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Jesus, What Do YOU Want for Christmas?

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What in the world am I going to get my husband for Christmas? I have no idea what to get my mother-in-law—she has everything! I never know what to get my child’s teacher! Anxiety, stress, wallet pains.

It’s that time of year where we search for the perfect gift for our loved ones. Last week, I gave you my silly gift giving guidelines (I hope I made you laugh). But all kidding aside–what do we give the King of kings?

Jesus, what do You want for Christmas?

I’ve been wrestling with this question the last few weeks. What do you give Someone who has everything—who made everything? He who created the magnificent heavens down to the tiniest flower—doesn’t need anything!

Yet He wants me–all of me! And all of you!

What does that actually look like in my life, in your life? The greatest commandment says:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. (Mk 12:30, emphasis added)

We humans have many facets to our being—soul, spirit, heart, conscience, mind, flesh, and will. I like the way theologian, C. Ryrie, puts it:

“Man is like a diamond with its many facets. Those facets are not separate entities, yet they reflect various aspects of the whole.  They may serve similar or overlapping functions, yet they are distinguishable.  They are not parts; they are aspects, facets, faces of the whole.”*

To help us determine what the Lord Jesus wants from us for Christmas, let’s ask Him…

“Is there any part of me that I haven’t fully given over?”

BodyIs there any physical part of my body that I haven’t surrendered?

  • Could I eat healthier?
  • Could I exercise more consistently?
  • Am I getting enough sleep?
  • Is there an unhealthy habit that I need to stop?

Not just so I could feel better, but to have more motivation and energy to serve God.

Mind

  • Am I filling my mind with good things so I can be and act more like Jesus? Or am I dwelling on the negative? Consumed with worry, discontentment, or despair.
  • Am I fixing my eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of my faith (Heb 12:2), or on what I don’t have, don’t want, or don’t like?
  • Am I reading, studying, and meditating on His Word; am I delighting in it? Or am I just superficially reading it to cross it off my to do list?

Emotions

  • Have I given Him control over my emotions? Or am I allowing them to cause me to sin?
  • Am I letting fear override witnessing to the lost?
  • Am I letting my impatient tendencies move me ahead of God’s plan?
  • Are doubt and perfectionism preventing a step of faith?

Will

  • Am I surrendering my desires to God’s?
  • Have I become an Indian giver; reneging on my commitments to Him this year?
  • Am I choosing His way instead of my way in the small as well as the big decisions?

So my friends, I don’t know what Jesus wants you to give Him for Christmas. I don’t know yet either. But let’s not get anxious or stressed out over it; nor be concerned with the cost (although that’s a tough one). Instead, let’s ask Him with sincerity, an open heart, and repeatedly. He WILL tell us. He always answers prayers like that!

Oh, and let’s not forget to ask Him for help in actually giving it to Him—we’re going to need that as well!

 “So I say to you, ask and keep on asking, and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking, and you will find; knock and keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” (Lk 11:9 AMP)

 

*Charles C. Ryrie, Basic Theology (Chicago: Moody Press, 1986, 1999), 225.

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Amplified Bible (AMP) Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

 

Learning to be Content Part 5: The Biggest Key in How

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Learning—that’s the operative word here. We’re not born content. I just love the way the Lord tells us not only what to do but how to do it! He gives us the knowledge in His Word and then empowers us to carry it out as we do our part.

In these next 3 blogs, I will discuss the practical side of being content. We’ve touched on many of the key truths already, but having an itemized list is always helpful. Here’s the most important key:

Seek God First/Obey The Greatest Commandment

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Mat 6:33)

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. (Mk 12:30)

God has to be first! Otherwise, we are worshipping other gods—the god of money, self-actualization, accomplishment…. A contented life is available, but having it is conditional upon our obedience to God.

“So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul—then I will send rain on your land in its season…. You will eat and be satisfied.” (Deut 11:13-15)

May I tell you, surrendering to God isn’t a killjoy! His commands are not burdensome (1Jn 5:3). When you know the real God—His true character—He is a delight to obey. Ten times in Psalm 119 alone, the author speaks of the joy in obeying God.

I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. (v 14)*

I’m not denying that sometimes it is difficult. However, if you focus on the goodness and love of God it will be easier to obey.

“It is easy to obey God when the heart is right,” says Barnes.

“The Christian, whose will is united with the will of God, will not find obedience to that will a task.” (Pulpit Commentary)

If we find God’s commands onerous it’s simply because we have not surrendered. Our wills are not in line with God’s will. There’s a war. The more we surrender our fleshly desires the more we will want, even love, to obey His commands, and…

The more we will see obedience to our wonderful God as the best way to live!

I have discovered that the more important God becomes to me, and the less important I become, the more content I am.  As John the Baptist said, “He must become greater; I must become less” (Jn 3:30).

As you pursue living in submission, of putting God first in all things, He will communicate to you that He is pleased. That feeling of knowing you have put a smile on your Redeemer’s face is worth it all!

Make the effort to obey. You won’t regret it—guaranteed!

~~~~~

I promise not to be as long-winded in describing the rest of “The How” principles, but we have to put first things first. If you work toward this one, the rest will fall into place. He promises!

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. (Mat 5:6)

*See also Ps 119:16, 24, 35, 47, 70, 92, 143, 174.

Photo by Kalen Emsley on Unsplash

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION® NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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