Friday, December 27, 2013

DEVOTION: Christmas and the Cross ~ by Kathi Macias

For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart. These, O God, You will not despise (Psalm 51:16-17).

In our front yard, lit up for all the world to see, is a “plastic holy family”—Joseph, Mary, and Baby Jesus—placed in front of a large, illuminated cross, which my husband constructed a few years ago. He originally built it to be displayed at Easter time, but then he decided it needed to be put at Christmas as well, to remind us that Jesus came with a purpose—and He fulfilled it.

Each of us has been put on this earth with a purpose. Sadly, many of us choose not to fulfill it. Why? Because we’d rather pursue our own agendas. And when it comes down to it, that’s what sin is all about, isn’t it? Most of us don’t include murder, bank robbery, or fraud and embezzlement in our agendas, but even if those agendas are filled with completely legal and socially acceptable pursuits, if they’re still our agendas and not God’s, then we’re wasting our lives. And that, my friends, is a sin.

My all-time favorite comic strip shows Dennis the Menace, wearing a cowboy hat and kneeling at his bedside, with hands folded in prayer as he looks toward the ceiling and says, “I’m here to turn myself in.” I cut that cartoon out years ago, and I have it tacked above my printer where I can see it easily—and often. I need to be reminded that a position of surrender to God’s purpose for my life, at the cost of giving up my own, is exactly what is required of me. We can donate thousands of hours to ministry and still be offering nothing to Jesus, for the scripture tells us He doesn’t want “burnt offerings.” He wants a broken and contrite heart, one that realizes it has gone its own way but is now turning around and covenanting with God to go His way.

May I suggest that you take a little extra time today to do a heart check and see if there are some areas of personal agenda that still need to be surrendered to the One whose sacrifice made it possible for us to be reunited with God. Then come, humbly and with a broken and contrite heart, and place it in the manger, right at the foot of the Cross. Like Dennis, lay your heart and life down in surrender and declare, “I’m here to turn myself in.”

And as you head toward a new year, may you be blessed--not only this week, but throughout 2014.

Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored nearly 40 books and ghostwritten several others. A former newspaper columnist and string reporter, Kathi has taught creative and business writing in various venues and has been a guest on many radio and television programs. 

Kathi is a popular speaker at churches, women’s clubs and retreats, and writers’ conferences. She won the 2008 Member of the Year award from AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) and was the 2011 Author of the Year from Kathi “Easy Writer” Macias lives in Homeland, CA, with her husband.


  1. Thank you so much, Kathi. And yes, "Lord Jesus, I'm here to turn myself in!" That seems so appropriate!

  2. Kathi,

    Thank you for bring this to our attention. Our ultimate victory is found only in complete surrender.

  3. Hi Kathi
    I agree with your husband's placement of the cross at Christmas. The two events are inseparately linked. I've also enjoyed Dennis the Menace but didn't know he had turned himself in. Great illustration.