(Read 2 Corinthians 9:11)
Christmas is a very special time of the year because it is a time of giving. People give a lot more than usual during this season for varying reasons and intentions.
For Christians, gift giving normally reminds us of the wise men who traveled from very far to honour the newborn Jesus with gifts such as gold, frankincense and myrrh. But most importantly, we give gifts to thankfully remember and celebrate the true and greatest gift given to mankind—our Saviour and King, Jesus Christ. He is God’s most precious and valuable gift He gave out of His incredible love for us—”God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son …” (John 3:16).
We must also recognise that God is the giver of everything as “every good and perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17). God is always able, and He has promised to bless us abundantly so we could channel these blessings to others who are in need, both physically and spiritually (2 Cor 9:8, 11). We are blessed by God so we can bless others; we are enriched so we can be generous (Zech 8:13, 2 Cor 9:11).
In 2 Corinthians 8, Paul was encouraging churches to give financial gifts to believers who were in need in Jerusalem. He encouraged believers to have the heart to give voluntarily, out of what they have, and motivated by love and gratitude for what Jesus Himself had given us—”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 through His poverty might become rich” (v9).
Steven J Cole says, “When we give, we act as God does.” Give because God has given to you. It is our natural expression of gratitude for the grace and mercy we have received in Jesus; not only during Christmas season, but year-round, as a way of life.
And so this season, see giving as an opportunity, a privilege. Be a blessing to others. Find a way to give not just to the people special to us like family or friends, but to the ones you do not know personally, and who are in actual need. Let’s donate to charitable organisations and foundations. Give out of what you have—from material and financial needs, food, shelter, clothing, medicine, etc.; to sharing and sacrificing our time with people who need company, encouragement, love and support; to volunteering or helping out in certain causes that aim to support other people in any way possible. Gifts do not have to be grand to be valuable; they simply need to be given out of compassion and thankfulness for the blessings you have personally received. And the love and grace of Jesus is reason enough for us to give generously, even sacrificially, to those who are in need.
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