Daily Devotionals

Trouble Maker Week 1: Wednesday

The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! Luke 2:11

The circumstances surrounding Jesus’ birth were less than ordinary. They were extremely humble. He was born in a stable, and his bed was a feeding trough for animals. But, make no mistake about it, the King of Kings was born that day. Because Jesus was and is the King, there is no room in our lives for anything else to be king.

Our Scripture reading for today comes from Luke 2. This chapter of Luke recounts Jesus’ birth, the moment many people were waiting for to fulfill the prophecies of the Old Testament. Luke writes in this chapter that Jesus was born in the city of Bethlehem. Mary and Joseph had traveled to Bethlehem from Nazareth because they were all required to register for the census that the Roman emperor, Augustus, had ordered. The census required everyone to go back to their hometown, which for Joseph was Bethlehem. While they were in Bethlehem, Mary gave birth to Jesus in a stable, which we would say today looks more like a cave. Jesus’ first bed was a feeding troth, or manger, for animals because there was no other place for his little family to stay. His circumstances were very humble. Not many would have realized that a king, the King, was born that day.

Luke tells us that a group of shepherds found out unexpectedly that Jesus had been born. Of all people, it was these shepherds who God trusted with the news of the birth of the King of kings. God sent angels to announce Jesus’ birth to the shepherds. An angel appeared to them and announced, “The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!” (verse 11). It could not have been any clearer. This was no ordinary baby. This was the Messiah. Messiah means “anointed one.” In Jesus’ day, kings were anointed. This baby was destined to be King.

Friends, Jesus is, of course, still King today. He is the King. The only King. There is room for only one king in our lives. The problem we have is that there are so many things competing for the place of king that only Jesus deserves. We treat other people, positions, possessions, or other things as if they are king and give them a more important place than Jesus. When this happens, these things become what we worship and obey instead of Jesus, which is not what any of us want. It’s time to choose to let go of these things we are worshiping instead of Christ. He alone is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Moving toward action

Today, our call is to let go of whatever we are worshiping instead of Jesus. Maybe another person’s opinion matters to you more than God’s opinion. You may have been placing all of your time, energy, and attention on your job without taking time for God. Perhaps something else that you own has taken over your worship instead of God. Take a few minutes and think about what is competing for the place that only God deserves. Are you willing to confess that area to God? Tell Him you are sorry for trying to let anything compete with His place for king, and commit to letting go of anything you have placed above Him. Ask for His help as you commit to worship and obey only Him as king.

Going Deeper

Matthew 2:1-12 (NLT)

"Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, 2 “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.”

3 King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem. 4 He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?”

5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote:

6 ‘And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah,
are not least among the ruling cities of Judah,
for a ruler will come from you
who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.'”

7 Then Herod called for a private meeting with the wise men, and he learned from them the time when the star first appeared. 8 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!”

9 After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. 10 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.

12 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."