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When a man or a woman engages in wholehearted worship and gives something of value to the King of Kings, how easy it then becomes to hear the voice of God! Worship, in a believer's life, always turns up the volume of heaven!

"And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the Magi left for their own country" (Matt. 2:12, NASB1995).

Prior to the incredible event of Jesus' birth, the Magi depended on earthly directions and upon man's best judgment. However, once they knew Jesus...once they had fallen on their faces in His presence and because they had given to Him that which was of value, the guidance of God was easy to discern.

The Magi were accustomed to obtaining all of their knowledge from the patterns of the stars, from scrolls of the great minds of historical prominence and from earthly governments. Now these men heard the voice of the God of the ages! These men were discovering the wisdom of obtaining their directions from God and from God alone. Not only did they hear His voice but they also obeyed His voice! This was quite a change for men who formerly had so esteemed academic prestige!

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God warned the wise men in a dream to return home on a different route from the way on which they had come. Herod intended to kill the newborn King of the Jews and was waiting to procure His location from the Magi if they returned through Jerusalem. Worship not only enables a human being to hear the voice of God but worship often changes one's direction in life as well.

Worship will give a new perspective on destiny and will determine the road that you should take in order to arrive at God's intended location for your life. Never underestimate the role that both worship and sincere giving play in enabling you to reach your ultimate destiny in Christ. Just like the Magi, God may want you to hear and consider His voice alone and thereby change your direction. Your part in life's equation is to worship Him completely and to give to Him sacrificially. He actually cares very much about the choices that you are making this achingly beautiful and most sacred season of the year.

True worship always entails a change of position and a change in prominence. In the presence of the Holy Child, these men cared not for tradition or liturgy. They only knew that this little bit of a boy was worthy to be worshiped and so they fell at His baby feet in heartfelt praise. Will you fall on your face in the presence of Jesus?

True worship always involves joy! These wise men had their academic world rocked with the joy that was found in the presence of Jesus Christ. They had changed their academic regalia for a garment of praise. Will you let go of your very human, emotional make-up and allow the joy of His presence to infiltrate all of the corners of your world?

True worship always involves a giving away of something valuable. The Magi had brought treasures to the tiny King and His humble family. What will you bring of value to Jesus? The Magi gave gifts fit for a King and what we offer Him can be no less. Worship is the meeting place of God and humanity. It is the moment when humanity falls on its face in joy!

As this beautiful Christmas season comes to a close and a fresh new year is about to begin, ask yourself these questions:

- Has the presence of Jesus Christ caused a genuine stir in my life?

- Will I worship Him with only my words, or will my heart and my life join in the high praise that He deserves?

- Will I respond to His triumphant procession with the reckless abandon of absolute worship?

Only you can choose to bring Jesus the type of worship that is accompanied by a lifetime of loving actions.

You are loved so much that a miracle happened! It was a miracle of heavenly proportions: where there was once confusion, conflict and sin, now there is peace...and joy!

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Dr. Mark Rutland's

National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL)

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