Lesson 4 -- first quarter 1997
December 22, 1996
© Copyright 1996, Christian Light Publications
What do you value in your life? For me -- wife, children, family, friends, church, school, health, understanding, abilities, opportunities. What treasures do you possess and esteem? For me -- two vehicles, two computers, a seminar, a game, a reputation, a Web page, a book-in-the-making. Make your list; it is important you have it in mind before you read further on this page. Ready?
"When they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts." Please notice that these men dipped into that which they valued and esteemed. Oooops! I said "dipped"; scooped is likely the better word. They presented generous gifts, without apparent reserve. I doubt whether these gentlemen brought their extras, their residuals and their left-overs. I am certain they had what was their absolute best. Theirs seems to have been a no- holds-barred presentation. After all, this little mite before them was a king, and not just a mere king, but The King! Why should they dare give anything less than their best to The Highest Sovereign?
What about us? What treasures do we have to open and present to Him? Shall we be stingy and restrained? Make certain that you do not carelessly insult God in what you present to Him! Don't hold back! Let's consider together some gifts we can give Him.
Our Bodies. These containers have a very significant role to play in the Lord's kingdom. Without them, the work of the Church cannot take place, must less prosper! So don't abuse them. Don't take foolish risks. Feed, exercise and rest them properly. Then when the time comes to give them to the flame of the Lord's service, they will be functional and primed. Fit for The King! A wonderful thing about this is that we needn't have a "perfect" body as humans define and measure perfection. God will take what you give Him, if you give Him the best that you have. Then He will take that gift and use it in ways unimaginable and unfathomable to you. Keep this in mind as you take a refresher course on Romans 12:1, 6:13,19 and 1 Corinthians 6:20.
Our Stuff. How we prize our terrestrial treasures and trinkets! When we think of donating something to the church or the school, to the ministry or to the mission, to the needy or to the derelict, what do we consider as give-able material? And do we ever spiritualize our covetousness? We do it like this sometimes: "I could use a better printer, so I'll donate the 'thing' I have to the preacher." Look, if he needs a printer, why don't I just give him the new one I buy and continue getting along with the one I have. Let me put it to you another way: if an item is "good enough" (abominable word collection!) for God, why should I have anything better?! Another question: if your best __________________ is needed by the church, would you donate it (anonymously)? Now you should be ready to re-chew passages like Acts 4:34,35, 1 Chronicles 29:8,9 and Matthew 25:40.
Our Plans and Ambitions. So you wanted to marry. You hoped to go to Bible School. You had in mind to do such-a-thing with your life. You had your heart set on traveling. You were planning to buy That. And on and on. Lay it all on the altar, make it the present you open, give it as a gift to the Sovereign One. Trust His plans; give Him yours. Now read James 4:13-15.
Our Youth. Your strength, your health, your zeal, your vigor, your energy--the fullness of your life. Don't hold back! Remember Him now, while you still have lots of this wonderful treasure left (Ecclesiastes 12:1)!
What other treasures have you kept for yourself? Present them to Him!
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