What do you have that God hasn’t given you?
—1 Corinthians 4:7
Nativity scenes commonly display a gaggle of shepherds staring at the manger and three wise men presenting gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
There’s a French production that is different—it features villagers bringing gifts of bread, cheese, and wine, offerings that God has enabled them to produce. It nudges us to remember that everything we have comes from God—that the only thing we have to give is something that he first gave us.
Paul’s plea that we offer ourselves to him as a living sacrifice embodies the whole package: self and all the abilities that come with it—giving back to God everything that he has given to us.
We give Thee but Thine own,
Whate’er the gift may be;
All that we have is Thine alone,
A trust, O Lord, from Thee.
God loans you a life to enjoy and use,
but he hasn’t relinquished ownership.