2002-03-09 - No Special Occasion Needed
I was driving home, thanking God for some things and thinking about something that has been on my mind a lot lately. I realized once again, that my prayers are often dominated by "God please do this," and "God if it's within Your will, please make this happen," etc. God certainly wants our supplications (Ps. 62:8, Phil. 4:6). He loves fulfilling our desires when they are within His will. But we need to concentrate more on showing Him appreciation for what He does for us, all the gifts He gives us. However, even that can have a "for me" aspect. We are thanking Him because of "what He has done for me, given to me, someone else" etc. And that's something that should be a regular habit for us.
But tonight my thought went a little farther: I should do something for God, not only because of what He has done for me or will do for me, but simply because He is God. I should love Him unconditionally, or as unconditionally as is humanly possible. The thought came to me, that I should give a gift to God. Talk about someone Who has everything! Yet there are many presents I can offer Him. Of course, we are to give Him in essence, our entire lives.
Rom 12:1 (NASB) I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
This is, in fact, the truest form of worship. Being the practical, down-to-earth person that I am, I wanted some specific, everyday examples. Continuing this thought process logically, I asked myself not "what would Jesus do" (a fantastic question in itself), but rather, "What would Jesus want? If I could hand Him something, what would put a smile on His face?" One answer:
Mat 25:34-36 (NASB) Then the King will say to those on His right, "Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in, naked, and you clothed Me. I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me."
Aha! That's it! I can help someone needy, whether they are needy in spirit or materially. It's a start! I can offer a word of encouragement to someone who needs it. Sometimes a simple smile is a gift, to someone who is not accustomed to receiving them (like a homeless person). I intend to try to make a habit out of offering gifts to God. I don't believe I will set a time restriction. I believe when we do that, i.e. "I need to do this every day, every other day" etc., we can make it a chore. This needs to be a joyful offering from us. I invite you to think of a present to give God.