Gifted To Give
Everywhere I look, I see the same message. Every song, every sermon, every blog post, every article seems to shout the subject of giving. Well, of course, you say! It’s Christmas! No, it’s November 1. Doses of Encouragement are written and submitted weeks ahead of time so our incredible staff—editor Betty and uploader Janice—can make sure they appear in your inbox on time!
As I’ve journeyed with the Lord for some thirty plus years now, I’ve noticed a pattern in His teaching style with me. First, there’s the Word from the Word approach; next, there’s the Word from everywhere else approach; and finally, there’s the Word from the woodshed approach. Personally, I’d like to get the lesson BEFORE going to the woodshed! Therefore, my ears perked up as soon as the subject of giving became obvious. Maybe yours will, too!
The Lord asked me questions like this: Do you embrace giving as an act of worship, obedience and faith? Or do you view it as generosity prompted by feelings of love, compassion or even obligation?
Think with me for a moment.
The problem with the second question is that feelings come and go with the wind! You’ve had it happen, I know! One minute you’re ready to open up the coffers and lavish your most treasured possessions on one of your children. The phone rings. They answer. They give you the cold shoulder and BAM! No special gift for you, Sweet Thing!
How grateful I am that God’s love isn’t withheld because we ignore, embarrass or even disappoint Him. He has lavished His love on us and His love is spelled G-I-V-E! You know the verse—“For God so loved the world that He GAVE … ” He gave His best: Jesus. And we’re never more like Jesus than when we are moved by His Spirit to meet other humans in their moments of need.
The Apostle Paul commends the churches of Macedonia because they gave beyond their ability, of their own accord, and out of their poverty (2 Corinthians 8:1-5). Why is it that we so often struggle to give out of our prosperity, yet they gave BEYOND their ability AND out of their poverty? That brings conviction to my heart.
Let’s not get so caught up in the merriment of this Christmas season that we miss real opportunities to respond to God’s indescribable gift through worship, obedience and demonstrative faith, which produce a wealth of generosity!
From my heart to yours,