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?