The Gift-Giving Season

Romans 6:23 (NKJV)
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the [a]gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
John 3:16 (NKJV)
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

2 Corinthians 9:7 (NKJV)
So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of [a]necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.

1 John 3:16-18 (NKJV)
16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

Acts 20:35 (NKJV)
35 I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”

Hebrews 13:16 (NKJV)
16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

Christmas is a joyous time of year when we celebrate the birth of our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.   Just as Christ’s entrance into the world was a sacrificial expression of His love, we are to immolate His example of love in the way that we give to others.  Christ gave from a place that was pure. He expected nothing in return.  He gave and there were no ulterior motives.  His gift was love-based, and it was the ultimate sacrifice.

Can you imagine leaving a place that is the epitome of royalty, to spend years, willingly in impoverished conditions?  And just to think, He knew that there would be those who would choose to reject Him as their most precious gift.

Because this is considered the Gift-Giving Season, I thought that it would be a great time to write on this subject of Gift Giving.  It is so easy for gift giving to become stressful if we are not careful.  Our gift-giving should come from a place of love and not an obligation.  If we are giving a gift to someone reluctantly, or because there is an expectation or obligation to return a gesture of kindness, we are giving for the wrong reason.  If we are giving to someone to impress them in some way, again we are giving for the wrong reason.  If we are putting ourselves into debt, by charging up our credit cards to buy gifts that we really can’t afford, not only are we setting ourselves up to have regrets later, but also resentment.  I encourage you to examine yourselves and be very clear on your motives this year.

You may want to ask yourself the following questions when making the decision to give.

Are my motives pure?  Am I giving from a place of love? Am I giving to bring joy to the recipient of this gift?  Am I giving in a way that immolates the way that Christ gave to us?   Am I bringing God glory in the way that I am giving and sharing with others?  And, Am I giving purposefully?  When we can say yes to these questions we know that indeed we are giving from a place of love.

We live in a time when so many of the people that we may know and love, have more than enough of everything that they could possibly need.  If that is true for those who are on your Christmas list this year, may I suggest that you give a gift or donation to a needy family, or a donation to their favorite charity in their honor, and let that be their gift from you this year?

Another thing to consider is that some of the best gifts are free,  and if not free,  they can cost very little, such as;  a handwritten card or note, or a tin of fresh-baked cookies, or something that you have made or crafted with your own hands.  These are the gifts that are cherished in the hearts of those that you love for years to come because a part of you was involved in the creating of them.  And that makes it special!

This year, let’s be purposeful in our giving as we reflect the love of Christ and His generosity towards us.

Be sure to carve out some time to give God the gift of your time, gratitude and praise, as a special thank you for the gift that He gave to the world in His son Jesus Christ!

Matthew 2:11 (NKJV)
11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

May God bless you and your family to have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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