"Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God..." Psalm 50:14a (NLT)
I love presents. It's not about what is in the package, but unwrapping the surprise and knowing a loved one thought of me when they chose it.
I also love giving gifts. Recently I found a very old package of baseball cards at an estate sale. They were less than five dollars, and I know they will light up my son's face when he opens his stocking on Christmas day.
As Christmas approaches, gift giving is on our minds. We draw names. We plan out the Christmas list. Some of us get up before the sun to find incredible sales.
But as the actual day approaches, there is one gift we can give that is meaningful.
We can thank God.
Long before the cross, people labored to find the perfect gift to give Him. They brought sacrifices to honor God, but in Psalm 50:14a we hear a plea: "Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God..." It is a heart plea of a God who desires an intimate relationship with His people.
What could happen if this Christmas we offered Him exactly what is on His list?
I believe it would shift our heart away from our stressful to-do lists to thank Him for all the miracles around us.
God, thank You for my child who is healthy.
Thank You for my husband who loves us all so well.
Thank You for this hot meal prepared by hands of love.
God, have I told You how grateful I am for the warm home and covers to sleep under at night?
As we begin to offer our gifts of thankfulness, like layers of sparkling tissue paper, more is revealed beneath. We dig deeper to see all that we've received.
Thank You, God, that You saw me as a young teen and showed me love.
Thank You for that time at my son's hospital bed that You helped me make it through one more night.
Thank You for the time I needed mercy and found it in Your presence.
Christmas is a celebration of the ultimate gift, but family, finances, or just plain ole stress can cause this special day to dim. Offering up a gift of thankfulness has the power to give those things their rightful place as gratitude rises to the top.
Will you join me between now and December 25th to hold up a daily gift of thanks to Him?
Dear Lord, Christmas often gets lost in all the busyness and details, but for today I will stop and offer you a gift. I am grateful for all the good things You have given. Help me to celebrate this season with a heart of gratitude. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Stress-Lessed Living by Tracie Miles
Reflect and Respond:
"Thou who hast given so much to me, give me one more thing - a grateful heart!"
~ George Herbert
If gratitude doesn't come easily, begin to offer up a "sacrifice" of praise (Hebrews 13:15) daily. Let the words of your mouth convince your heart.
Psalm 50:23, "But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God." (NLT)
© 2012 by Suzie Eller. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105