This is the time of year when everyone asks family members what they want for Christmas. You’re fortunate if you have some kind of list to choose from. In the last few years, I find it hard to come up with a list of stuff I want for Christmas. I don’t really need much, and the stuff I can think of almost always costs too much to put on my list – stuff like new golf clubs, a new table saw, or a new truck are a little out of my kids’ price range. They are the kind of things you want to choose for yourself anyway.
A frequent question you hear in Christian circles at Christmas is “What does God want for Christmas?” There are obvious answers – He wants a personal relationship with each one of us; He wants us to spend more time with Him; He wants us to serve others and serve Him; He wants us to grow in our faith, He wants our worship, etc. One verse in 2 Chronicles 16 jumps off the page every time I read it. It tells us that God is searching for (wanting) something very specific from us. Here it is from two different Bible translations:
“The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9a (NLT)
“For the eyes of the Lord roam throughout the earth to show himself strong for those who are wholeheartedly devoted to him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9a (CSB)
This verse tells us that God is looking for wholehearted commitment from each of his followers. It doesn’t take a Bible scholar to figure out that there were very few examples of “whole-hearted committed” followers in Israel or Judah when this verse was written. The children of Israel were hot and cold followers of God. Unfortunately, things didn’t change much in the New Testament. Just take Peter as an example–one minute he says he is totally committed, and the next thing we know he is denying that he knows Jesus. However, once the Holy Spirit came to “indwell” Peter, things changed for the good. The Holy Spirit is the power that enables all of us to be “wholehearted devoted” Christ followers. God’s eyes are still roaming…He is still searching. Will you give Him what He wants for Christmas?