The devotion brought by Mrs. Shaver on Saturday was so good that I wanted to share just a bit of it with you. She talked about the art of giving and applied it to what we give to Jesus. Here's the example she used . . .
We spend time and energy to choose the perfect gifts for our loved ones. We take pleasure in choosing just the right thing for each one. They may give us a list of what they want, to make it easier for us to shop for them, or give hints about what they'd like. We wrap the gift carefully, and on Christmas morning, we watch carefully to see our loved one's reaction to the gift we've chosen.
Suppose you get a gift for your husband, and when he opens it, he finds a beautiful dress inside. Or your teenaged son gets a Kitchen-Aid mixer. Or your baby gets a bottle of expensive perfume. Doesn't make much sense, does it? The key here is that you have given your loved ones nice gifts, but they aren't the gifts they wanted. They're the gifts you wanted to give them.
We do the same thing with Jesus. He gives us a list of the things He wants from us - the Bible - and He evens gives us hints about what He wants through our pastor's sermons or through our personal Bible study. We know what He's putting His finger on, but we don't want to give Him what He's asking; so we decide to give Him something else, something we like rather than what He wants.
Is there something God is asking of you that you don't want to do? Is there a gift He's asked for that you aren't willing to give Him? Remember that the greatest joy in giving is knowing that the gift you gave is exactly what your loved one wanted. Your greatest joy in your Christian life is giving God exactly what He wants!
I thought this was so fitting for this time of year. There have been things I haven't wanted to do that I knew God was asking of me, and when I finally give Him what He's asking for, I find the greatest joy! Mrs. Shaver gave several things that God definitely wants from each person, and then applied this to personal things that God might ask of us - these would be the things that make up our personal standards and convictions. It was an excellent devotion, and one that can be applied over and over again as we grow in the Lord.