At first I was going to do a segment on healing since I've been writing of hurts lately. But then the Lord spoke and said, "I'd rather you talk about giving. This time of year is my reminder for people to think of others rather than themselves." So today is all about giving.
It is a reminder that Christmas time is for giving. But should the giving be only this time of year? No, it is a time to remember that the Lord wants us to give at all times. Does it mean one has to spend money? No, giving of the "heart." For a gift given of the heart is much more meaningful.
Christmas time all too often the true meaning of giving is lost. The amount of a gift is often looked at versus whether or not it came from the heart. The commercialism has taken over the true meaning of Christmas. We have become a people of greed instead a people of blessings, giving, and most importantly the celebration of Christ.
I'm going to give a few scriptures on giving that have touched me, and I hope it does the same for you.
"If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat, and if he is thristy, give him water to drink; and the Lord will reward you." Proverbs 25:21
Some would say, "Why would we give to an enemy?" Because your enemies are the ones in need of being saved. We must show the heart of the Lord in order for them to seek Him.
7"Each person should do as he has decided in his heart--not out of regret or out of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make every grace overflow to you, so that in every way, always having, everything you need, you may excel in every good work. 9 As it is written: He has scattered;
He has given to the poor;
His righteousness endures forever.
10Now the One who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will provide and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your reighteousness, 11as you are enriched in every way for all generosity, which produces thanksgiving to God through us. 12For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing in many acts of thanksgiving to God. 13Through the proof of this service, they will glorify God for your obedience to the confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with others. 14And in their prayers for you they will have deep affection for you because of the surpassing grace of God on you. 15Thanks be to God for His indescribbable gift." Corinthians 9:7-15
I like this one, as many times I get a weird look when someone asks me what I would like for Christmas. My reply is for people to remember the real meaning of Christmas, for peace on Earth, for health and happiness and my family to be together. I then say I like to give rather than receive. I admit, there was a time that I loved to receive too, but loved to give also. Now, I just like to give. This next scripture says it well.
35"In every way I've shown you that by laboring like this, it is necessary to help the weak and to keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus, for He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive."
This next one says it well:
16"A gift opens doors for a man and brings him before the great." Proverbs 18:16
I like this last one, as it tells us that by giving, we are opening a door for them to go before the Lord. Our giving to others, not just a boughten gift, but a gift of Love can open their eyes, ears and soul to the Lord. So the next time you are thinking of a gift, don't think about how big it is, if it is going to be the "best" gift, if it is going to be the most "expensive" gift, or if it is going to be the gift that outshines everyone elses; instead, ask yourself if it is the gift the Lord wants you to give? Is it a gift that is going to benefit the receiver?
Some helpful thoughts: When we see a person on a street corner with their signs reading they need help, do we look the other way, or do we do what ever we can to help? What would the Lord want? It doesn't matter what you may think of them. All too often we think they are just looking for another handout, or money for their next bottle, or drugs. Have you ever asked yourself, what if that was me? What if by my giving and silently praying for this person they will be saved? The gift of giving can do so much.
When you see a person alone and down, do we just walk by them shaking our heads, thinking poor soul; or do we stop and say hello with a kind, warm smile? Sharing our hearts with others can open so many doors for those people. I met a sweet older woman when I was helping out my sister at her work. She used a walker to get around. She always had a cheery disposition, always a smile for you and kind words. She wasn't afraid to quote some scriptures or pass on some God given advice. This women was a giver of the Lord. She touched my heart deeply.
She went beyond that. There was a day she was out walking--which she done daily--when she came upon a group of gang members. She didn't bulk, she smiled and waited to cross the street. These young men stepped out into the street and stopped traffic for her, and helped her across the street. She thanked them and told them God loves them. They have not been seen in their gang garb since and gone straight. How awesome is that.
The gift of giving. It can go so far.
May the Lord Bless you all abundantly and give you the heart of giving. Amen