What does Jesus want for Christmas? Have you ever stopped to consider that? Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’ birth so what gifts are we giving Him? This is not a trick question. What does Jesus want? He literally has EVERYTHING.
For many years I heard the gospel described as a free gift. And while it is a gift freely given, it cost Jesus 33 years on this earth rather than the glory He deserved in heaven. It cost him pain, suffering, and death in the cruelest of ways. So, to describe it as a “free gift” does not really fit. It had the greatest of costs.
One of the biggest mysteries in all creation is why God choose to love us in the first place? We stand before him and our best is as filthy rags. And He already knows this. He already knows not only that Peter will reject him. He knows I will too. And yet He came.
When I look at my life in the perspective of the manger and the cross, I find myself sorely lacking. When I think of how little I know of what it means to sacrifice for Him I am downcast. When I come to terms with the feelings of pride or self-righteousness in my own heart I am sickened and terrified.
So, what can I bring Him? What kind of birthday present can I offer to the Lord of all Creation whose name I am not even worthy to utter?
He only wants one thing.
He wants me. To be more specific, He wants all of me.
Understand, by definition, “part” is not “all”. I can’t be His on Sunday and mine the other six days of the week. In truth, if I gave Him 167 hours of the 168 hours I have in a week and kept just one for myself, I have not given “all”.
Luke 14:25–35 describe what it means to follow Jesus. It gives us a framework for His expectations of us. It says things like, “Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” And, “every one of you who does not say good-bye to all his possessions cannot be My disciple.” This is the same passage that describes our love for parents and siblings as “hate” when compared to our love for Jesus.
Does that describe you? I know it does not describe me. I know I hold things back from Him. I know I set family over Him at times. I know I have truly sacrificed very little for Him in my life.
How does this relate to giving Jesus a birthday present?
I believe Jesus’ desire is for our hearts to be bent to the task of giving ourselves to Him fully. The question is not, “have I given everything to Him completely?” The question is, “does He have more of today than yesterday.” Surrendering our lives to Jesus is truly a journey, not a destination we will find this side of heaven.
So for this year, I want to give Jesus the gift of myself. Not as I hope to be, but as I am. In this next year, I want to walk with Him. Share my hopes and dreams with Him. Share my burdens and my struggles with Him. I don’t want to hold anything back. I want to give thanks to Him for the joys. Lean on Him during the hard times. Be conscious of the time I give other things that could be His. I want to go where He sends me, and do what He asks of me. When all is said and done, He just wants me to let Him love me, and for me to love Him back. With all my heart. And for my love for Him to have action.
He wants the same for you. Will you give Him that?