DAY 21: Pursuing A King

BY: Jess Hammond

“Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him. King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem. He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born? In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote: And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah, are not least among the ruling cities[c] of Judah, for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel. Then Herod called for a private meeting with the wise men, and he learned from them the time when the star first appeared. Then he told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!” After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. When it was time to leave, they returned to their own country by another route, for God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod”

Matthew 2:1-12

I love sunsets! I firmly believe that God paints a beautiful picture almost every evening as a personal invitation to me to worship and marvel at His beauty. I love that not one sunset is ever the same, and I am always drawn in to the rich and explosive colors. I cannot help but praise God and express the joy inside of me when I see the beauty of His creation.

God knows us more intricately than anyone else, and when His love reaches out to us, it is in a very personal way. I believe that is exactly how God reached out to these men. The Magi were not only wealthy, they were also brilliant intellects of their day. Just like Psalm 19:1-2 tells us, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.” God used the new Star of Bethlehem to invite them in to be a part of this beautiful Christmas narrative.

Contrary to most of our nativity scenes of just three Wise Men, they were likely in a large caravan of many travelers. The star appeared, and they responded to this miraculous sight by leaving their homes for months on end, and taking this long journey to find the newborn King.

Their travels initially took them to Jerusalem. This seemed like the obvious place that a King would be born, but as they inquired about the star and the newborn King of the Jews, they encountered King Herod. He summoned the religious leaders and the teachers of the law to confer with them where the prophecies foretold He would be born. These religious leaders were well versed in the scriptures, and they knew immediately that it was foretold He would be born in Bethlehem. So the Magi left to find Him there. I wonder what they must have thought when arriving in Bethlehem, finding Mary and Joseph with their toddler in a home in that village.Their response was full of joy that they had found the One they came to worship. They bowed down in reverence and gave Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. They honored Him and worshipped as they gave their best to this child King.

As 2020 comes to a close, this story begs us to examine our own pursuit of King Jesus:

Are we seeking Him as King of Kings and Lord of Lord with all our heart, mind, and strength?

Are we fitting in time with Him into the nooks and crannies of our day?

Does He get only passing prayers when we need something, grace before meals, or rote utterances before bed?

Is He Lord of your life?

“I appeal to you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable, which is your spiritual act of worship” (Romans 12:1).

Daily Challenge:

How can you make Him the Lord of your life?

#Advent2020AC

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