23.12.13

Scriptures of Christmas - Gifts of Worship

by Sally Matheny

Dear Friends, you are in for a treat. My sweet friend, Nan Jones, is guest blogging for me today.
God first brought Nan into my life as the welcome wagon at my first writers’ conference. She didn’t even serve on the staff! She is just that genuine kind of person that pulls you in with her warm smile and compassionate heart. Within minutes of learning I was a nervous, greenhorn writer, Nan was already jotting down helpful websites for me and telling me of people I needed to meet while at the conference. During one short weekend, we developed a lasting friendship.
I love Nan's writing because, like her, it radiates her love for Christ.
 
May you find a blessing as you read. And I pray each of you experience joy and peace as you focus on God’s most precious and perfect gift of Jesus Christ.

by Nan Jones
 

The camels plodded along the stony trail. With every step, dust from the dry and thirsty land blurred the edges of their hooves. The night sky, vast and translucent, held the veil between heaven and earth. Stars, like sequins, glimmered. A silence wrapped the Magi in a holy hush - a knowing, a pondering of the faithfulness of their God.
Steady they went; the star in the east their compass. Its brilliant light-beams cascaded over the earth beckoning these men of wisdom and insight and worship to seek the Newborn King. Saddlebags draped over jewel-toned blankets, bulged with gifts fit for the long awaited Christ Child. Gifts befitting royalty. Gifts of worship.



From the crest of the hill overlooking the valley below, the Magi searched the heavens. And there it was! The sign! The cascading light-beams from the brilliant star touched the earth, pointing to the Messiah. Shouts of joy rang across the land as the men proclaimed their journey's end. Hearts raced with anticipation. Spirits leaped within from the overpowering Presence of God.

The men of wisdom bolted towards the Light, dismounted, and doubled over in awe. Tears streamed. Smiles beamed. And their knees fell hard against the earth as they bowed in worship before their King.

One by one the Magi unwrapped their gifts for Jesus. 
One by one the gifts reflected God's perfect plan.

Gold. The royalty of Jesus. A gift befitting the King of kings.


Frankincense. The priestly role of Jesus. The sweet aroma drifting from the altar of incense in the Tabernacle where prayer flowed to the Father. Resin harvested by stripping the bark from the tree in a process called striping. The resin flows from the wounds, hardens, and is deemed the tears of the tree.

Myrrh. The anointing oil for Jesus' death. Resin from a small, thorny tree. The tree is beaten repeatedly to cause the resin to bleed out. Myrrh was used to embalm the dead.


Like Mary, I ponder these things of God. I find myself awestruck at the intricacies of His plan of salvation - the complexities of design and purpose.  I wonder at the sweet aroma created by the prayers of the righteous before the Lord and the fact that the Magi must have realized the significance of their gift being harvested by stripes and tears. I am in awe that myrrh was chosen as the third gift - myrrh, whose very source is laden with thorns and must be beaten to release the fragrant liquid.


I think on Jesus and His touch upon my life.

 

"Lord, I cry out to You; 

Make haste to me! Give ear to my voice when I cry out to You. 

Let my prayer be set before You as incense, 

the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice." 

~ Psalm 141:2


As I seek the Christ Child this Christmas, dust from my dry and thirsty land blurs each step. But, I seek Him still. His Word is a lamp unto my feet, a brilliant light cascading from heaven pointing directly to Him. I cry out to Him, my prayers a sweet aroma, pleasing and acceptable to the Lord because He loves me. 


And because He loves me, I will worship Him.

I will worship and adore Him because He is the Lord.




Nan Jones
Nan Jones is an author/speaker who uses the words of her heart to assist fellow Christians in discovering the Presence of God in their darkest hour. Her devotional blog, Morning Glory, has become a place of community for Christians to find encouragement in God’s Word and comfort in His Presence.
Nan’s devotions have produced a far-reaching impact across the nation and globe due to her online presence. She has been published in three anthologies: Ultimate Christian Living, Diamonds in the Light: Exceptional Women Showcasing Their Gifts, and God's Word for God's People: 2013 Daily Devotional. She has also been published in the online inspirational sites Christian Devotions, and Inspire a Fire, and has been featured as a guest blogger on several sites.
She is thrilled to announce her debut book, "The Perils of a Pastor's Wife" which is slated to be released in early 2015 by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.
When Nan is not writing, she enjoys leading prayer retreats, bible studies or sharing God’s love as keynote speaker for special events. She is becoming known by her brand: "Even so, I walk in the Presence of the Lord."
You many visit Nan at her website or her blog, Morning Glory. For personal communication you may email Nan at nan@jubilantlight.com.


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