Devotional

When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! 11 They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. When it was time to leave, they returned to their own country by another route, for God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.” – Matthew 2: 10-12.

Sometimes life takes you in a direction you didn’t want to go in. You are not alone. There are a lot of people who know where they want to go but find themselves far from their desired destination. But that can change. You can change your heading, and steer away from what you don’t want, and towards the direction, you want to go in. Consider the story of the wise men. 

In Matthew 2:7-8 gives us the background:”Then Herod called for a private meeting with the wise men, and he learned from them the time when the star first appeared. Then he told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!”

When the wise men encountered Jesus, it changed their route.  The wise men had found what they were looking for. But before the wise men could return to Herod, however, they were warned in a dream not to do it, and they returned to their country by another route. They were one of the first, of millions upon millions of people who have had their path changed after an encounter with Jesus.  In Acts 17:30, Paul said, “God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him.” Repentance is more than forgiveness. Repentance is a 180-degree turn. Repentance is a commitment to begin walking the correct way.  When we meet Christ, it should change our direction – once we were walking according to our own way, now we are walking according to God’s way; once we did as we please, now we seek to please Him.

The wise men were changed by their encounter with Jesus.  When they approached the house in Bethlehem, they were wealthy men, at least wealthy enough to buy expensive gifts.  They were certainly confident as evidenced by their willingness to undertake this long and dangerous journey.  But when they entered that house and came face-to-face with the Christ child, they bowed down and worshiped Him.  Imagine that for a second.  These wealthy, wise men – bowing at the feet of a little boy.

When we meet Jesus, we are faced with a choice – to accept Him or reject Him.  If we reject Him, then there is no need to change direction or alter our path.  But if we accept Him, we cannot remain unchanged. We need to change our direction toward Him.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Are you the kind of person who asks for directions quickly or is it a last resort for you?
  2. What can we do to make a more permanent change of direction toward God?