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Seeds of the Kingdom

Decorating the Tree

by Ginette Lavigne-Stewart

10 December 2016

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But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels of silver for them.
2 Samuel‬ ‭24:24,NIV

We recently moved from Ottawa to Perth, Ontario, Canada to serve with Ellel Ministries. In our residence in Ottawa, we had nine foot ceilings. In fact, that house was purchased to accommodate a nine foot Christmas tree, seriously!

When we answered God’s call and moved closer to Ellel, we purchased a house, but yes, you guessed it, it has eight foot ceilings. Are you doing the maths? What to do with the beautiful balsam fir Christmas tree? My husband had the idea of giving it to Ellel, which we did. Of course, if you ever visited the Ontario Centre, you could imagine the Christmas tree adorning the front hall. It’s perfect. However, once in place, the tree looked bare without ornaments.

We didn’t have enough ornaments at home to decorate it, so I went shopping. I walked into a store, where they sold inexpensive looking ornaments, but they didn’t seem right. As I stopped, I believe I heard the Lord saying that those ornaments were not what He wanted. I left that store and went to a thrift store, wanting to be frugal, as we needed many ornaments to cover a nine-foot Christmas tree! In the second store, ornaments were available, but I stopped and I believe I heard a “No” from the Lord again. I reminded the Lord that He asks me to be frugal, and that by buying these ornaments, I would be doing just that. The Lord replied: “This is my house”. End of discussion! I was taken aback and walked out of the store perplexed.

I confessed to my husband what I had learned and we decided to drive to Kingston, Ontario (55km south) to look for ornaments. By now, I was very focused on the fact that the Lord was calling the shots. We drove to an area where we had previously visited, and right away, a home furnishing store came into view. This was the store. As I walked into the Christmas decoration isle, I came upon a jumbo package of ornaments, varying in colours of pink, silver, and yellow gold. I heard the Lord say to me: “ My Glory”. I was shocked, but really, I was amazed, at the specificity of God. Even though these ornaments were much more expensive than we had planned on, frugality had no place now. I believe God was showing me that His House is a place to be honoured and revered. At the end of the day, even though we thought we were blessing the Lord, He is the One who blessed us, by the beauty of His work.

We brought the ornaments to the Centre and decorated the tree during the opening teaching for Restoration Week. By the time the session was over, the tree was completed and the students were delighted, and so were we. It was so much fun! Glory be to our God!

It felt right to me to save money, cut costs, buy second hand, and do the things we knew to save. However, this time around I found my “wisdom” challenged by God asking me to offer Him my best. Somehow, this time, cutting corners wasn’t honouring Him.

As a ‘man after God’s heart’ David knew this principle, and that’s why he responded with the words at the beginning of this devotional. Central to his worship was giving God his best. And that’s why he couldn’t offer the Lord something that cost Him nothing.

This season many of us will experience the joy in giving. Just as giving our best means so much to our family and friends, it plays a central part in our worship to the Lord as well. When we give Him our best, it really does bring Him glory, and give us joy!

Prayer: Father, Your wisdom always trumps the world’s wisdom. Your ways are always best. Thank You for reminding me of this today. Help me to put you first, give you my best, and never be afraid of the sacrifices that bring You glory. It is true. You deserve my best, and it’s my privilege to offer it to You. Thank You for the joy that comes when we give our best to You. Amen.

Ginette Lavigne-Stewart Ginette and her husband Bob serve on the Ellel Canada team in Ontario. They have a heart to minister God’s healing to the broken both in English and French speaking Canada. In her spare time, Ginette loves running, quilting and entertaining friends.


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