Monday, December 19, 2011
If it costs you nothing?
The gifts that have always meant the most to me weren't the really expensive gifts or even the things I was expecting. Sometimes they weren't really "things" at all. The most valuable gifts I've received are those things that showed that the person really sacrificed something in order to give me the gift. They thought about me, I mean really thought about what I'd like, and they spent time and energy either making or creating this gift, or saving their hard-earned money to buy it. Even better, the gifts I remember are the ones that come from the heart and express a bond, an affection, an appreciation that is uniquely shared between the giver and the receiver. It could be something handmade or a special photo album or someone volunteering their help or time when I know they don't have much of either.
Why then, when we appreciate these sorts of gifts so much, do we not give the same type of gifts to our Heavenly Father? But, you may say, what can we give to God that He doesn't already have? We can give Him ourselves. And I don't just mean becoming a Christian. (Which is essentially receiving His gift to us, anyway) But I mean giving of our time, our energy, our thoughts--giving him something that costs us something. God wants us. He wants to hang out with us, know us, talk to us.. yet how often do we say a quick prayer in passing or forget to read the Bible because hey, we're all so busy!!!
King David understood this well. In 2 Samuel 24, we see that once again Israel has turned from God and become disobedient. To chastise them, God sends a plague for three days in which over 70,000 people died. The destroying angel was about to wipe out everyone in Jerusalem as well when David happened upon him and took the prophet Gad's advice and decided to build an altar right there where the angel was standing and offer sacrifices to God to stop the plague. The man who owned the land told David he could have the land for free and his oxen too. Listen to what David said:
No, but I will buy it of you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God of that which costs me nothing. So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver 2 Samuel 24:24
So what can we offer to God that will cost us something? Can we offer our precious time? Our money even though we dont' have much? Our unbridled obedience? Our non-stop worship? How about fasting if God calls us to do that? Can we offer Him all we have?
Or do we just toss gifts His way that really haven't cost us very much at all. I wonder how that makes Him feel? Especially when He gave us the greatest gift and sacrifice of all.
I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of all the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies, presenting all your members and faculties as a living sacrifice, holy devoted, consecrated and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable, rational, intelligent service and spiritual worship. Romans 12:1 Amplified
So, why don't you give God a great gift this year!!! Why not give Him You!