After October 31st Halloween was over, and do you know what that means? The stores will be filled with Christmas decorations! That’s right, nearly two full months before Christmas, there will be Christmas trees, nicely wrapped presents and pictures of elves and Santa Claus in stores everywhere. Stores put up these decorations for one reason — to get you into the Christmas mood, so you will spend money. To buy presents for the kids, for your spouse and for old Uncle Ed who is so difficult to buy for because he seemingly has everything. (Especially if Uncle Ed is a pack rat!)
Scripture tells us to offer gifts to God as well. But what can we possibly give God, the One that really has everything?! Or does He?
There is one thing He might not have, but wants more than anything–that’s your heart. He purchased it on the cross and now all that remains is for us to deliver what belongs to Him. And I’m not just talking about salvation. For He wants you, your heart, your trust. He wants you to trust in Him to provide, care for, and protect you. But He also wants to live in and through you, so that others may experience Jesus in you.
This is why surrender is so important; no, necessary. Romans 12:1,2 says that we are to offer ourselves as living and holy sacrifices, pleasing to God:
Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good,pleasing, and perfect will of God (HCSB).
In Romans chapters 5-8, Paul explained how through the work of the cross we have been made holy and given new life. And now he says that the only reasonable response is to present, to give, our entire selves to Father to do as He pleases. And I’m not talking about a one-time, “I did that when I got saved” surrender. But a moment-by-moment, trusting in Him, kind of surrender. That’s what He is hoping for, not just for Christmas, but every day. He wants you to give yourself over to Him.
So will you give Father the only thing He desires–you?
Well, look at that. Seven weeks before Christmas and you have already begun your shopping! And you didn’t even have to wait in line for this one-of-a-kind gift.
Ross Gilbert is Director of Crossways to Life, a Christ-centered discipleship and counseling ministry based in Kitchener, Ontario. To learn more about CTL, visit www.crosswaystolife.org