And going into the house they saw the child
with Mary his mother, and they fell down and
worshipped him. Then opening their treasures,
they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense
Matthew 2:11 ESV
Shopping lists and hurried phone calls abound during this Christmas celebration season as we make decisions about what to purchase for whom. We make every possible effort to attain the perfect gift for each family member and friend.
As I thought about gifts, I wondered about my gift to the King of Kings. After all, it is HIS birthday that we celebrate. Perhaps an enameled scepter or a purple velvet robe intertwined with threads of gold would be appropriate. Silly—right!
Jesus walked through His ministry time on earth with no visible wealth. He had no place to lay His head (Luke 9:58). He does not want material possessions offered at an altar of sacrifice or brought as a gift. So what can I give the King?
While doing some research, I stumbled across a verse familiar to most church goers. “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (James 1:22 ESV) And I thought, what if that could be the gift that I give the King—wholeheartedly giving myself to be a “doer” rather than a hearer only.
As Christians, we often like to think that we have it all together; we are doing the right things, saying the right things and behaving the right way. For the most part, I suppose that is true. But I am going to be bold enough to say that there seems to be something missing in most of our lives. Power! Power with God! Power with man! And I have to ask myself why? Perhaps many of us hear the Word and do the Word by habit rather than from the overflow of a heart of love for our Savior.
Perhaps we deceive ourselves into thinking that our efforts to gain God’s favor through good behavior is what He desires when it is really legalistic law following instead of truly immersing ourselves in God’s grace. Perhaps we have not truly plugged into the power of God through prayer.
Do we “act” a certain way because it is expected or because we are so in love with Jesus that we cannot help ourselves. Why do you go to church? Why do you sing in the choir? Why do you teach Sunday School? Why do you serve in the kitchen ministry? Why do you and I do what we do? Legalism vs. Grace—love!
During this busy Christmas season, I am going to take a few moments to ponder those questions. Like you, I do not have all the answers. Will you join me as together we look into our hearts and search for that perfect gift for Jesus and we ask ourselves—what can I give the King?
© Joyce Powell