Friday, December 7, 2012

The Gift . . .

Hi, all! Ever receive a gift--but not one you asked for, wanted, or even liked? Anyone who knows me knows I don't like pink. So you could give me the grandest pink gift in the world, I wouldn't like it. This got me to thinking about Cain & Able (Genesis 4). God rejected Cain's offering because it was not what He wanted. But Cain didn't care about God. He just wanted to show off what he could do. So instead of repenting and going back to God to restore their relationship, Cain let pride rule in his heart; and he killed his brother whose gift was accepted by God. You see, it was all about Cain; and that is never the basis of a true relationship. I guess that's why the story of 'The Gift of the Magi' is such a sad one for me. Instead of communicating and having a true relationship with each other, they go about sacrificing the very thing that the other held dear. And they both suffered tragically--trying to do for each other--rather than being happy, getting to know each other's heart. Maybe that's why Jesus accepted Mary's gift of worship and rejected Martha's busy-ness (Luke 10). We like to think God wants something from us, rather than to surrender and give Him--just us.(Hebrews 10:5)
Over and over, the Bible tells us the Lord wants the gift our hearts--and nothing else will do. He wants us to know Him and to make room for Him deep down where we live--in our hearts and minds. So many Scriptures speak to this--Luke 10:27; Hebrews 8:10; I John 5:20; I Peter 3:15; and Romans 12:1--are just a few.  In fact, the totality of the Bible is God's love reaching out to bring us back into a right relationship with Himself through Jesus Christ His Son. A relationship with Jesus Christ gives Him first place in our hearts--our time (getting to know Him through His Word); our thoughts (constant prayer & meditation); our choices (running everything by Him); and our feelings (loving Him & feeling His love). The Lord does not want an arms-length transaction with us. He wants in! And why not? Only He paid the price for us. Only He is trustworthy and true. Only He will not hurt or injure us (even if others have injured us in the past). So let's give the Lord Jesus the only gift He wants and deserves in this and every Season. The one that will make Him pleased--the entirety of our hearts! Merry Christmas!! :jb

Only One Love (by Jeanetta Britt/Poems From the Fast/

God is love
With love so great
Our whole heart
For His habitation it takes.

Squeezing in squatters
Whether family, friends, or bothers
Crowds out His love
And our poor hearts ache.

The residence of God
Is a complete and happy heart
Able to give love
Without keeping receipts.

With our whole heart as His own
He opens the riches of His throne
And lavishes love
Upon everyone we meet.

And when this life ends
God says, 'Well done, Friend,
Your heart belonged to Me
And I am pleased.'