At Christmas time we give gifts to one another as we celebrate God’s indescribable gift of Jesus (2 Cor. 9:15).
We make a Christmas list, we plan, we shop, and we present those gifts of love to one another as we celebrate the birth of our Savior. Hopefully by now, most of your Christmas shopping is done.
But what about Jesus? What are you giving Him this Christmas?
Consider how you would feel if you had a birthday party to celebrate your life, but rather than presenting birthday gifts to you, your family and friends only exchanged them with one another?
As you give presents to those on your Christmas list, let me ask you, What are you giving Jesus for Christmas? Maybe you’re wondering what the Creator of the World could possibly want as a present. Here’s what the Bible says,
“Therefore, my brothers, in view of God’s mercy, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship.” Romans 12:1
What does Jesus want for Christmas? YOU.
The command in this verse tells us that the presenting of our lives takes place at a specific point in time to a specific Person for a specific purpose. This giving of our lives is also a specific response to God’s mercy in Christ Jesus. God tells us specifically what He wants for Christmas – He wants us to present (v.) our very lives back to Him as a generous, sacrificial present (n.).
Our decision to offer God the gift of our lives is not only an emotional decision, but also a completely logical one. The word translated in the HCSB version as, “spiritual,” is an interesting term that is difficult to find a specific translation that captures the full meaning. In the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the OT, λογίζομαι (logizomai) came to be synonymous with offerings that priests made in the Temple – that which is a spiritual offering. The Greek word literally means “that which is logical or reasonable.” Earlier in Romans (6:1-3; 15-16) the Apostle Paul stated that believers presenting their bodies to sin didn’t make logical sense. Why would freed slaves continue to serve their old master? However, in light of God’s mercy through Christ, presenting our bodies to serve the interests of our New Master, on the other hand, is completely logical — it just makes sense. That’s why some translations render the phrase, “reasonable service,” “spiritual service” and others, “spiritual worship.”
When the wise men traveling from Babylon finally found the the Child born King of the Jews with Mary His mother, they fell to their knees and worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts. As they worshiped, they gave presents to Jesus as reasonable response to Him.
So if we were to amplify the Romans 12:1 we would see that, “Because of the miracle of Christmas morning, the sacrifice of Good Friday, and the power of Resurrection Sunday, the present that Jesus most desires is the gift of your life – this is not only an emotional and spiritual gift, but it’s the most logical present you can give Him.”
What are you giving Jesus for Christmas? What are you going to present Him? Here are just a few gift ideas — seven idea starters:
- Give a sacrificial year-end donation or plan to give regularly and sacrificially throughout 2012 to the ministries, outreach efforts and missionaries of your church.
- Commit to meeting regularly with the Lord through daily Bible reading and prayer in 2012, beginning today.
- Go to church each week (unless work or health prevents it) and invite a friend to go with you. We need to be reminded of God’s mercy weekly because we are so likely to forget.
- Memorize and meditate on Scripture; how about starting with Rom 12:1-21?
- Commit to praying for 5 people each week who need to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ and look for opportunities to share the Gospel with them.
- Give back to the Lord a significant hurt or significant hurts that have kept you from worshiping the Lord Jesus fully and fellowshipping with His people completely.
- Surrender a personal habit or hang-up that is keeping you from experiencing God’s power and presence in your life.
What are you giving Jesus for Christmas? Write it down, wrap it up, and bring it to your church to present to the Lord Jesus Christ in worship. Give Him your life and the specific, spiritual gifts that He wants this Christmas.