by Dr. Randy Tompkins
One of the things I have learned about reading or studying the Bible is to allow my mind to open beyond the verse or passage before me. When I narrow my focus just to the words before me, I miss something God wants me to see. When I allow God to expand my view, I have discovered He will fill the canvas of my mind with exciting insights.
For example: When we think of the Christmas story, we think of the three gifts the Magi brought. “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, incense, and myrrh.” Matthew 2:11
As I read this verse in preparation for a presentation I was to give, a thought appeared on the screen of my mind: Were these the only gifts given about the birth of Jesus? I soon realized there were at least 8 other gifts.
The first gift, God gave Mary the gift of being Jesus’ mother – Luke 1:26-38.
The second gift, Elizabeth gave Mary a blessing – Luke 1:39-45.
The third gift, Joseph gave Mary the gift of trust by following the instruction of the angel and not putting her away – Matthew 1:24.
The fourth gift happened when the Innkeeper gave the young couple the gift of lodging when he didn’t have to – Luke 2:7.
The fifth gift was the song presented to the shepherds by the Angels – Luke 2:14
The sixth gift that God gave was to Simeon – the gift of holding Jesus – Luke 2:38
The seventh gift was a blessing given by Anna – Luke 2:36-38
The eighth gift was given by the Magi – the gift of silence as they returned home a different route – Matthew 2:12
When we read the scripture, we tend to focus on the obvious. Allow the Holy Spirit to expand your view of the purpose of the passage you have just read by asking a question or two just as I did with Matthew 2:11. Then, do the research to answer the question or questions. It will be amazing what God will reveal to you.
As we gather with family and friends to exchange gifts this Christmas season, remember: a gift is not necessarily a physical item. As long as it comes from the heart, it can be anything.
In Christ’s Service,
Dr. Randy Tompkins
Interim Senior Adult Minister
Calvary Baptist Church
Visit our Website: https://calvarynet.net/