Last night I had the privileged opportunity to speak with our students at church about the Magi (aka “Wise Men”), found in the gospel of Matthew. I pointed out that these Magi first sought after Christ and then when they found Him they bowed down and worshipped Him. But, they didn’t stop there…AFTER they had worshipped Him, they presented Him with gifts. They didn’t come empty-handed to the King of Kings. They gave gifts fit for a king! In the same manner, we should bring gifts to Jesus too.
The greatest gift we could ever give to Him is our self! I mean, that’s what He gave His life for so it must be the most important to Him. We know we could never repay Christ for His sacrifice for us. However, once we come to know Christ, we will desire to give to Him for all He’s done for us.
Here are some practical examples of giving one’s self to God that I shared with the students. They are always good reminders for each of us.
1- Give Him your time –
- Spend regular time with God in prayer. One of the greatest opportunities we have is to talk to and hear directly from God. We don’t have to go through a priest. God wants us to spend time talking with Him and He with us. Make a list (prayer list that is) and check it twice. Seriously, making a list of things you are praying about/for will help you when you know what to say when your mind draws a blank. They also help you not make the conversation with God all about yourself!
- Read His Word every day. Since the Bible is the Word of God, it’s a way that God can speak directly to your heart. If you have trouble with being consistent, YouVersion (app for phone) and Bible.com (Internet site) have numerous plans that you can do to help you stay consistent.
- Sing songs of praise and worship about Him and to Him. I like to use YouTube to play lyric videos of worship songs so that I hear the music and see the words. Sometimes I simply sit and listen. Other times I raise my hands, bow, or just sing out to God. And then, there are times that I let the music play and I speak praises to God and lavish my love on Him.
2- Give Him your abilities/talents – God has already gifted you with natural abilities and talents. Use them for Him. He was working in you before you were born. He doesn’t make junk so there is something in you that He can use for His glory. Maybe you’re good at writing poetry. Then write something in a card and give to someone. Maybe you are a good cook/baker, then bless someone with a special treat. Whatever you do, do it for the glory of God. It will be a “gift” to Him as you bless someone else.
3- Give Him your money – In Matthew 23, Jesus tells us not to neglect giving 1/10th of our money, but he also states that we should practice mercy, justice, and faithfulness. The main principle behind tithing and giving is the fact that what we do with our money shows where our heart is (For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also). If you don’t have any money, give something away.
4- Give Him to others – Jesus told us to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” – mark 16:15. He didn’t just say for pastors/preachers to do that. He wants everyone to share Him with others. If you found a really awesome app/gadget/restaurant/band/etc. you’d tell others about it. Jesus is more, so don’t neglect to tell others about Him.
My prayer for today is that these examples will be gentle reminders to us all. Also, I hope that this sparks other ideas in you for how you can give to Christ this year and in the years to come.