“In all of my years of service to my Lord, I have discovered a truth that has never failed and has never been compromised. That truth is that it is beyond the realm of possibilities that one has the ability to out give God.” ~~Charles Spurgeon
During the Christmas season our thoughts turn to gifts. We like to give them. We like to get them. There’s the wrapping. There’s the bows. There’s all that business about hiding them until Christmas morning…especially from the littles.
During the Christmas season, if we’re fortunate, someone will remind us that the best gifts come not from the K-Marche or Bon Mart, but from the heart. If we’re blessed, others will remind us about love and kindness, and hope, and peace…and God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
During the Christmas season, hopefully, everything will slow down enough for each of us to catch our breath…both literally and figuratively. Yes, we’ll be encouraged with the familiar warning, “Tis better to give than to receive.” Hopefully this little warning may reduce our stress load over what lies under the tree for “little ‘ol me.” And yes, we’ll be exhorted to remember the less fortunate as we gather around tables heavy with calorie laden plates. Hopefully such a warning may reduce our stress by enticing us to give to strangers one of those beautiful blessings that just might light their hearts and bring smiles to their lips.
During the Christmas season, if things really go right, we’ll be inclined to listen. We’ll listen when God breaks through with a powerful message… “it’s all in the relationships.” No other gifts matter when the relationships are right. Our loved ones, our friends, our co-workers…relationships are the true gifts. Relationships are the “stuff” (excuse the necessary poor grammar) upon which peace on earth, good will toward men can ever hope to flourish. We need them, but…but, we do not need them most of all. We need something else more than our loved ones. We need the Loving One.
During this Christmas season, if everything lines up perfectly, we will know without doubt the baby once wrapped in swaddling clothes in the manger, draped in ripped and tattered rags on the cross, now arrayed in robes of righteousness on the throne is the Greatest Gift of All
During this Christmas season, let’s turn our hearts here. In fact, let’s remember it always. The Apostle Paul did. Right in the middle of reminding folks about needs and giving, he wrote…
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you.
Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift! (2 Corinthians 9:6-15)
That last line was his heart breaking out with Spirit-induced praise for the greatest act of giving ever. It is the heart of God’s word, the Bible! That gift is not others, or stuff, it’s not even salvation…that gift is Jesus.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” ~~John 3:16