Daily encouragement

Video by

Andy Elliott

ACF Devo Team

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Matthew 2:10

When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.

Behind the Scenes

I hated going shopping when I was a kid. Even thinking about it is so boring. I would have rather been doing schoolwork than be stuck in Kohl’s. Growing up in the 90’s also meant that there were no iPhones in sight, so if I wasn’t going to die from boredom, I had to figure out something to occupy my time. So, I did what most of us would do: I hid in the clothes racks to scare my mom. This was the ultimate prank for an 8-year-old, and I thought it made me a comedic genius.

That is, until I popped out from the rack to scare my mom…but the lady in front of me wasn’t my mom. That was weird for me and this lady, but I assumed my mom was right behind her. Instead, there was another random customer. And then another. And then I couldn’t find my mom. And I kept looking around only to realize that this Kohl’s was now my own personal prison, and I didn’t know where to go.

I gathered my shattered pride and went to the front desk where they used the intercom to call my mom to the front. I tried my hardest to look over the shelves and racks in the store, and I finally saw my mom making her way to the front. A wave of relief came over me because now I wouldn’t have to live in that Kohl’s for the rest of my life.

We’ve all felt lost before: Hiding in a store, hiking a trail without clear signs, not knowing the next decision to make in life. Whatever the case is, I think the reason feeling lost causes anxiety is the silence that comes with it. There is not always a GPS to help us move in the right direction, and the silence can be deafening.

But thankfully for us, God cuts through the silence.

Make it Real

Before the birth of Jesus, the people of God had become well acquainted with silence–400 years of silence to be exact. There was no prophetic word from God between the prophet Malachi (the last book of the Old Testament) and the birth of Jesus, so the people of God were itching for the promised Messiah to appear. They had been waiting for generations, and they were about to experience the most impactful moment in human history.

At the time of Jesus’ birth, a group of magi (what we call “wise men”) saw a sign from God that he was on the move: a star in the sky that God was using to guide them. They followed this star from their homeland to Jerusalem (an estimated 800 miles) because they knew God was on the move, and their faith led them to the Messiah.

So, of course, they were filled with joy when they saw the star. As they made their 800-mile journey, this star guided them. As they got to Bethlehem, where Jesus was born, the star brought them to their Messiah. As they were now face-to-face with the Savior of the world, they had this star that did more than help them travel the earth; it brought them from the deafening silence of the last 400 years to the indescribable joy of being with God. The arrival of Jesus was proof that God is not only faithful but is present with his people.

This isn’t only good news for these magi that experienced this for themselves; it’s good news for everyone from then on. God was doing something no one expected; He was sending his own Son on a rescue mission to bring everyone back to himself. He knew we were lost, and he took it upon himself to come find us. That’s why Matthew 1:23, referring to Jesus’ upcoming birth, says, “‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’).”

The magi were overjoyed because God was keeping a promise to find his lost people. And we get to experience that same promise today. When we’re lost and feel that deafening silence creeping in, we can find joy that God is with us. And that’s the kind of joy that cuts through the silence.

End in Prayer

God, thank you that even if we feel lost, we don’t have to stay that way. You are faithful to find us, rescue us, and set us on the right path to move forward. No matter our current situation, we can find joy because you are greater than our circumstances. Help us remember the truth that you are with us, and we’re not lost anymore. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Written by

Cody Harmon

ACF Multiplication Pastor