What can I give Him, poor as I am. If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb. If I were a wise man, I would do my part. What can I give Him? I can give Him my heart.
“What Can I Give Him” – Christina G. Rossetti
Clovis was a French King born 466. I was doing some historical study on Clovis and his conversion – it is terribly seasonal, and I thought I would share it with you.
In 492 King Clovis married the Christian Burgundian princess Clotilda, and like many a good Christian woman is said to have made many, many attempts to convert her husband from pagan idolatry to belief in Christ, but for four long years it was a losing battle.
However, a losing battle was exactly what it would take to change King Clovis. In a battle against an obscure people group – which is now part of France. The Frank army was losing a hot fight – at its command was the beleaguered King Clovis. The broken king raised his eyes to heaven and asked for the Jesus that his wife worshipped to help him in the battle. Not long after, the tide of battle turned, and the enemy fled in shambles, and died in brutal obscurity.
Soon after claiming Christ as his King, on Christmas Day, 496, Clovis, with his pagan sisters in attendance, was baptized by Remigius. Remigius said to Clovis at his baptism stunning words that are so fitting anytime of the year: “Worship what thou hast hitherto destroyed, destroy what thou hast hitherto worshipped.”
I love that quote. “Worship what you have previously destroyed, and destroy what you’ve previously worshipped.” This is a great statement for the newly converted and aged saint. We all deal with strongholds in our life. Christmas is a great time to begin to destroy the strongholds, and reclaim the victory that is in Jesus Christ. In his third MasterLife book, The Disciple’s Victory, author Avery Willis instructs us to: 1) Identify a stronghold in our life. 2) Find out when and how it became a stronghold. 3) Determine which weapon in Ephesians 6:11-18 should be used to vanquish the stronghold. 4) Declare war on the stronghold. 5) Claim victory over the stronghold … Destroy what we have previously worshipped.
My wife and I attend church at Union Hill Baptist, which is north of Jefferson City, quite effectively reaching the Holts Summit area with the Gospel. The senior pastor is Frank Whitney. I rarely go there, as my ministry takes me to your church on Sundays. I say this with absolutely no regrets, as this lifestyle nurtures my ADHD so well, and furthermore it’s my calling.
However, I was in church recently and Pastor Frank reminded us of the beautiful passage in the Song of Songs, “Take us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes” (Song of Songs 2:15).
In this season of Christmas, are you prepared to destroy the ‘sweet things’ (have you ever seen a baby fox?) that keep us from worshipping Him. You are now in the last moments of the execution of what may be the largest act of corporate worship your church will see this year. Before making this sacrifice to the Lord Jesus, make sure it is the gold, frankincense and myrrh of a pure heart . . . with no little foxes.
Merry Christmas! (John Francis is the worship specialist for the Missouri Baptist Convention and produces MoWorship, a monthly worship podcast available at www.mobaptist.org/worship.)