Our Gifts Unto God; This Christmas and Beyond
Matthew 2: 11 They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (NLT)
As we rush through the season, the relatives, the feasts, the exchange of presents and the rituals or ceremonies let us pause for a moment to realize that the original Christmas gifts were given to God. They speak to us from the pages of Matthew's Gospel and serve as a reminder that while God Almighty may not need anything we can still seek to give gifts unto Him this season. While He may not need anything, there are certainly things He desires from us. Much has been written about the spiritual significance of the gifts of the Magi and how they represent the offices Christ would hold for us as King, Priest, and Savior. But there are other truths hidden in this story for us to consider this Christmas season as we decide what we will give to the God who has given us everything.
Besides having spiritual value; the gifts presented to the
baby Jesus were of real earthly value as well. They cost something to the Magi.
The key verse actually goes as far as to say that they were brought to
What is God saying to us here? If you are going to present something to God it should cost you something. Too often we can come flippantly to God. We can put on a good show but have little substance behind what we do. God doesn't want a cubic zirconia gift He wants the real thing! Not because of the actual value of the gift but because of what it means to us. How we value it. David once was instructed to build an altar by God to offer sacrifice to atone for a prideful sin. He offered to pay for the threshing floor of one of his subjects to build the altar but the man who owned it was willing to give it to David for free (he was the king after all). Here was the response from King David:
Then the king said to Araunah, "No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price; nor will I offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God with that which costs me nothing." 2Samuel 24: 24 (NKJV)
And neither should we seek to offer a gift unto God that costs us nothing. We should not make a sacrifice which costs us nothing. The first gift of the Magi was gold. Widely regarded and known; gold was a regal gift. It was the gift that had the most perceived value. It is the first gift God desires from us beloved. He wants us to give Him what we value. He wants us to turn it over to Him. Anything that we might harbor as meaning more to us than God must be given over to Him. Gold is representative of that which we value the most. It might be actual money, as in the case of the rich man who asked what he had to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus saw into his heart and saw that money meant more to him than God so he told him to sell everything he had an give it to the poor. Here was the reaction of that man:
But when the man heard this he became very sad, for he was very rich. Luke 18: 23 (NLT)