The Christmas catalog from Target arrived at our house last week. There was a time when our children would have seized upon it, markers in hand, to circle all the things they wanted to find under the tree on Christmas morning. But this year, it hardly evoked a glance. Clearly, our teenagers have a different Christmas list in mind, which begs the question: what’s on your grown-up Christmas list? And what’s on your list in general?
The items on our lists are as unique as we are. But in the end, we all want the same thing. We want more. But what do we want more of?
In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul reveals that our God is a God of more:
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
— Ephesians 3:20–21
And in the verses just prior to that, Paul offers us a glimpse of what God’s more looks like:
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
— Ephesians 3:14–19
More inner strength. More fellowship with Christ. More knowledge of his love. More of God’s fullness.
These things may not be at the top of our personal list of needs and wants, but they should be. Paul understood the magnitude of the more that God can bring to our lives. While I’m certain that the Ephesians had other tangible needs, Paul chose to zero in on those that he knew would have the most dramatic effect on their lives.
Ultimately, the more of God is, well, more of God. Only a good Father like ours, wanting to give his children the best that he has to offer, would give us himself. He did this when he gave us Christ, and he continues to do this as his ever-present Spirit works in our hearts to bring us all the things that Paul wrote about in these verses.
The real question is are we willing to take our Father’s word that these are the things we need the most? That these things will bring more joy and contentment to our lives than any tangible gifts we might ask for? Are we willing to seek out — and receive — this more of God in our lives?
If we are, this could be the best Christmas yet. But don’t wait until Christmas to open this gift. Start receiving it now by aligning your heart with his, and by praying and seeking the more that God has to offer you. When that happens, it could be your best life yet.