We have just come thru a holiday in which we are “Thankful” for what we have, but I think as we head into Christmas, we should be happy to give what we have! As of lately I’ve been blessed to get to bless others, with things I own, not $100 here or there, but things I have which can bless others, and thats not always physical goods, but my time as well – from a listening ear, to help with a computer, a website, or even cooking a meal.
2 Corinthians 9 in “The Message” says starting in verse 6…
6 Remember: A stingy planter gets a stingy crop; a lavish planter gets a lavish crop. 7 I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your own mind what you will give. That will protect you against sob stories and arm-twisting. God loves it when the giver delights in the giving.
8 God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you’re ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done. 9 As one psalmist puts it, He throws caution to the winds, giving to the needy in reckless abandon. His right-living, right-giving ways never run out, never wear out. 10 This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God,11 wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God.
I remember a song we taught the kids in Edison years ago which was off verse 7, it was based on the NIV translation “God Loves a Cheerful Giver HA HA HA HA HA” showing that cheerful laughter to help the kids understand, but as this verse says God LOVES it when the giver delights in the giving.
Have you ever truly been delighted your own life when you give? Sadly not everyone has, we live in a world where its taught, get all the best toys, keep them for yourself, and push anyone out of the way who’d stop you from getting ahead! We are a competitive people! I mean even on the freeways lately, that guy who is riding your tail and will NOT ease up… Oi! I know that guy quite well, he tails me every day, or maybe that person in the line at the super market who sprints to beat you in line or to that primo parking spot. Rough right?
I think we sometimes forget that all Good Things we have come from God:
James 1:17 Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle.
So too, if they are from God, while a gift if we are truly to be “Christ Like” as Christians who are we not to give some of those same things God has blessed us with, and that were thankful for, to others?
We are to emulate Christ’s example for our lives, I mean as a man here on Earth, He gave his life. Not a silly set of silverware, a loaf of bread, the cost of a meal for the person at the other table, or the even coveted primo parking spot! He gave.. and just to make sure you get this:
Why should we not be prepared to do that as well? My dad’s sermon talked today about similar ideas, how many of us would lay down our lives for another? Our own family? Sure, I think most would easily for their parents, wife, husband, kids – sacrifice themselves but for the noisy neighbor who blasts his music at 2am? Not likely, I mean why would you? They keep you up all night! But I think God’s blessings in our lives, extend to those who aren’t Christians, we are to show God’s love to others, why not give out some of the gifts God has given us?
A challenge for you today, believer or not, first time here or not, give up something this week, something your thankful for, start small if you must, I remember a few weeks back at Target, lines were packed, they opened another line and the lady next to me said “You were here first” and I said “I am in no hurry!” and let her have the spot, her reaction was puzzled, she said “I don’t think I’ve met anyone that kind before!” for me it was a simple line, but to her it was someone giving up something she desired without being upset or snotty – and thats the cheerful part! As you practice giving up even that primo parking spot – you’ll want to do it more and more.
Like anything else you give God, or in this case re-gift to others, its a blessing to you and those you interact, and is one “Re-Gift” friendly options in this world 😉 So go out there as we enter this Christmas Season, and give folks something God’s blessed you with, your time, talents or treasures, and start this next round of holiday season truly giving things your thankful for, and you’ll truly understand Thanks in giving.
Have a blessed week folks!