Extravagant giftWhat was the most valuable Christmas gift you ever received? What was the most valuable gift you’ve ever given?

The mostly costly one I ever received was a new laptop three years ago. But, it wasn’t a surprise. My husband and I even went together to pick it out. We merely used December 25th as an excuse to purchase something I really needed. You may consider the gift prudent or extravagant depending on your point of view.

Jesus received several extravagant gifts from the Magi who visited Him in Bethlehem – gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These gifts expressed their worship and adoration of the King of kings. Their gifts were not last minute selections or random choices. They were carefully chosen and purposefully extravagant.

For instance, frankincense was a valuable commodity in the ancient world. Derived from the sap of the Boswellia tree, this dried resin was prized for its sweet, citrusy fragrance and medicinal qualities. In addition to being used in incense and perfume, frankincense was also known for its cleansing and healing properties. Even today, many use the oil to reduce swelling and relieve pain.

Frankincense was a key ingredient in God’s recipe for the tabernacle incense. This incense was exclusively for the tabernacle. It was to be used and burned only to worship God. (See Exodus 30:34-38.) According to the Bible, this incense of worship represents the prayers of God’s people – a sweet aroma rising up before God on His throne. The valuable gift of frankincense reminds us to worship God.

As we prepare to celebrate this Christmas, let’s consider what we can give to Jesus. He longs for us to give Him ourselves and He deserves our worship. Laying ourselves before Him in complete surrender is the purest, sweetest form of worship (Romans 12:1).

Let’s give our hearts and lives fully to Jesus today. May our gifts rise like the aroma of fragrant frankincense before God’s throne.

Note: This devotional is an excerpt from the Advent devotional book “Good Tidings of Great Joy.” Find out more or purchase here.  All proceeds benefit at-risk girls in Bangladesh.

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