During the Christmas season of celebration we often reflect on the biblical account of the wondrous birth of our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s greatest gift to mankind. Joseph was a simple carpenter and Mary was just a young girl. Both, in different ways, submitted to the call of God on their lives and chose to be chosen when the call came. Mary submitted her body with her womb for the Christ-child, and Joseph chose to protect and care for Mary and be an earthly father to Jesus, despite the bigoted judgements of men.
Have you ever considered how this simple couple, Mary and Joseph, felt when in a humble stable following child-birth, they were visited by the three wise men from the east, bearing lavish gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh? (Matthew 2) When they saw Jesus they fell on their knees and worshipped Him, (verse 11). These were eminent visitors paying homage to the Son of God, born in a stable. Their gifts were treasures of significant value.
I wonder what Mary and Joseph did with those gifts. The Bible does not record this. Maybe they were God’s provision for the little family to live off the sale of such costly gifts. Whatever the outcome, God made sure that Joseph and Mary, in parenting the Son of God, were well taken care of.
Therein lies a lesson for us: When focusing on Jesus – the greater – earthly provision – the lesser, will be taken care of. The greater includes the lesser, not the other way round.
Jesus demonstrated this in His teachings, Matthew 6:25 – 34. He instructs us to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, (the greater), then earthly provision, (the lesser), God will supply. This is the order of God. The greater includes the lesser, but if I reverse the order and seek the lesser first, the lesser does not include the greater.
The world seeks after provision because it is essential to life! But for us, God’s children, we have the promise of Jesus not just for life, but the quality of abundant life!……when we focus on Him and seek His kingdom first, all we need is provided by His mercy and love. The greater includes the lesser.
Continuing this theme, Jesus gave a stern warning in Matthew 23:23, “Woe unto you, scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites! You pay tithe of mint, anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgement, mercy and faith: these ought you to have done and not to leave the other undone.” We can keep religious observances which are the lesser, and completely omit what God requires, the greater.
Consider this: BEING is greater than doing. What I am speaks volumes without words. My life declares. Am I a living epistle seeking and serving my Lord Jesus? Being a carrier of His presence draws people to Jesus effectively. His presence is attractive.
When the King of Kings is given His rightful throne in the castle of a man’s heart, His residence there is an evident presence in that man’s life. The Giver of all gifts, the Lord Jesus, can manifest at any time through the vessel He is happy to reside in, (when given that throne), in evangelism, prayer, intercession, discernment, prophecy, love, faith, joy, peace, healing etc. His presence is all inclusive. But if I focus on the gifts, the lesser, instead of the Lord Jesus, the greater, the order is wrong. Out of His presence will manifest His person, to draw mankind to Himself and an intimate relationship with Him.
Through Calvary we are partakers of the New Covenant, which can never be broken because it was sealed with the blood of Jesus. It is a two-sided covenant between the greater, God, and man, the lesser. God prizes that relationship with you and I through that covenant. Because of it, through Jesus, we can approach and call on Almighty God, our Heavenly Father.
However, in this two sided covenant, God, the greater, also has the right to call on us, the lesser, and ask for something. It is a two way relationship.
Christmas is recognised by the world as a season of giving and receiving gifts, forgiveness and goodwill to ALL men. Let us remember as believers in Jesus, Christmas is not just a season but an everyday, lifelong experience of relationship with the Lord. Let us focus on the gift from us to Him that God is requiring of us this season. What gift does He require from me that would gladden His heart and cause heaven to rejoice with Him?