Christmas is, after all, a celebration of Jesus’ birthday.
Here are a few gifts I think Jesus will like:
Jesus talked often of the power of faith—of believing who He is and what He is like. He tells us to have faith. He asks, “Where is your faith?” He tells us that nothing is impossible to those with faith.
Author Brennan Manning, in his wonderful book Ruthless Trust, describes trust as faith in action. When I put feet to my faith, my belief in Jesus, I entrust myself, my life, my needs, my fears, my hopes and dreams to Him. He gladly receives that gift, and gives amazing gifts in return.
In our relationships, we often look for proof of love from others in their actions. “If you love me, you will….”
Jesus also looks for action that demonstrates that our love is true: “If you love me, you will obey my teaching…” (John 14:23). His teachings provide the how to’s for life and health and joy and meaning, and our obedience says “I love you. I trust you.” And it brings Him great joy, and amazing benefits to us.
The greatest commandments we are to obey? Love God with your whole being, and love others as yourself. When our greatest love belongs to Jesus, He is pleased.
But He desires that our love for Him leads to love for others: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34)
How did He love us? He laid down His life for us. He wants us to die for people to show we love them? Perhaps. But the primary ways was lay down our lives in love is by giving time or help or money or encouragement…. Jesus really likes this gift, and we often receive more than we give.
Scripture is pretty clear about this gift: “In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Say thank You in everything?!? That makes no sense. How do you say thank You for tragedies? Betrayals? Losses? Disappointments? Even the smaller pains of life?
Because God is God and God is good. Saying thank You is one more way we express trust in God—that He cares about us and will work even terrible things for our good. Another gift that gives back.
And of course, the best gift, the one that makes all the others possible, finishes the song:
“What can I give him? Give him my heart.”
What will you be giving Jesus this Christmas?
C2011 Judy Douglass