As we check and recheck our Christmas gift list this year, many of us are admitting that we are giving less than last year due to the economy. While there are many things we would like to give to others, we just can’t afford to do so.

However, like the Magi of old, we can ask God to give us more resources so that the gifts we give this year can benefit others.  Paul prays for 5 ‘gifts’ to be given to the members of the church in Colossae. When we look them over, they are presents we can pray for in others and ourselves. He says …

Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works. We pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us. ” (Colossians 1:9–12, The Message)

What are the 5 gifts for the Master?

Paul asked God to give the Christ-followers …

1.     “Wise minds” – wisdom comes from applying the instructions of God’s Word to our daily routine.

2.     “Spirits attuned to his will” – by listening carefully and prayerfully to the voice of the Spirit of God when we walk through our day we can find God’s newest mission for our lives.

3.     “A thorough understanding of the ways in which God works” – understanding comes from applying God’s Word (#1) and listening for new assignments to apply (#2).

4.     “Live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work” – we don’t work to gain special bonus points with God or even salvation; we work because we love him and want to ‘make him proud of us in his orchard’ as his loving and grateful children.

5.     “The strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us” – your attitude of gratitude and your trust of his best show others that Christ is your life (Col 3.4) and the love of your life (Matt 22.37).

Not a one of these gifts requires any financial expense. They are all gifts of the will and the heart, otherwise known as our offerings of worship. What better presents can we give away this Christmas?

I’d love to hear what you think! Take a moment and write a comment below.