Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Perfect Gift

The list is long. Each year it's challenging to find the perfect gift for each person. Something unique. Something he or she will enjoy.

Since we're not travelling north for Christmas this year, I had to ship the majority of the gifts. Not wanting to pay a fortune in postage, my gift options were significantly limited. Hmmmm. Gift cards would be the perfect solution. Now I just had to decide from which stores to purchase the gift cards. After much thought, and a strategically placed phone call, I chose gift cards from stores that I knew each recipient would enjoy.

Now I only have a few more gifts to purchase. These are the ones for teachers and friends I'll be seeing before Christmas. But wait, have I forgotten to give the most important gift?

As I've pondered the Christmas story this season, I couldn't help but notice the gifts that the wise men brought to Jesus. "And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh" (Matthew 2:11, KJV).

Although this event took place some time after the actual day of Jesus' birth, the wise men were careful to bring gifts for the King of Kings. They were gifts that were valuable to them. Things that were treasured. No doubt, they had sacrificed in order to purchase these gifts. The gift of gold spoke of His life: Jesus was royalty. The heavenly King humbled Himself, and left His throne to dwell among those He came to save. Frankincense spoke of his life. The fragrance of a sinless life. Myrrh spoke of his death. Apparently, these wise men were aware that the scriptures foretold the death of the Messiah for the sins of mankind.

In my haste to complete my Christmas shopping, I was leaving out the most important gift. But what could I give to Jesus? Some verses from the Psalms served to inspire me with 'gift' ideas. These were not 'cheap' gifts. These gifts would involve sacrifice.

Perhaps one of the most challenging gifts to give my Savior is a submissive attitude or spirit. One that readily admits sin, confesses and forsakes it. One that is quick to submit to His will. An attitude that is devoid of pride. The Psalmist David describes it as a 'broken' spirit. "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise" (Psalm 51:17).

The gift of praise. Instead of complaining, I need to praise the Lord for who He is and all He does. Once again, sacrifice is involved. Without the help of the Holy Spirit, praising doesn't come naturally. "I will freely sacrifice unto thee: I will praise thy name, O Lord; for it is good" (Psalm 54:6).

Along the same line, I can give the gift of thanksgiving. Both praise and thanksgiving are directed toward God, and can be shared with others. What a mighty God we serve! "And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing" (Psalm 107:22).

This Christmas season, I desire to present my life as a 'gift' to my Savior and King. Sacrificing my desires for His will, praising instead of complaining, and offering up thanks to a magnificent God. He is worthy! What are you willing to give the King of Kings?


  1. Maria, You made me think as well. Have I left out the most important person this Christmas season?

    So I offer the gift of myself to the King. And know he not only willingly accepts this flawed present. He desires it. How many flawed gifts do we willingly want to get? Not any.

    Thank you for reminding me not to let the busyness of the season come between me and the one we celebrate. :)

  2. This is so beautiful, Maria. Thank you!

    I give Him everything. This season I'm trying to be especially mindful of Him. I don't want Christmas to pass and miss the reason for it all.

  3. I love that you expounded on the wise men offering gifts of great value. The Psalms says, what can I render unto God for all his benefits? Then another scripture, what is man that you are mindful of him?

    We owe God our very lives, a living sacrifice! Wow I need to give God more of me!

  4. Robyn - I love your comment that God desires and willingly accepts us, even though we are 'flawed.' I'm so grateful that He loved me enough to send Jesus to pay the penalty for my sins! God bless you & yours this Christmas!!

    Kristen - Sounds like you're well on your way to enjoying your best Christmas ever! God bless you as you keep Christ the central focus of Christmas!

    Tamika - Love the verses that you referenced as reminders! You're absolutely right that we are 'living sacrifices.' God's blessings to you and your family as you worship the Christ of Christmas!

  5. Hi Maria. Thank you for reminding us of surrendering to God in a season which is so full of messages which tell us to surrender to ourselves because we 'deserve it'.
    Many years ago we did a children's play at church where a little girl sang a beautiful line at the very end. It was all about what gift we could give Jesus at Christmas. She sang.."I'll give my heart".
    Your post reminded me of that message.
    Blessings and thank you!

  6. Thank you Maria for the timely reminder, what a way to start the new year with a surrendered heart, more than before.
    And we can never out give him either, isn't that great! xxx

  7. Dorothy - Thanks for sharing your memory of the Christmas play at your church! The little girl who sang, had the right idea - giving Jesus her heart! God bless!

    Raymonde - A surrendered heart IS so important! It's so true that we can't outgive our God. Definitely something worth praising Him for!! Merry Christmas and God bless!

  8. Maria ~ As one "recipient" of your ministry to your Church family, I must say that, to me, you have indeed remembered the gift of returning love your Saviour. After major surgery and looking at a 3 month recovery, you have been giving the gift of sacrifice by hospital visits, phone calls, meals and, (most important, I believe) prayer. I am so blessed to know you and consider you a wonderful woman of God, I am certain that our Saviour is well pleased and saying "well done, my good and faithful servant".

    Love you Maria... God be with you as you (quoting from your recent post) "desire to present my life as a 'gift' to my Savior and King. Sacrificing my desires for His will, praising instead of complaining, and offering up thanks to a magnificent God."


  9. Ginger - Thank you so much for the gracious words of encouragement! You are such a blessing to both me and my family. I'm so thankful to call you 'friend!' Praying for a quick recovery and God's richest blessing on you and yours this Christmas season!Hoping to see you Sunday evening! Love you!

  10. Thank you for sharing your thoughts here. They spoke to me especially about not complaining--:)