Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Give More Joy

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  John 3:16

A few years back there was a theme at Christmas called the Advent Conspiracy.  The focus was on Spending less, worshiping God fully, and giving more – more love, more peace, more time, more joy, etc.  This time of year we are encouraged to think outside and live outside our own wishes and desires and reach out with both with gratitude and with generosity. GIVE MORE doesn’t have to mean SPEND MORE!  “Giving More” is about becoming more deeply connected with people and needs in a way that really matters. God’s gift to us is a relationship built on love. The epitome of relational giving is the incarnation.  Emmanuel means God with us.  We believe that in Christmas, God became incarnate in Jesus.  He gave Himself to us as a baby and then in sacrifice on the cross.

The Perfect Act - that He gave

When your heart is right then your actions will follow. The action of love is to give...personally, sacrificially and sufficiently.  Relational giving for Christians means giving of ourselves in ways that makes God present in the lives of others. It means giving of ourselves in ways that bring healing, hope, peace and reconciliation to the lives of others who need those very things from God. It means giving of our own lives in ways that help to bring new life to others who may be despairing of the lives they are living.  You can’t do that with a new phone or a new TV.  The incarnation happens every time Christians choose to give more of God through themselves for the sake of others.

The Perfect Gift - His only begotten Son
The value of a gift should be determined by the difference it makes in the life of the one receiving and giving.  God saw our need. He recognized our helplessness. He gave a gift we cannot repay.  This was a grace gift.  It is the real definition of a gift. It has no obligation attached to it at all.
When we consider the perfect gift, the best place we can turn is the gift God gave us in Christ at Christmas.  He sent His only Son as a tiny baby to be the savior of the world, yours and mine.

When we have enough plus more than we need, it places us in the position of being responsible for stewardship of God’s resource.  Which end do you want to be on? Not to use God’s resource for His purpose will cause us to be troubled by discontent and a hunger for more as we put more trust in our resources and consume them on ourselves. Seeing and touching the needy brings a response of love which cannot be created by pictures or words. Do you really know the needs of the people in your life…home, workplace, community?  Where is God calling you to give more this Christmas?  Who around you needs more joy?  You may not feel that you have any extra joy to give but when we give of ourselves, we end up with more joy than we had to start with. The joy we get from God is never ending.  It doesn't run out when we give it away - He continues to refill it.  This Christmas season give away some of the joy you have found in Jesus.      

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