Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Because of All He Has Done

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. (Romans 12:1 NLT)

As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, how inappropriate it would be for us to come to Him empty-handed. But what do we give to God? What does God want from us?

What He wants is us. That is the gift we can give to God as we celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. We can give Him ourselves. 

Writing to the Christians in Rome, Paul said, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him” (Romans 12:1 NLT).

The Message renders the same verse this way: “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.”

Bring your life to God. Bring your time to God and your future to God.

Maybe this is a tough Christmas for you. What will be a joyful time for many others might be a very difficult time for you. Yet as followers of Jesus Christ, here’s what we need to remember: We don’t give thanks to the Lord because we always feel good. Rather, we “give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever” (Psalm 107:1).

God is good. A Savior has been born. And He already has given us the ultimate gift. So, we should come along with the shepherds and wise men and worship.

Everyone worships. The question is, who or what are we worshipping? If we’re bowing at the altar of Christmas, then we’ll be sorely disappointed, because Christmas cannot deliver on its promises. There’s the hype and the buildup and the anticipation. But Christmas can’t deliver. It can’t bring us inner peace, much less peace on Earth. It can’t bring fulfillment and joy. Christmas always will let us down.

At its worst, Christmas is a crass, commercial, empty, exhausting, and very expensive ritual that drags on endlessly for months. And then the bills come due.

At its best, Christmas is a promise of things to come. It’s a glimpse of what is still in our future. The beauty, the worshipful music, the love, the warmth, the gathering of family and friends—all this is promised to us in a life to come. Yes, we get a glimpse of it now. But more is coming later.

What we need this year is not the promise of Christmas. We need the promise of Christ. We need the Messiah, not merriment. We need God, not goodwill. We need His presence, not just presents. Anything or anyone else will fall short of this.

If you worship a god of your own making, then it will disappoint you. But if you worship the true and living God, He never will.

Copyright © 2023 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.

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new believers growth book greg laurie devo offerIn thanks for your gift, you can receive a copy of Ben Born Again's New Believer's Growth Book by Greg Laurie

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