The first Christmas began with worship as the wise men came to Jesus in a manger and offered Him their most precious gifts. You can read the accounts of Jesus’ birth in Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2.
Just as “Christmas” began with worship, how can we remember the birth of Christ without worship?
Even John the baptist, while in his mothers womb, leapt when Mary came into the room with Jesus still in her womb.
Keep these stories in your mind while we now look at another passage.
9 And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
15 And they were bringing even their babies to Him so that He would touch them, but when the disciples saw it, they began rebuking them. 16 But Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”
18 A ruler questioned Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. 20 You know the commandments, ‘DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, DO NOT MURDER, DO NOT STEAL, DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS, HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER.’” 21 And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.” 22 When Jesus heard this, He said to him, “One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 23But when he had heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. 24And Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God! 25 For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 They who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” 27 But He said, “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.”
The first two men came into the temple to pray, one was humble while the other exalted himself. The second man approached Jesus having kept the law, yet left greatly saddened because his heart was with his wealth.
The Magi came before Jesus offering Him their worship of humility and surrendering unto Him the most precious gifts.
Before just a baby boy they gave such sacrifices.
Our hearts matter to God.
They cannot be either proud or attached to the wealth of this world. We must leave both of those things behind to follow Jesus.
Let our worship, therefore, this Christmas, be acceptable to God through the sincere humility of our hearts and the offering of all things we have to Him out of love.
But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.
We know that we must worship God from the Spirit and in Truth; so let us remove from our hearts, this day, any pretense of pride that exalts itself against God, and let us leave behind any claim the world (which is of its father, the Devil, who is the Father of all lies) that the world has upon our hearts.
All of us should prepare our hearts to worship God. We should search, indeed, pray and ask God to reveal our hearts to us so that we can humble ourselves and approach Him with love in truth!