December 18 – 24, 2016
Advent Week 4
A King to Be Worshipped
Advent Guide 2016
Season: Advent Article by Athens Church
Excerpt taken from “Athens Church Advent Guide”
The magi were studiers of astrology, dreams, the sky, and other mysteries. There is not much known about the magi, but we do know one interesting fact — they were gentiles. At that time there was no reason for a gentile, someone not of Israel, to care about the birth of the saviour of the Jews. But as we now know, God had a much bigger plan in store than saving only the Jewish people — He sent His Son to redeem people of all nations. Jesus came to make lost, undeserving people His people, no matter their lineage. God used a star to lead the gentile people to His Son. When the magi saw the star in the sky, they set off on a long journey to find the one, true King.
When the magi finally arrived in Jerusalem, they stopped to ask where they could find the King of the Jews. When king Herod heard of this, he was not pleased. Here we meet the second king in the story. Herod was a typical king. He lived in a large palace, was rich, had servants, and would have done anything necessary to elevate himself above others — even kill. When Herod heard the news of another king, he was very troubled.
But Jesus was a new kind of king. Unlike Herod and other kings before him, Jesus came to serve rather than be served. Jesus did not have a lofty palace but was instead born in a stable among animals. He did not live a life of riches, nor did he own a single servant. Jesus came to die for His people so that they may live. Jesus was the one, true King worthy to be worshiped, and the magi understood that.
“Who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:6-8
The magi continued to follow the star, which led them to Jesus. When they entered the house and saw Jesus, they did the only thing one could do when truly encountering Him — they fell on their knees in worship. They also presented him with three gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These gifts were not to bribe Jesus, nor were they given to Jesus because He was lacking anything. These gifts were an extension of their worship. It is as if they were saying to Jesus, “These things are not our treasures; You are our treasure.”
Everything we have — our time, possessions, money, talents, etc., are all good gifts from the Lord but they are not worthy of our worship. Like the magi, we can freely give up these things to Christ, not because He needs them, nor do we have to bribe him into forgiving us, but because He is our true treasure. We can lay down our “me time” to serve others because Christ is our treasure rather than ourselves. We can budget our giving first before our spending because Christ is our treasure, not money or possessions. We can gladly lay down ourselves for Christ because we realize He is the one, true King and is worthy of our worship.
What did you learn about God’s character in this part of our Advent story?
What might you be tempted to treasure more than Christ? What can you do to fight that temptation?
As believers, our life is to be lived out as an extension of our worship. How can you remind yourself daily of the gospel so that, in turn, you can worship Him in all things?
Ask our Father to reveal the things that you worship more than Him, and ask for eyes to see how you seek to be worshipped selfishly, the way Herod did. Seek forgiveness of these things from our loving God knowing that it will be given to you, and give thanks for His deep love and grace towards us. Ask how you can worship Him during this week of advent.
The Advent Season
Advent is from the Latin word for “coming” or “arrival,” and it refers to the coming of Christ. It is the celebration of Jesus Christ’s first advent, and our anticipation of His second. Our waiting isn’t simply a moment in between moments, but it is a time that God uses to grow and shape us into the people He has created us to be. We have provided a Advent page full of resources as we consider this Advent season.