Keep your stinkin’ presents

Daniel 5:16-17   Now I have heard that you are able to give interpretations and to solve difficult problems. If you can read this writing and tell me what it means, you will be clothed in purple and have a gold chain placed around your neck, and you will be made the third highest ruler in the kingdom.”  Then Daniel answered the king, “You may keep your gifts for yourself and give your rewards to someone else. Nevertheless, I will read the writing for the king and tell him what it means. 

Have you ever had someone offer you something that was worthless to you in exchange for a favor?  “Hey if you will help me remodel my bathroom, I will give you this fruitcake.”  Ya, no thanks.  Well, King Belshazzar offered Daniel a figurative fruitcake.  It’s not that the gift being offered was worthless, it just didn’t have any value to Daniel.   You see, Daniel didn’t give the interpretation for the personal benefits, but so that God’s message could be delivered.  He said, “keep your stinkin’ presents- here’s what God is saying to you.”

Which makes me wonder our motivation for serving the Lord or even serving others.  Do we do it to get something in return?  Or do we do it simply to be a vessel used by God.  It’s an important thing to think about, really.  God calls us according to His purposes, not according to the benefits we will receive.  His purposes are just that: His purposes.  He should be getting the glory and the honor.  HE should be showered with praise and purple robes and gold chains.  He should be esteemed and given authority and power in our hearts.

If we start doing things for the presents, then we will eventually find ourselves with fruitcake.  If we work for our own recognition, we  might even find gold chains around our necks and start walking around saying, “I pity the fool.”   Look, with all due respect, I don’t want to be Mr. T.  I don’t want to serve the Lord so I can add another gold chain.  I serve the Lord because He has called me to.  So the world and all it’s ways can keep it’s stinkin’ presents.  I’ll take what the Lord gives me.  His presents are way better anyway.

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