Dec 26, 2012

Wednesday in the Word: Our Christmas Bribe and a Treasured Possession

"For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession."
Deuteronomy 7:6 (NIV)

Well, the gift giving extravaganza has ended. We love the holidays but Christmas is always a struggle. We struggle to point our kids away from the stuff and toward the God of Creation. Thanks for sharing great ideas in response to my questions on how you keep Christ in Christmas.

I wanted to share one of my favorite Christmas moments with you from this year:  

A few weeks ago we spent a day running around town shopping.  We went into 13 stores.  Yikes! If you have young children you know that one store can be a challenge, let alone a day of shopping.  We came up with what I would call a proactive parenting strategy.  You would call it a bribe.  We told the boys that for every store where they obeyed they would get a point.  At the end of the day we would convert points to dollars and they could use their dollars to buy a Christmas gift for each other.  The boys were excited about the bribe . . . er . . . plan.  They each earned 12 bucks.  

Later on we took them shopping for each other and they picked out that special toy that the other had been ogling.  

When Christmas rolled around and it was time to open these gifts, the boys sat right next to each other.  My middle son began to tear the wrapping paper away and finds inside of it a baby wipes box. He looks at us with a disgruntled look, “Baby wipes, oh man!”  We assure him that the gift is inside the box and that no one got him baby wipes for Christmas.  Relieved, he continues tearing open the package and finds a remote controlled critter called a Hex Bug.  Excitedly he tosses his new prized possession to the side and almost tackles his older brother.  “Thanks so much!  That was exactly what I wanted!  I love you brother.”  

Although we had our fair share of holiday drama about new toys, this moment stood out to me.  I was blessed to watch the relationship between the boys and their love for each other.  

What a special gift God gave to us.  We are his treasured possession and He gave it all to reconcile our relationship.  Thank God for His amazing gift.  Although this verse is directed toward the nation of Israel, He has redeemed you.  He has thrown aside everything to embrace you and I.

You are His treasured possession.   

A Challenge 

Think about your most treasured possessions.  Pick an object.  Would you throw it in the offering plate at church?  Would you give that possession up if it would bring you closer to God?  Would you throw it aside to embrace Him? 

It makes it a bit more real for me when I apply the second greatest commandment, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Would you sell your prized possession to provide for your neighbor?  

I don’t want to take any of this out of context.  I am not suggesting that these verses combined, and out of context, tell us to sell our favorite stuff and buy a gift card for a homeless guy.  

I do think it is a good exercise to place all that we have as an offering before God.  Some things we keep to serve Him.  Some things we give away.  In the end it is all His.  We are His.  We are His treasured possession.
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