FOR THINE IS THE KINGDOM, AND THE POWER, AND THE GLORY FOREVER
A Letter to Read/Use As A Guide With Your Children
Christmas Day is very close, as I am writing you this letter. As a matter of fact, I’m sitting on the couch next to our Christmas tree right now, watching the lights glisten. It’s a calm peaceful night, so I thought I would seize the opportunity to put this thought down on paper.
On several different occasions, while listening to the radio in the van, we have heard the song “The Little Drummer boy” played and sung, in many different styles and many different ways. Over the holiday season, this song has become one of my favorites. Listen to these words:
“Come, they told me . . .
A newborn King to see.
Our finest gifts we bring,
To lay before the King . . .
So, to honor Him,
When we come,
Little Baby —-
I am a poor boy, too.
I have no gift to bring,
That’s fit to give a King.
Shall I play for you?
Me, and my drum?
The ox and lamb kept time.
I played my drum for Him;
I played my best for Him.
Then, He smiled at me.
Me, and my drum.
I want you to realize, my dear ones, this song represents you and me. What gift do each of you have to set before the mighty King? Is there anything that we can give that He doesn’t already have? For example:
Can you give Him your mind?
Remember, He is the One who can hide things from the wise and intelligent and reveal them to babes (Matt. 11:25).
Can you give him your voice?
Remember, He is the One who made all the birds of the world to sing.
Can you give Him your special talents or abilities?
Remember, He is the One who created the feathers of the peacock, the speed of the panther, and the strength of the bear.
Can you give Him your treasures?
Remember, the earth is the Lord’s and all it contains (Ps. 24:1)
Let me tell you this, children: the only thing that God, in heaven, wants from you, on this earth, is the steady beat of your devoted heart. Your uniquely designed heart is the gift you are to bring to Him. At this gift, he will turn, and “smile at you.”
There are two women in the Bible who portray this scene exactly. One was the poor widow who put only two small copper coins in the offering plate at the temple. Many condemned her, looking down on her out of their self-righteousness, because she gave such a small amount. But Jesus, full of compassion and understanding, saw what was “behind” the two coins. He smiled at her because she gave all that she had; she gave her heart.
The other woman was Mary of Bethany. Just a short time before Jesus was to be crucified, Mary came to Him at the supper table of Simon, the leper’s house. She fell at Jesus’ feet, broke an extremely expensive bottle of perfume, and began to anoint Him, in humility and in love. To mere man, (which happened to be Jesus’ disciples), this act seemed foolish and wasteful. But to Jesus, the breaking of the bottle signified the breaking of her heart. When her “all” was given to her Savior, a sweet-smelling aroma then filled the air. In response, Jesus “smiled at her.”
Do you see, children, when you “break your heart” open to Him, you, too, will have something that will bring sweetness to His Name? After He has your heart (your gift to Him), your individually selected talents and treasures (His gift to you) will radiate with His glory! Seek Him first, and everything else will be added! I want you to be very careful here, though, children. Never, never let the gifts He has “added” unto you become your passion in life. Jesus Christ is to remain your passion, and you are to give these gifts back to Him out of a complete love from your heart. Your heart behind the talents and treasures He has given you is what will bring Jesus and His kingdom honor, not the talent or the treasure itself! For example, it was not the coins from the poor widow, or the perfume from humble Mary—and it’s not your knowledge of Him, or your voice to Him, or your abilities for Him—that will bring a smile to His face. He wants your heart alone; the other gifts will follow as a result of your humbled devotion. This must come first.
So, sweet ones, what do you have to bring to the King as you humbly bow before Him? Do you want Him to “smile at you”? Give Him what He is longing to hear, the steady beat of your devoted heart. Then, watch how your gift to Him will be “played out” in each of your lives, in its own unique way. May His loving smile be all you need to keep on “playing” for the glory of His kingdom.
Teaching Tools/Activities For Your Children
1. Role-play together the story of the poor widow who gave “only” two coins, while the rich were putting in much more (Matt. 12:41-44). Focus on who Jesus was pleased with, and why.
2. Find a small drum (or use plastic Tupperware and a spoon). Begin to tap it slowly, repetitively explaining this is the beat of your child’s heart. Continue “tapping” while you discuss: God in Heaven delights or “smiles at” this sound more than any other treasure or gift they could ever bring to Him. All the riches of the world cannot “out-give” this sound! He wants their heart.
3. Continue to discuss: When He has their heartbeat first, then their unique gifts will bring glory to His name!
A Prayer To Pray Over Your Children
Dear Heavenly Father,
I humbly ask on bended knee that each one of my children would bring to You the gift of their heart. You know, dear Father, my greatest desire is to see my children walking in truth. I cannot do this through my own power, but I know You can through Yours. O dear God, may Your Holy Spirit prompt them to have an unending passion to love, to serve, and to honor You with all that they have, and all that they are.
I do thank You for their uniqueness and diversity. I pray You would give each of them insight on how they can best bring glory to Your kingdom. Reveal their spiritual and physical gifts to them early so their heart can beat for You in these areas. I pray, You would remain their passion in life, not the talents or the treasure You have given them. May they always strive to use their gifts out of a humbled and contrite heart which will bring glory and honor to Your Name.
And may the beat of their heart always be
Steady, unwavering, and completely devoted
their holy, righteous, and merciful King.
Scripture References in Letter:
Ez. 36:26; Mark 12:41-44; Matt. 26:6-13; Rom. 12:4-8; Matt. 6:33; Col. 3:23-24
Scripture references in prayer:
I Chron. 28:9; Jer. 17:5-10; I Cor. 12:12-18; Deut. 6:3-11; I Peter 4:10-11; I Peter 5:5-6; Ps. 16:8-9