If you are in a sense like the general population, when someone’s birthday comes around that you care about, you generally give them a gift. It can be as simple as a phone call or a purchased card, or as elegant as one can imagine, but that specific day brings almost a feeling of requirement due, an obligation of love, if you like. This is of course relegated to immediate family and friends, for if you were to give gifts to everyone in your town or city, or even country on the recognition of the day of their birth, well, you get the point.
Our emotional context with another individual is what brings the desire into our heart to recognize special events in their life, we want to rejoice with those who rejoice, (Romans 12:15) but we are to, as I am sure you are aware, love our neighbor. It is not favorites that we play, it is the closeness of association that determines the value, if you like, of the gift we will offer. I would ask that you ponder that last statement for a moment, and then think on it not only in the relationship that you have with the Lord, but the one He has with you, the real relationship that He has with you, not one made up in your mind.
Many who profess Christ believe that the Lord loves them just because they are, because they exist, and they place no thought upon the gifts that they withhold from Him as relevant to the love they expect from Him. In other words, when His birthday rolls around, we forget to send a card. Now, I do not mean this ridiculous tradition of December the 25, in fact, we are not even speaking of recognizable dates on a calendar, the subject matter is not even the amount of love Christ has for you, that was clearly shown on the cross. The question is, why would He send you a card, or give any other form of recognition to you for anything that you are accomplishing for Him, or if you like, you are allowing the Holy Spirit to do through you for His glory. If you are seeking recognition for any accomplishment, no matter the deed or reason done for it, then you are exhibiting pride, for pride needs recognition, and honor my friends, never comes before humility. (Prov. 18:12)
When we recognize a special event in the life of another, we are not doing so that we can be recognized, but so that they will know love, and loved is based in humility, we do so without the hope of any reward for ourselves, yet we are blessed to be able to rejoice when they are rejoicing. So then the question of this letter to you is this, is Christ rejoicing with you, is He rejoicing over you, or is there even a reason to send you a card of thanks.
This matters more than you may think, for “When ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.” (Luke 17:10) No one receives recognition for doing what is expected of them, you more than likely do not give your wife gifts every time she prepares a meal for the family, nor does the man of the house expect presents each day he returns home from work, these along with a thousand other obligations are expected of us, they are not special days, though they may be done in love.
One of the occurrences that is happening on far too much of a regular basis today in this age of the apostacy, in these days of falling away, where the love of many is waxing cold, (Matt. 24:12) is the lack of desire to even read on a daily basis, whenever possible, the Word of God. If the Christians have begun to determine that not even this obedience is necessary to receive blessings from the Lord, how much farther do you think the lost have gone. We give gifts to those we love, and expect nothing in return, how much are you expecting from Christ when you give at best the least you can to Him. “Lord, please bless me in this, please help me with this, even though the only time I pay attention to you or spend any time in contemplation of you is when I want or need something.”
Try sending a card to someone that does not even know you, pick a name out of the phonebook, a random name of someone on the other side of the planet, send it to them and see what kind of response you get. We all know that if we love Him, we obey Him, but how far past that obedience are you willing to go, how much of your life are you willing to give to Him, what gifts do you bring to the Lord on a daily basis that brings joy to Him, that tells Him that He is above all you know and love, that He holds the preeminence in your heart.
There are rewards waiting beyond comprehension for those who love no other than Him with this kind of love, to those who can find no joy or happiness outside of Him. Christ Himself will be their reward, they will hear as Abram did, “I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” (Gen. 15:1) All those who are saved will enter into the kingdom of heaven, but not all will receive a warm welcome, and fewer still will receive many rewards.