A Practical Gift

When someone new asks what they could get me, they think my response is very strange.

2 Chronicles 9:1-31

Reference: The king used the algumwood to make steps for the temple of the Lord and for the royal palace, and to make harps and lyres for the musicians. Nothing like them had ever been seen in Judah. (2 Chronicles 9:11

Explore: Every time someone asks me what I would like as a present, I always tell them “good quality shampoo.” This may seem unusual to some, and I know that my family find it very unimaginative, but it’s super useful.

While I don’t spend a great deal of money on beauty products, I really like my hair to feel nice. I just can’t justify buying incredibly expensive shampoos, conditioners and treatments, but if I ask for them as a present then my dilemma is solved.

My family now just roll their eyes at me in the lead up to birthdays and Christmas, and when someone new asks what they could get me, they think my response is very strange. But I like it because it’s very practical and yet something above and beyond which I would purchase for myself.

Application: The Queen of Sheba’s taste for gifts was a little more luxurious than my desire for hair products. When she generously gave to Solomon, the presents were of a level of wealth that was fitting of her status.

From the expensive elements he received, Solomon made impressive things. Musical instruments, large gold shields and a great throne. These are all glorious things, however, I was surprised at what he did with some precious wood he was given… he made some steps for the temple.

I initially thought expensive wood could be used for something much more glamorous – a cabinet, an ornament, some intricate carving. But to have people walk all over it? It would be like me using my expensive shampoo to wash a dog, who would then just go and roll in the dirt!

But the more I thought about this wood, the more I realized that I had judged its usage wrongly. While steps may not seem very glorified, they are incredibly practical and what’s more, these steps were used in the house of God.

These steps assisted people into the house of God, and what could be more important than that? While initially the steps seemed beneath the quality of the wood, after some thought, I realized that out of all the glorious things that were crafted, these steps were the most important.

There are times when I feel like steps. I feel like people willingly tread on me and I’m just a practical connection from one chore to the next. But, we are all precious material.

God crafted us all differently, but all remarkably, and He made us with the ability to be a step. It’s our calling to lead people to God. If we use all the gifts and abilities that God created in us to lead people into the house of God, then we have fulfilled the greatest plan on our lives.

You may not feel very glorious, but know that you are made for and called to greatness.

Prayer: Lord, we can often wonder what to do with our lives and how we can serve You. Make us steps, Jesus, so that we can lead others into Your presence. Amen.

How can you be a step into God’s house today?

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This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.