“And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh” (Matt. 2:11, ESV). In worship, they came for Christ, and not for themselves. We note three principles of worship here. First, the wise men gave gifts, showing what they can give to Christ, not what they can get from Christ. They came desiring to enjoy Christ himself, not the things of Christ. In worship, you come to Christ for Christ’s sake, not for your sake.
Second, they gave what was costly to them. They did not hold back from God their more expensive gifts. Gold then was expensive. Frankincense is like expensive Calvin Klein perfumes. Myrrh is a special aromatic medicine.
When we worship, we should give something costly. We should not hold back costly things from God. Many Christians come to church and give their “cheap” offerings—things that do not cost them something. But worship demands a costly offering to Christ who died on the cross for us.
Third, they gave to the Lord was what was special to them, what matters to them. They give these gifts to the Lord, because they are willing to give up what’s special to them, for somebody who is more special than anything else in this world.
In worship then, you come to the Lord surrendering your self-interests and self-centeredness. In giving gifts in worship, you’re saying that the Lord is more important than the things that are important to you.
What is important in your life? Money? Valuables? You give something important to Jesus. That is worship.
Then you give yourself. That is what Paul is saying in Rom. 12:1. “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”
That is worship. You give something special to somebody more special than you. You give yourself.
There are three ways you can respond to the birth of Christ. You can feel insecure about Jesus. You can feel indifferent about Jesus. Or you can be wise today, like the wise men. You can feel ignited about trusting Jesus as your Savior and worshiping Him.
The choice is yours.