Thursday, November 19, 2009


Christmastime is oftentimes referred to as “the season of giving,” which is altogether appropriate inasmuch as it celebrates the greatest gift ever given. The birth of Jesus Christ, who “came into the world to save sinners,” is a gift unrivaled in its glorious benefits. As we reflect on the birth, life and death of our Savior, it becomes readily apparent that He was an expert on giving. His entire life was characterized by selfless sacrifice. He gave and He gave and when there was nothing else to give—He gave His own life. No one has ever given so much and to those who deserve it so little. 2 Cor. 8:9, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” “We are so blessed by the gifts of His hands”--Christmas celebrates all of this.

The expert on giving once said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” These words of our Lord Jesus are recorded for us in the Book of Acts (Acts 20:35). Paul exhorted the elders in Ephesus to adopt the same self-sacrificing manner of life that was evident in Jesus and exemplified in Paul. Christmastime reminds us that it is indeed more blessed to give than to receive. It is more blessed--the act of giving brings great joy to our hearts. Jesus’ words correct a spiritual misunderstanding we are all born with regarding the nature of life. The Devil espouses taking, the world tells us that we need, the flesh cries out “give me, give me!” We are prone in our lusts to want, thinking that is what life is all about (Eph. 2:3). We mistakenly believe that we can find satisfaction and happiness in taking and receiving--but Jesus has revealed to us a better way.

It is more blessed to give than to receive! What a contrary way of life! Since it is more blessed to give, then Jesus is the most blessed of all. His manner of life sets the standard; indeed God’s purpose is to make a giver out of you. It is the nature of the flesh to take; it is the nature of Christlike love to give. 1 John 3:16, “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?” The opportunities to give abound--an encouraging word; forgiveness extended; a financial gift given; a prayer offered, a physical need met; a spiritual gift exercised, the gospel message shared--the list goes on and on. To give in meeting such needs is “more blessed!” It pleases God, bestows joy to the giver, and stores up “the treasure of a good foundation for the future” (1 Tim. 6:19).

In a world full of takers, givers stand out. When we give by God’s grace--and unto God’s glory-- Christ’s greater gift is magnified. For every gift given flows from the cross itself--through which hearts are enlarged, minds are renewed, and channels of blessing are etched through hearts of stone. I’m no expert on giving, but Jesus is. He is able to take selfish takers and transform them into selfless givers. His capacity to give is replicated in those who are careful to walk near to Him. His joy is imparted to us in giving, that we might find joy in that which pleases Him most. The season of giving never stops for the believer in Christ inasmuch as there is always more to learn from Him. Let us then endeavor to learn that we may be more blessed! Heavenly Father, help us to learn how to give, as Christ gave. Your capacity to give is beyond our capacity to comprehend. The selfless gift of the Savior not only saves us but instructs us. Help us to walk in His footsteps that we might be joyful of heart and useful in your service. Amen.

Pastor Jerry

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