It’s that time of year when many of us are working on our Christmas gift lists. As you ponder what to get each of your loved ones, have you ever wondered what God would like for Christmas? Talk about trying to find a gift for someone who already has it all! Kidding aside, what could we get or do for God that would really please Him? Would some great work of art suffice, such as Leonardo da Vinci ’s “The Last Supper” painting? Or how about some great music composition, such as Handel’s “Messiah”? Maybe some great act of service? For example, going on a missions trip or at least manning the Salvation Army kettle? You could give large sums of money to missions, or even work very, very hard to obey every letter of God’s every command in an effort to please Him; of course we all know that this strategy didn’t work so well for the Pharisees of Jesus’s day.
When I struggle for gift ideas, (which is often), I usually just ask the person what they want. Likewise, we can just ask God in prayer what He wants most and He will tell us. In fact, He has already told us in his Word; listen to Revelation 3:20:
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”
When Jesus spoke this, He wasn’t speaking to unbelievers, but rather to Christians in the church of Laodicea. They were well-to-do Christians, rich in material things, but lukewarm in their love for God. They had openly proclaimed “I and rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing” (verse 17a), but their entanglement in the things of this world had started to blind them of their spiritual poverty and their desperate need for Christ (verse 17b). Doesn’t this sound a bit like the American church today?
What God wants most is our heart, our undivided love, and time spent with Him undistracted from the craziness of life, (an example of this is Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus listening- Luke 10:39-42). God is knocking on the door of your heart today. Have you invited Him in? Like grandparents longing to be with their grandchildren around the dinner table at a holiday meal, God longs for His children to spend time with Him. Like a wife longing for that dinner date with her husband when she can have his undivided attention, and they can open their hearts to each other as they share a meal, God longs for you to know and enjoy Him.
So, have you spent time with Jesus today? If your love has drifted, repent (vs 19) and run back to Jesus’s open arms.
As you plan your family gatherings and Christmas parties, make sure you put in your schedule time alone with the one whom Christmas is all about, Jesus! Consider doing advent devotions both with your family and personally. Our church is going through the advent devotional “The Coming of the King” by JC Ryle this December, but the main thing is that you are in prayer and in God’s Word daily.