After Christmas, it’s always fun to ask kids about what they received for Christmas. They get so excited as they tell you about that favorite toy or stuffed animal they received. As for me, my favorite gift is spending time with my family. I just wish I had more time to spend with each one individually!
Have you ever wondered what does Jesus want? The wise men gave Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. What can I give him? He doesn’t need my stuff or my money. I think what He desires more than anything is relationship. He wants to spend time with me. He wants my heart. Giving Jesus my heart sounds easy, but it’s more than just a one-time-only decision. When I give Jesus my heart and my life, it means that I am making a daily decision to seek Him and to grow in my relationship with Him. Giving Jesus my heart and life requires more commitment than simply giving Him a one time gift. The best gift I can give is me – not just once, but forever.
Is giving myself a huge commitment? Does it seem like Jesus is asking a lot? It may seem like He’s asking a lot until I stop to think of what He gives me in return. He gave His best for me.
He entered the world because He loved me and He didn’t stop there; He gave His life for me. He’s there for me every single day, every single moment of the day. He’s never far away and He wants to spend eternity with you and me. He gives us His Spirit to help us live for Him, His Word which gives us hope, assurance and His promise that He has good things in store for us. He gives us all this and more.
Since Jesus gave all of Himself for me, can I not give Him my best? I can give Him my time in prayer, my resources and all that I have. Most of all, Jesus, I give you my love.
What about you? What are you giving Jesus? Start counting what He’s given you and then how about giving Him your love.
I can give you my service, my money, my time, my sacrifice and oh so many things, but I realize that what you want most is not what I have – all I have is yours anyway. What you want most is me. You desire relationship with me. So Jesus, I do give you myself. This year I want to love you more and seek your presence more. Show me ways that I can be more mindful of your presence each day. I realize that my gift is so small in comparison to what you gave me, yet I give all that I am. Thank you for coming to earth. I ask also, that my kids learn what it means to seek you and live in relationship with you. May they come to look to you as their Savior and friend everyday. Amen
GIVING TO JESUS:
How can we give to Jesus this next year? How can our kids learn to walk in relationship with Him?
* Lead by example – As your kids see you walking and talking with Jesus as a natural part of your day, they too will begin to walk and talk with Jesus. Talk to Jesus as you would to a friend right beside you. Let your conversation be simple especially in the hearing of your child.
* Share simple Bible stories with them and share your own faith stories too. Let them see how much you depend on God. Tell your kids why Jesus is your friend. Let them know that Jesus loves them often and that He is always with them. How do you make time to share these stories with your kids? Snatch little moments throughout the day or 5 minutes at bedtime. Build it into your routine, you will be so glad you did.
* Giving to Jesus starts as we recognize who He is and ask Him to be our Savior and Lord. It begins with giving ourselves – our lives and our hearts to Jesus. It’s a day by day relationship.
* When we build on our relationship with Jesus, we’ll see other opportunities to give too. Jesus said that when we give to others, even a cup of water, we are giving unto Him. Give by helping and serving others. Believe me, the opportunities abound right now.
* Yes, we can give our resources and money too. Even young children can save some of their money from doing chores or from generous grandparents and other friends and relatives to give. When we give in an offering or to help someone less fortunate, we are giving to God. Help your children learn to give by starting early and letting them put money into the offering.
What Can You Do With Your Child?
THE MAIN IDEA
KNOW: The wise men came to worship and give gifts. I can give Jesus my love.
TALK ABOUT: Gifts! God gave His best, Jesus.
ASK: Who loves you? God loves me.
MEMORIZE: John 3:16 NIrV – (Hold hands like holding a book.)
God so loved – (Place hands on heart.)
The world – (Make w’s with fingers, roll hands around each other.)
That He gave – (Extend outwards as though giving a gift.)
His one – (Hold up one finger.)
Only Son – (Pretend to hold a baby.)
AND DO: I can give God my love; I can give Jesus my heart.
SHARE A STORY
REFERENCE: Matthew 2:1-12
In a country far away, some wise men looked up into the night sky. “Look at the beautiful BIG star in the sky!” they said. The wise men knew it was a special star! They knew it meant a king had been born. “Let’s follow it.! They said. (Walk around the room with your child like you are following a star.) And follow it, they did. The wise men followed the star for a long, long time. They followed the star all the way to Jerusalem.
When they got to Jerusalem, they asked King Herod, “Where’s the new king? We want to worship him.” King Herod was very upset by news of a new king. After all, wasn’t he king in Jerusalem? He didn’t want anyone else to be king!
“A new king?” King Herod pretended to be excited, “Go look carefully for him. I want to worship him too.”
Back on their journey, the wise men saw the star again and followed it. They were so excited and happy to see the star again. “Look, look! There’s the star!” They said. (Walk around the room with your child again.) The star led them to Bethlehem and then it stopped! It stopped right over the house where Jesus was living. The wise men saw Jesus and worshiped Him. They gave Jesus their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. (Frankincense and myrrh smell very good like perfume.)
The wise men followed the star because they wanted to worship Jesus and give Him gifts. You can worship Jesus and give Him your best too. When you love Him with all your heart, you are giving Him your best. Let’s say, “I love you!” to Jesus and thank Him for coming to earth.
“Jesus, I love you. Thank you for coming to earth.”
Thank you for God, for your best gift. Jesus, Thank you for coming to earth. I want to give you my best. I want to give you myself and love you with all my heart. Amen
FUN IDEAS FOR THIS WEEK:
* Weather permitting, look at the stars at night. The wise men followed a star to worship Jesus. Play a simple game of “Follow the Leader” ending with reading the story of the wise men.
* Draw thank you notes with your child for the gifts that he/she received. Remember to give thanks to Jesus too.