by Rev. James Wong
“On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.” Matthew 2:11 (NIV).
The gifts of the wise men began a beautiful tradition of giving during Christmas. We do not know who these wise men were but we do know that they came from the east, which could be India, China or Persia. They were people educated in philosophy, medicine and astrology. They must have studied the scriptures because by looking at the special star in the sky they knew that the promised Messiah, the great deliverer, was born. They took a long journey to Jerusalem with the purpose of worshipping Jesus.
The gifts that the wise men gave to Jesus were the best they had. The gifts were carefully planned and selected. Here were the treasures they gave to Jesus. (1) Gold. This was the most precious metal and it was a gift that was fit for a King. Jesus was born to be the King of kings. (2) Frankincense was used in the temple worship to God. Jesus was not only to be the king but God who is worthy to be worshiped. (3) Myrrh was a spice used to embalm a body after death. Imagine, someone send you a gift that is fit for burial! Jesus was born not to live but to die. He would die for the sin of the world and give them new life.
The question is, what would you give to Jesus during his birthday? Imagine someone throwing a party for you and everyone else has received a gift except you! What can you give to Jesus that he does not have? You can give to him F.I.R.S.T.
F = Finance. Give to God the first part of your finance. “Honor the Lord by giving him the first part of all your income …” (Proverbs 3:9 TLB). God does not need your money but by giving to Him 10% of your income you show that he is first in your life.
I = Interest. Put God first in all your interests. It could be your hobbies and the things you are passionate about doing. Let him have the first place in all those interests.
R = Relationship. Put God first in all your relationships. Let him be the first in your marriage relationships, family relationships, workplace relationships or business relationships.
S = Schedule. Put God first in your schedule. Give him the first day of the week and worship him on Sunday. Give God the first 5 minutes or so to be quiet before him and meditate on his word before you start your day.
T = Troubles. Put God first in all your troubles. If you are in trouble, do not suppress it, repress it or express it, tell it to God. Consult him first in prayers and let him lead you.