“When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.” (Matthew 2:10–12, NASB95)
Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Sacrifice is at the center of discipleship. You will never see a miserly disciple. You may see someone who claims to be a follower of Jesus being stingy, but that’s just a pretender, a fake, a phony!
True followers of Jesus give because their Master and Lord gives. Just as Jesus told us that, “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, NASB95) So, too, He said, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13, NASB95) Generosity is part and parcel of the soul of the devoted follower of King Jesus. We identify our faith by our sacrifice.
As the magi saw the star, “they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.” Followers of Jesus are known for their demonstrations of faith. Everything is grander, greater in the life of the one who chooses the Path of Life. Thus, these men of learning had discovered that joy is something that one expresses and shares, causing it to multiply.
Sharing is the evidence of God’s residence, the mark of a follower of Jesus. Not only did these officials express their emotions publicly, but they also gave of their substance dramatically. They had traveled the nearly 1,000 miles at their own expense and now they opened expensive gifts, gifts fit for a king! Cheap is not a godly trait.
And this makes perfect sense when we remember these men came to worship Jesus. An old word, worship means to show forth the worth of the one we choose to worship. What we give reveals to what extent we value the one we are giving to. Literally, our gift reveals the actual worth God has in our lives and hearts, but you already knew that!
Train Them Thursdays seeks to wed the Great Commission directive of Jesus with the practice He employed while on Earth. Each nugget is meant to encourage the reader with a “can-do” spirit to realize that discipleship is something each person is both capable of and empowered to accomplish. Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Executive Director of Eagles In Leadership, writes each thought and they flow out of decades of his tried and true field-testing in multiple settings from rural to inner city. He welcomes your comments below.