Sent: Monday, December 24, 2001

Subject: “De” Comes Before “Do”

Good Morning Ethan & Emily:

Well, here it is Christmas Eve, and I am still in a quandary as to what to give each of you.  The patter of little feet will someday put some of the excitement and razzle dazzle back into gift giving, I know, but for now, my thoughts center more on things that will enrich your life now and beyond this life as we know it. I want all the best God has for you…and if I could give you more faith and a desire to honor God all your days, I would.

As a father, another of my favorite passages in the Old Testament is that found in the 28th and 29th chapters of 1 Chronicles.  Here David is “passing the baton” of his kingship to his son Solomon and challenging him to build the Temple for whose plans he had labored so long.

Among other very moving statements, David expresses the desire of his heart as he cries out to God:  “GIVE my son Solomon the wholehearted DEsire to obey all your commands, decrees, and principles, and to build this Temple, for which I have made all these preparations (to DO what God wants to do in your life).” (1 Chronicles 29: 19″

David asks God here for a gift for his son.  If one of his daughters had been in a similar situation, he would have asked the same.  And, it is in this spirit here at Christmastime that I ask God to give you a gift I cannot….and that is that He give both of you the DESIRE to obey Him…to DO what will please and honor Him. 

Earlier in this same discourse, David had opened his heart to Solomon saying:  “And Solomon, my son, get to know the God of your ancestors.  Worship and serve Him with your whole heart and with a willing mind.  For the Lord sees every heart and understands and knows every plan and thought.  If you seek Him, you will find Him.  But if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.  So take this seriously….Be strong and do the work.” (1 Chronicles 28: 9 – 10)

And, then so appropriately, David asked all those in attendance at this gathering to GIVE a gift themselves…and that was to “GIVE praise to the Lord your God!” (v. 20).

As we close this study this morning and look to tomorrow’s Christmas Day, let us GIVE praise to God as did David:  “Oh, Lord…may you be praised forever and ever!  Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty…We adore you as the one who is over all things.  Riches and honor come from you alone, for you rule over everything.  Power and might are in your hand, and it is at your discretion that people are made great and given strength…Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you have already given us!” (vv. 10 – 17)

Yes, He has given us much in the gift of His son.  And may this Christmas and New Year find you with the DEsire to DO His will.

All my love,