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Thursday
Dec012011

Respond to God’s Gift

Bible Studies For Life
December 18, 2011

David Bond, team member 
Arkansas Baptist State Convention

Scripture passage:
Matthew 2:1-15

Walking through the store with my wife, I noticed an item that caught her eye. I watched her briefly examine it and made a mental note of her comments. Later, I returned to purchase the item as a gift. On Christmas Day, her response proved that the gift and the gesture were personally meaningful. Having been given the incredible Gift of Jesus, our response to Him proves whether the Gift has truly had an impact in our lives. Matthew 2 records two responses to Christ that also serve as pictures for today.

The wise men embody those who receive the gospel and embrace Jesus as Savior and Lord. Their responses demonstrate the authentic impact Christ had on their lives. First, they responded by aligning their lives with His light, leaving everything behind in pursuit of the star (Matt. 2:1-2, 9-10). Upon finding the Child, they gave Him adoration by falling to their knees in worship and giving Him their very best (Matt. 2:11). Finally, they showed a willingness to make adjustments by changing their plans in favor of God’s new direction (Matt. 2:12).

King Herod depicts those who reject the gospel and deny Christ. His response demonstrates that the Gift of Jesus had no impact on his life. The news of Christ’s birth was a disturbance that threatened Herod’s own position, comforts and control (Matt. 2:3). He also responded with deception, giving the outward impression of a desire to worship but with no authenticity in his heart (Matt. 2:7-8). Finally, God revealed that Herod’s ultimate intent was to respond with destruction in hopes that the Messiah would be eliminated (Matt. 2:13).

Two thousand years later a person’s response to the Gift of Jesus still authenticates the real impact He has had on his life. Authentic Christ followers give sacrificial, humble worship and make necessary adjustments to obey the Lord’s direction. While others may say they are worshippers of Jesus, their efforts to protect their own interests, preserve their own position and prevent the advance of the gospel prove differently. This Christmas let us examine our own response to the Gift of Jesus and give clear proof of His impact on our lives. 

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