From The Heart

Publish date: 12/23/2001

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him." 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 So they said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: 6'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.' "

7 Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search diligently for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also." 9 When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  Matthew 2:1-11 NKJV

When Jesus was born, Father God put a star in the sky, which led wise men from the East right to the house in Bethlehem where Jesus, Mary and Joseph were living. When they finally arrived at their destination they were so excited to see the Messiah, the King of kings and Lord of Lords that they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. The Amplified Bible says that, “they were thrilled with ecstatic joy.”

When they saw Jesus, they fell down and worshiped Him. They opened their treasures and presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These were very precious and expensive gifts from a king to a King. In life, when we come into the presence of a king, or a queen, or a president, a prime minister, or anyone else we highly respect, it is considered right and necessary to bring a gift. The gift honors the recipient. We might feel underdressed, inadequate and unprepared if we forget to bring a gift.

There is a common theme in the Bible concerning our giving and it is demonstrated very clearly in this story of Jesus and the wise men. If we love God and if our heart is right with God, we will give generously and cheerfully. We will not have to be forced or coerced, but we will give of our own free will and we will do it joyfully. Our giving is a measure of our love and respect for the Lord.

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written: "He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever."  10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.  2 Corinthians 9:6-11 NIV