Have you ever thought about giving Jesus a Christmas present? We exchange gifts in my family, of course; Santa even comes for the little ones every year. We also, as a family, give a substantial mission offering. But what about Jesus? Shouldn’t He get a gift? After all, it’s His birthday. From a biblical perspective, we remember the first Christmas gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh brought by the Magi to the new born king. These three gifts had meaning. If I’m giving Him a gift, I want to give Him something meaningful. I really had to think about this before I could come up with anything that was really worthy. I can identify with The Little Drummer Boy who had nothing to bring except the playing of his drum. What do we have that is worthy? What can we bring to the King of Kings? It must be something unique, not cheap, and must be from the heart. I know what I’m going to give!
Gift Number One: The gift of praise. Sometimes it’s easy to praise the Lord. In September my son, Mack, married Logan, and Megan had her second baby girl—all in one week! Praise the Lord! We have been celebrating and thanking Him for months. And other times it’s not so easy. Sitting with my son and hearing him tell me he was just rejected by the job he had his heart set on was not an easy time to give praise, or when a dear friend calls to tell you that the cancer has spread. Then it’s hard. That’s why the Bible calls us to bring the “sacrifice of praise.” Hebrews 13:15 says, Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. It will cost you something to truly offer praise from the heart, especially in a hard time. As we go through this Christmas season, I am going to offer up a daily sacrifice of praise, even when I don’t feel like it. Our heavenly Father inhabits the praises of his people. (Psalm 22:3 KJV paraphrase mine).
What else can I bring?
Gift Number Two: The gift of my body. Romans 12:1 NIV- says, Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters (paraphrase mine), in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. And so how do I offer my body as a gift? Three ways: rest well, eat well, and stay strong.
- Rest well. I know you have a lot to do during the holidays, but don’t shortchange yourself on rest. The LORD is my shepherd. I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He refreshes my soul (Psalm 23:1-3, NLT). God is saying to give it a rest and leave the details up to Him. He will help get the important things done. We won’t miss a thing.
- Eat Well. I am giving my holiday appetite to the Lord. The Christmas cookies, Chex mix and all the other wonderful goodies, I will enjoy in moderation. It is possible to enjoy the deliciousness of Christmas and not participate in gluttony. Practicing self-control is my gift to Jesus. It is a fruit of the spirit that He has given me. I’m re-gifting.
- Stay Strong. I give you my exercise. The holidays are not a time for us to abandon our exercise. In fact, we will need it more than ever. For me, exercise is a great stress reliever. It calms me and gives me energy. My daughter, Megan, called today, planning out our holiday exercise while she is here with the family. She is bringing weights, the double stroller and her walking shoes! “Lord, we give you our bodies as a living sacrifice and as an act of worship.”
You might have already thought of something better than these to give to our King on His birthday. I hope so. He is worthy of it all.