Thursday, December 10, 2020

Giving From the Heart…

 Thursday, December 10, 2020 Some Material taken from Jesus Is Peace by Van Houser

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace Colossians 3:15

Giving From the Heart… 
The first Christmas God gave us the most precious and valuable gift we will ever receive. He gave His son, born as a baby, to save the world. God did not give us that gift so we would love Him – He gave us that gift because He loves us and we needed to be saved from our sin. This gift of God is the main reason we offer Christmas gifts to each other - to honor and reflect the only perfect gift ever offered.  

The true gift of Christmas is LOVE, given by God through His Son.  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. John 3:16  We need to make Christmas about the thing that means the most, and teach our children. To make the Christmas season different, we have to focus on this real reason for the season. Love given with no obligation attached to it at all. If you want anything back for the gift you just gave, you gave it for the wrong reason. A gift from the heart never expects anything in return. It is a gift given from our love for that person. We do it because we love them and it makes our heart happy to give. 

God loves us and gave us the very best gift He could give. It doesn't cost us anything to accept His gift, but it will cost us everything if we don't. He does not hold good things from His children. But Satan tried hard in the Garden of Eden to convince Eve that God had kept good things from them. 

Satan’s Lies in the Garden

  •  God is holding something good from us.
  •  We don’t have enough. Ingratitude for ENOUGH is a sign of selfishness.
  •  God cannot give us what we need; we must get it for ourselves.

Things will never provide the joy that a relationship with Jesus brings.  Joy of things is temporary.  Joy of someone is long term. How can we justify sacrificing the financial stability of our families for a moment of indulgence, especially when what our kids want most of all is love and time with us? What they need most of all is to understand this principle that loving others and serving others is far more satisfying than any amount of money or the most spectacular gift we could give them.

These words from Advent Conspiracy tells the truth about our desperate human hearts - We are constantly searching for the one thing that will satisfy us...It’s not that we necessarily want more – it’s that what we want is something we can’t buy. - From Advent Conspiracy 

Here are some suggestions from Advent Conspiracy on serving others during this season.

Serve Someone

·   Partner with a Christian non-profit organization and change a life. (ex: World Vision, Living Water International, International Justice Mission, Hope International)

·   Make a helping-hands coupon book. Give your family vouchers to babysit, help with yardwork, do the dishes, fold laundry, clean the kitchen, walk the dog.

·   Host a serving day. Have friends and family get together and work on a project or volunteer at a local organization. You’ll be spending time together and serving someone in need.

·   Care for the widows in your church. Take someone out to lunch after a church service and get to know their story.

·   Volunteer at church as a family or small group. Christmas is often a very busy time for churches and their serving teams. Look for ways to help out during this season.

·   Organize and clean out your friend’s pantry.

·   Bake cookies and make a thank you card for someone who regularly serves your community. People like police officers, first responders, post office workers, doctors and nurses.

·   Pay for a date night or babysit for a couple with young kids.

Spending less and giving thoughtful gifts will bring peace to your Christmas. Make this Christmas about love. Teach your children that our gift giving is representative of God giving His Son for us - the greatest love gift we will ever receive. 

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