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The perfect gift

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Romans 12:1-8

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come into his courts. Ps. 96:8

EVERY year our local botanical garden hosts a celebration of Christmas around the world. My favorite display is a French nativity. Instead of the traditional scene showing shepherds and wise men with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh gathered around the manger, it shows French villagers bringing their gifts to baby Jesus. They bring bread, wine, cheese, flowers, and other items that God has given them the ability to produce. This reminds me of the Old Testament command to bring the firstfruits of our labor to the house of the Lord (Ex. 23:16-19). This depiction of the nativity illustrates that everything we have comes from God, so the only thing we have to give is something that God has given us.

When Paul instructed the Romans to represent themselves as a living sacrifice, he wsa telling them to give back to God what God had given them – their own selves (Rom. 12:1). This includes the gifts He gave them, even their ability to earn a living. We know that God gives people special abilities. Some, like David, were skilled in music (1 Sam. 16:8). Some, like Bezalel and Oholiab, were skilled in artistic works (Ex. 35:30-25). Others have skill in writing, teaching, gardening, and many other things.

When we give back to God what He has first given to us, we give Him the perfect gift – ourselves. —  Julie Ackerman Link

What can you offer Jesus?

Give your all to Christ who gave His all for you.

©2017 ODB Ministries, 3000, Kraft Ave., SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49555-0001, USA. Used by permission. For this and other materials contact ODB Ministries at 322 P. Guevarra, San Juan City (Phils.); Tel.: 722-2010.

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