Freely you have received; freely give. (Mathew 10:8)
“I got you a present!” my two-year-old grandson shouted excitedly as he pressed a box into my hands. “He picked it out all by himself,” my wife smiled.
I opened the box to find a Christmas ornament of his favorite cartoon character. “Can I see it?” he asked anxiously. Then he played with “my” present for the rest of the evening, and as I watched him, I smiled.
I smiled because I remembered gifts I had given loved ones in the past, like the music album I gave my older brother one Christmas when I was in high school that I really wanted to listen to (and did). And I realized how years later God was still stretching me and teaching me to give more unselfishly.
Giving is something we grow into. Paul wrote, “But since you excel in everything . . . see that you also excel in this grace of giving” (2 Corinthians 8:7). Grace fills our giving as we understand that all we have is from God, and He has shown us “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
God generously gave us the most unselfish gift of all: His only Son, who would die on a cross for our sins and be raised to life. Any who receive this ultimate gift are rich beyond measure. As our hearts are focused on Him, our hands open in love to others.
(By: James Banks)
Reflect & Pray
In what ways do you need to grow in giving? What could you do today?
Thank You, Father, for giving me the best gift of all: Your Son! Help me to share Your generosity with others today.
Encouragement to Give Generously
2Co 8:1 We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, 2Co 8:2 for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. 2Co 8:3 For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, 2Co 8:4 begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints— 2Co 8:5 and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. 2Co 8:6 Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace. 2Co 8:7 But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.
2Co 8:8 I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. 2Co 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.
Lagoonside Church, Knysna