profound servant heart of our True King Jesus. Pray for the grace to have that same humility and servant’s heart. How Many Kings by Downhere. This is one is one of my favorite video versions. Listen to this song many times this week and all through December. Worship this beautiful God and Father, God and Son, God and Holy Spirit.
DAY FOURRead Matthew 2:9-12. This is what Christmas is REALLY ABOUT. It is about Jesus. It is about you and me finding Jesus, worshipping Jesus, and giving gifts to Jesus. John 3:16 tells us how much God loved the world—so much that He gave us His Son. Romans 5:6-11 tells us how much Jesus loved us—so much that even when we were His enemies, He died for us. King Jesus is Christ the Lord, Immanuel, God with us, the Son of God, the Savior, the Prince of Peace who has done EVERYTHING for us. The natural response of the heart is to worship such a God-King-Savior. The natural response is to adore, to love, to serve, to follow this one called Jesus. That is why the Wise Magi were so wise. They were able to see the little child Jesus for who He truly was. And they responded in the only proper way.
For Reflection and Prayer:How are you responding to Jesus? If a stranger were to observe your life (secretly) this last week, what would be the signs and evidence that Jesus is King, God, and Savior? What response is Jesus asking of you? What worship will you offer in the remaining weeks of Christmas? What gifts will you give to Jesus?
For Mission:And then the Wise Magi returned home. Christmas comes to an end, but the Kingship of Christ does not. Make your own heart commitment to continue to serve, follow, love, obey, and worship Jesus.
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