Sharing thoughts about Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh

I've been doing a few different daily Advent readings and devotionals to prepare my heart for Christ's birthday, and one of my favorites has been John Piper's Good News of Great Joy. It's a free e-book available through his website with a short devotional reading every day. 

I also check in with a Good Morning Girls Bible study group through Instagram every day. You can see our pics and thoughts about what we're studying by searching #instavotion. 

Today's reading in Good News of Great Joy really resonated with me, so I thought I would share it with you. Remember - I am quoting this; the following is not my words, but it did connect with my heart:

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. Matthew 2:10-11

"God is not served by human hands as though He needed anything (Acts 17:25). The gifts of the magi are not given by way of assistance or need-meeting. It would dishonor a monarch if foreign visitors came with royal care-packages. 

Nor are these gifts meant to be bribes. Deuteronomy 10:17 says that God takes no bribe. Well, what then do they mean? How are they worship?

The gifts are intensifiers of desire for Christ himself in much the same way that fasting is. When you give a gift to Christ like this, it's a way of saying, 'The joy I pursue (v.10) is not the hope of getting rich with things from you. I have not come to you for your things, but for yourself. And this desire I now intensify and demonstrate by giving up things, in the hope of enjoying you more, not things. By giving to you what you do not need, and what I might enjoy, I am saying more earnestly and more authentically, "You are my treasure, not these things."'

I think that's what it means to worship God with gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh. 

May God take the truth of this text and waken in us a desire for Christ himself. May we say fro the heart, 'Lord Jesus, you are the Messiah, the King of Israel. All nations will come and bow down before you. God wields the world to see that you are worshiped. Therefore, whatever opposition I may find, I joyfully ascribe authority and dignity to you, and bring my gifts to say that you alone can satisfy my heart, not these.'"

(emphasis added by me)