I love giving gifts. It gives me great joy. Sometimes waiting to present the special gift I have lovingly picked out for someone, leaves me excited with anticipation. You can see it in a little child hardly able to keep the gift secret until it is opened, or a little girl who cannot wait to “help” open the gift she has just given. For me, it feels good to bless someone with my gift.
The response of the receiver matters to me too. Is passionate thanks freely spoken to me on their part (Indicating it was just what was wanted )? On the other hand, is there only a polite “thanks,” forcibly spoken (Indicating it was not what was wanted)? Perhaps there are no words offered at all (awkward). Or if at all, while being examined, is there only a request for a receipt so the gift could be exchanged for something more preferable (worse)? As the giver, how do I feel then? What matters is, was the gift received with gratitude or merely taken for granted?
Why should it matter to me whether or not I am thanked by the receiver? Should it not be enough to just freely give “with no strings attached?” Sure, but if my heart is in it, I find my joy complete when their joy is expressed! I feel good when they feel good because of what I have given to them. It matters because it means a more intimate relationship is present.
Worship of God is this way too. I believe that while Father God gave me the greatest Gift of all (His Son lovingly given especially for me) my response to Him matters! My worship of Him matters. Am I responding with a passionate expression of thanks? Or, am I offering just polite praise when appropriate? On the other hand, am I perhaps already thinking of soon exchanging the Gift for something more to my liking. Where am I at? Which is it for me? In the end, am I responding with gratitude, or am I taking the Gift for granted?
Celebration of the Gift given to us deserves a response of worship, especially once it is “unwrapped.” I truly believe God does not need our worship, rather He desires it. Our intimacy with Him should make that clear to us. Dare I say it? Which will it be for you? What will it be for me, when it comes to our response? Emotions or going through the motions?
With Christmas behind us for this year, I want to savor the gift of Jesus Christ all through the year to come. No gift exchange for me! I’m good. Since the heart of the Father was in it when the Gift was given to me, likewise my heart wants to show my absolute appreciation for the Gift, and to do so with joyful giving of thanks and praise. My worship matters!
Are you in touch with Father’s heart for you in the gift of His Son? Perhaps your role is to direct others to that same Heart of the Father, through a sermon or through personal words spoken to another. Does it give you joy? Then make His joy complete with your response to Him. Worship with appreciation.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Colossians 3:16 ESV