Dream word – GIFT
2 Samuel 23:15-17
“Oh, that someone would give me a drink of the water from the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!” So the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines, drew water from the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate, and took it and brought it to David. Nevertheless he would not drink it, but poured it out to the Lord. And he said, “Far be it from me, O Lord, that I should do this! Is this not the blood of the men who went in jeopardy of their lives?” Therefore he would not drink it. NKJV
How to turn a cabbage into a King
William Sydney Porter published his second collection of short stories today in 1906. The Four Million, is a collection of stories set in New York at the turn of the twentieth century, the title, reflecting both what Porter and the census man considered to be the number of really important people in that particular city! Porter wrote these stories under his pen name of, O Henry, mostly because at the time, he was serving five years in the Ohio State Penitentiary for embezzlement! Yes, O Henry’s life is more full of sentiment, pathos, largess, twists and turns than any of his short stories! Sadly he died of the effects of alcoholism in 1910 aged just 47 years. Like David of old, there are some drinks that just need pouring out on the ground. Porter’s popularity was obviously one of them.
One of O Henry’s most well liked short stories is called “The Gift of the Magi.” Here, a poor working couple in New York, take the two most precious possessions of their poor flat, a gold watch in the husbands case and in the wife’s case, her beautiful hair which flowed past her knees and then, unbeknown to one another, they sell their personal preciousness so that they are then enabled to buy gifts for their beloved. The wife sells her hair to a wig maker and buys a gold chain for her husband’s precious watch and the husband of course, sells his gold watch to buy beautiful combs for his wife’s most lovely hair! O Henry’s final paragraph reads, “And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. Of all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.” “In other words,” says O. Henry, “Such thoughtful and sacrificial love made these two married folks, both Kings and Queens to one another, yes, in terms of giving, they gave Royally and that in turn, made them into Royalty!”
Our text for tonight paints a most similar picture for us, for out of love, these fierce warriors present such a present to their King, that the weight of it embarrasses David, yes, the magnitude of it so humbles him, that he publicly counts himself unworthy to receive it from such giants of gift giving, from such legends of largess, that now stood in love before him.
This dangerous exploit into Bethlehem was not made under orders but rather was made under love. May I say tonight, that duty is a fine, fine thing, ah but love, love will set duty ablaze with the fireworks of beloved devotion and turn cabbages into Kings! I know what kind of gift I would like to receive and I reckon I know the kind of gift Jesus would like to receive as well. What Kind of Royal gifts might you give to your King tomorrow?
Listen: “Many waters cannot quench love, nor can the floods drown it. If a man would give for love all the wealth of his house, it would be utterly despised.” - Song of Solomon 8:7 NKJV.
Pray: Lord, when it comes to loving You, my love is like stewed cabbage. Holy Spirit, come and help me turn my love for my Saviour into a crisp and gold leafed salad. Amen!
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