Character Quality: Thoughtful

 

Character Quality: Thoughtful with {free} coloring page

Character Quality: Thoughtful

There are several examples in Scripture of gift-giving. Elijah wanted to thank the Shunamite woman after she blessed him by adding a room for the prophet. Mary brought an alabaster jar of expensive nard to anoint the Lord Jesus. She gave Him her best, to honor him.

Gold, frankincense, and myrrh are probably the three most well-known gifts in the Bible. And they are part of the central story of the Bible when God gives mankind the greatest gift of all time, His Son. The whole story is full of miracles, full of grace, full of love. The story is for the whole world.

Here’s a recap. In the fullness of time, the God who exists outside of time interjected Himself into time. An angel appeared to Mary who, even as a young girl, had found favor in the sight of God. He extended her an opportunity to carry His Son, to be the mother of Jesus. She asked a logistical question and then responded humbly, “May it be unto me as you have said.”

Mary was found to be with child, which was a disgrace since she and Joseph were only betrothed, not actually married. As the whispers around town multiplied, the Roman government issued a decree that all the people should be taxed. Imagine that, God used taxation for His glorious plan.

Joseph and Mary left their hometown, their families, everything familiar, and the whispers to begin their journey to the city of David. Along the way God bonded them as they depended on each other during the arduous journey.

They arrived in Bethlehem just in time for Jesus’ birth. With no reservations and no rooms available at the local inns, they welcomed the Savior of the world in a humble stable. God sent an affirmation of His blessing on them and His Son by way of a star, which shinned brightly over the small town and the place of His birth.

Just as the Angel had visited Mary and then Joseph, Angels announced Jesus’ birth in the countryside to the shepherds. In the darkness of night, they heralded His arrival and invited the shepherds to visit the baby King. The shepherds didn’t have anything tangible to bring to the child or His parents, but they worshipped Him on bended knee.

Far away in the East, there were Magi who studied the stars and noticed a new one. Seeking to understand, to make sense of the new star, they sought answers. Through study they found prophecies from the Old Testament that the Messiah, a King would be announced by a star. Convinced that the star they had noticed was the star, they traveled to see the King.

But they didn’t come empty handed. They came bearing gifts, expensive gifts, practical gifts, thoughtful gifts. They brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These gifts have a variety of implications and uses. Some of them are medical. Frankincense for example is used for arthritis, but I don’t think that was a concern in this situation. Myrrh was traditionally used in preparation for burial. Gold of course has a variety of uses and high value. We don’t know why each of these three gifts were chosen, but we do know that they were gifts that would traditionally be given to royalty. These gifts were an acknowledgement and affirmation of who Jesus is, the King of kings.

It is important to train our children to be thoughtful and to give thoughtfully. This means that we model our giving as we tithe and as we give to others. We should give as unto the same King as the Magi gave, giving our best. We shouldn’t give in a stingy way or in a resentful way or in a reluctant way. We should give generously as unto the Lord. When our children have opportunities to share and give we should help them to think of the other person. What might they enjoy? How would it honor God? All of our gift giving should honor Him who alone is Worthy.

(Tradition has numbered the ‘wise men’ based on the three gifts, but we don’t actually know how many of them there were. We know more than one, but there could have been only two but certainly more than three is also possible. Additionally, there is debate on when the Magi arrived with their gifts. Timing is thought to be anywhere from almost immediately to a time which would have made Jesus two years of age. Neither of these issues is of eternal significance, but are important to know.)

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Character Quality: Thoughtful with {free} coloring page

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Rachael Carman
I had it going on—or so I thought. After surviving sixty-three months of pregnancy, countless sleepless nights, and 35,000+ diapers, this one-time control freak encountered God’s grace. And I’m here to encourage you to do the same! I love encouraging and inspiring moms to grow deeper in their walk and relationship with our Heavenly Father.

I’ve been married to my beloved, Davis, since 1986; our life has been a roller-coaster ride, with God at the controls. We have seven kids and let me tell you our family loves to laugh! I enjoy playing in the dirt, eating dark chocolate, and walking on the beach. I’m an author and speaker and I am passionate about helping moms not only survive motherhood, but draw near to the Father and thrive in motherhood.

I’m so glad you’re here.
Posted on: September 11, 2015, by : Rachael Carman