When we look at all the incredible things God has given us it seems impossible that we could return the favor. True enough. Don't worry, God's not looking for repayment. He gives to us freely and with love. His greatest gift of all, Jesus as the sacrifice for all of our sins and the one who redeems us and brings us fully into a relationship with God, is the springboard for all the other things He gives us.
If you love someone then you will want to give to him or her. It's a natural expression of our love. In the case of God what can we possible give? It's the ultimate "what do you give to the one who has everything"?
As Christmas approaches consider that the one great gift that we can give to God is…our self. Totally. Completely. Utterly and without reservation. God wants us to abandon ourselves to Him. That's what He's looking for. He has some big plans for each of us.
Just as long as we are holding back some part of our self then we haven't completely surrendered. This is the crux of most of our self-made problems. We say, yes God you can have me in this part of my life, but this one thing here, well I've got it under control.
You've Got To Give It Up
Giving completely of our selves feels like giving up. In a sense this is true. You have to surrender your seat of control. In God's incredible way, however, He gives us back our selves, reborn and renewed in His Spirit. We get to discover what it's really like to be in His image.
Be a cheerful giver
We read in 2 Corinthians 9:7 that the Lord loves a cheerful giver. Typically this passage is applied to our financial offerings. And it is appropriate in that context. Can we take it deeper still? Can we give all of our talents, time, attention, thanks and praise to the One who makes it all possible? Better yet, can we do it cheerfully?
God takes us as we are. He doesn't wait until we are carved to goodness and honed to perfection. No, He'll take us now, warts and all, and then He'll change us through His Spirit. If you want to speed the process you have to give up the old ways and the old self.
Why is this so hard for so many of us? Isn't it because the world has us in its grasp and is tugging us down into our self-center? God is on the other end and it's like a big tug-of-war. Actually, that's wrong. God puts His grace upon us and let's us choose. He's been seeking and calling us and letting us know He's there. He never forces the choice on us. He loves us too much for that.
Every day you can tell God you are His. Dedicate each moment, thought and breath to Him. I tell you that He will reward you richly if you do. It's scary…I know. As soon as trouble comes we want to take back control. The same goes for tempting pleasures. Why do we do this? I'm reminded of Jesus Christ telling his disciples, "After all this time you still don't know me?"
The flesh and spirit is the real tug-o-war. The only way to be successful is by God's grace. Give Him that great gift-your willingness for Him to have all of you. Give so that He can give back, full measure, overflowing.