Gifts and Wrapping

What Gifts Say

And when [the wise men] 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 2:11

Church Christmas pageants always feature three wise men bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The Bible notes the gifts they brought, but the tradition that there were three wise men is based on there being three gifts. But the tradition is reasonable: three gifts, three gift-givers.

What we must not speculate about, though, is what the Magi’s gifts said. Their gifts were very valuable: Frankincense and myrrh were both costly ingredients used in making incense and perfume. And gold was gold — valuable in its own right. But why did the wise men bring such valuable gifts? The answer is found in their own words:

Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we… have come to worship Him. — Matthew 2:2

Do you see why they brought valuable gifts — gifts fit for a king? Their gift giving was an act of worship. They knew Jesus was more than just a king; He was a King come from God.

Gifts say a lot. They say something about us and they say something about how we esteem the recipients.

As you choose and give gifts this Christmas, let them speak of love, honor, worth, and sacrifice.

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That About Wraps It Up

For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus. — Philippians 2:21

Gift wrapping is an art. Some people create packages so beautiful that recipients hate to tear off the paper, but many of us are slightly embarrassed by our gift-wrapping skills.

Our presents suffer from jagged edges, crumpled corners, and patches of tape.

As a person, how are you wrapped? John Ruskin quipped, “A person all wrapped up in himself makes a very small package.” If we’re others centered, we’ll be a blessing; but if we’re clothed in selfishness, we’ll be of limited value to others.

Writing to the Philippians, Paul said of Timothy,

I have nobody else with a genuine interest in your well-being. All the others seem to be wrapped up in their own affairs and do not really care for the business of Jesus Christ. But you know how Timothy has proved his worth, working with me for the Gospel like a son with his father. — Philippians 2:20–22 Phillips

When we’re wrapped up in our own affairs, it’s a sign we’re not as Spirit filled as we should be, and we’re not being the blessing we could be. Let’s not be like “all the others.” Let’s be Timothys — all wrapped up in Christ!

Excerpted with permission from Ever Faithful by David Jeremiah, copyright David Jeremiah.

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Your Turn

This Christmas can be different than any other Christmas. This Christmas, instead of racing around checking off lists and wrapping presents in a frenzy, let’s go a little slower and be more thoughtful and full of love. Love for our families and friends and love for Jesus. He’s the reason for all this celebrating, right? Come share your thoughts with us on our blog. We want to hear from you about being wrapped up in Him and loving others well! ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full

David Jeremiah

Dr. David Jeremiah serves as the senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California. Through his radio and television ministry, Turning Point, the gospel is shared with millions of people every day, worldwide.

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