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Monday, December 19 (Suggested Reading: Matthew 2:3-8)

One year a local church gave out cross-shaped signs for members to place in their yards. The signs gave the date and times of the church’s Easter services that year- a great evangelism tool, right? Maybe not!

A lady living in one neighborhood couldn’t help but comment on the folks who were displaying the signs. She said that some of the folks obviously held closely to their faith- always offering to help others, always stopping to talk, and one even went out one night and helped find her lost dog. Others, however, gave reason for doubt. She mentioned two neighbors who got into such a heated debate about property lines that lawsuits were threatened, and that many of the cross-displaying neighbors regularly drove at dangerous speeds through the neighborhood. However, these folks were quick to display their Christianity- not just with a yard sign, but with magnets on their vehicles, and even t-shirts and ball caps.

As we read today’s passage, it’s obvious that King Herod was not happy to hear the wise men’s news, but he definitely tried to keep up appearances with these distinguished men.  But what did they mean about the birth of the King of the Jews? Herod was king, and he was certainly not interested in sharing his throne with anyone else!  Imagine how he felt when the chief priests and scribes told him that the birth of the Messiah had been prophesied hundreds of years before.

Herod believed the only way to save his position as king was to get rid of the Christ-child.  Even though he told the wise men that he wanted to worship the Savior, he had some very wicked thoughts, and his actions would soon show the true selfishness that was in his heart.

There’s an old saying that goes, “Actions speak louder than words.”  This means that even though we may say certain things, it’s what we do and how we act that show people what we really believe.  God wants our hearts to be full of worship for Him, and when they are, our actions will show it.

Today, think about ways that your actions show whether your heart is truly full of worship for God. Are your words and actions consistent with your beliefs? Do you consider your salvation to mean you have His stamp of approval on however you want to live your life? Or are you being visibly transformed into the likeness of Christ?