Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Thought that Counts

Today's passage:  Isaiah 60
     I like to buy the perfect gift.  At Christmas time, weddings, or birthdays, I want to buy something I know the person will want or use.  Maybe this is why I will usually buy off a registry, because I know for certain it is what the person wanted.  It is a challenge when the person has everything already.  I really struggle about what to give.
      In this passage, all the nations are finally recognizing Israel's God.  They bring their gold and silver.  They bring their camels and sheep.  They bring the ships of Tarshish (the finest ships of the time) and the famed Lebanon cedars.  Even the kings come. All of this is brought before the Lord.  They offer it all to Him.  I wonder why?  Its not like God needs anything.  Not only does He have it all, He made it all. Talk about trying to get the perfect present.  Nothing I offer to God is impressive.  All my material gain means nothing to Him. 
     The saying goes, "Its the thought that counts."  I agree.  I have never begrudged anyone a gift I have been given, even if it was something I already had, something I didn't need or something I would never use.  I never asked how much a person spent on a gift.  That was never important.  I was always touched when someone thought of me.  I can never spend enough on God.  I can never give Him something He doesn't already have.  The stuff I have matters little to Him.  He would rather have me.  He has my soul.  I gave that over when I accepted Christ.  If its the thought that counts, how do I think? Do I grumble about giving up another Saturday morning for bus visitation (its His time anyway)?  Do I struggle to get up an hour earlier to have my Bible time?  Do I hang on to my tithe a few days longer because I will not have any grocery money this week?  This is the nitty gritty of giving God what counts.  It comes to surrendering my will.  I say I have done that, but aren't there areas I still struggle with it?  He can take it at any time, but wouldn't it mean more to Him if I gave it to Him?  Wouldn't that be the perfect gift?
     Forgive me, Lord for the areas I still need to surrender to you.  I think I have, and then You show me that I have not.  Help me to do that today.  Help me to give You what is Yours anyway.

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