A gift for the King

CHARLESTON, S.C. (BP)--"I have no gift to bring … that's fit to give our King."

Sound familiar? "Little Drummer Boy" is one of my favorite Christmas carols. I can relate to his lowly estate. But what could I possibly bring Jesus in celebration of Christmas this season?

I am thinking I would like to give Him something unique this year -- something creative but costly, something uncommon. How about my exercise? It's very common for us to give up or take a vacation from our exercise commitment during the holidays. This Christmas season, though, I have decided to bring to Him as a gift offering an extra measure of my physical exercise commitments.

I am willing to stop cutting corners, go the extra mile and press a little harder. Rather than complain about the soreness, inconvenience or outside weather temperature associated with physical activity, I am going to present my body to Him as a living sacrifice and focus on giving back to Him the strength in my body that He has given me. Is that some sort of spiritual re-gifting? Maybe so but I think He will like it.

I am a great fan of Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and I am personally going to adopt its Creed, specifically the part that says:

"My body is the temple of Jesus Christ.

"I protect it from within and without.

"Nothing enters my body that does not honor the Living God.

"My sweat is an offering to my Master.

"My soreness is a sacrifice to my Savior."

As I exercise this December, I am going the extra mile and have it to cost me something. I love the Old Testament story of King David when he went to Araunah the Jebusite to purchase from him his threshing floor so he could build an altar to the Lord. In 2 Samuel 24:22-24 Araunah said to King David, "Let my lord the king take whatever pleases him and offer it up. Here are oxen for the burnt offering, and here are the threshing sledges and ox yokes for the wood. … 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.'"

For many of us the decision to set aside time to exercise is costly, but it should be if it is to be a gift fit for a King. This Christmas season in addition to getting some much-needed rest on the couch, put on your shoes, zip up your jacket, head out the door and give Him a strength offering.


Vicki is a certified fitness instructor for the American Council on Exercise, Regional Director for Body & Soul Fitness and Networking Director for First Place Ministries. She is also wellness coordinator in her church in Charleston, S.C.

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