One of the objections I frequently hear people share about Christmas is how shopping has become an over-emphasized part of the holiday celebration.
While it is true that department stores and online stores have marketed Christmas well beyond the manger, one thing is very obvious; giving is truly a part of Christmas.
Let’s Set the Stage
- The Angels came to “bring good news.”
- God gave His one and only son.
- The Wisemen came and gave gifts to this young family.
Giving is not only a characteristic of the Christmas season but is a characteristic of God. Giving is a transforming activity. It produces in you the nature and character of God and chips away at our human nature, which is naturally focused on self.
Giving keeps you from being bound by stuff.
It is not wrong to have things or to be on the receiving end of giving, but when getting overshadows giving, we become a prisoner of possessions. A person who takes all the time becomes blind to the needs around him or her.
- Taking is intrinsic.
- Giving is divine.
One reason why people feel they can’t give is that they don’t have enough; enough time, money or talents. As Jesus and His disciples are observing people giving their offerings at the temple, he makes a powerful comment regarding one woman who gave two mites, may be worth a penny.
He says she gave more than all of those who brought bags of money because, “… she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.” Mark 12:44
If you wait until you have more or enough, you’ll never have enough.
Start giving from the place you are.
Another reason why we feel unable to give of our time, talents, or resources is that we are living beyond our means, beyond God’s blessing, or we are overcommitted. This can reveal an area we are struggling to trust God with and place our confidence in what money can buy.
When you give, you acknowledge that God is your provider, and your trust is in Him. In Genesis 22:14, Abraham recognized God as Jehovah Jireh, “The Lord that provides.”
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
God will provide for you. It’s no challenge for Him.
In Exodus 16, after as the Israelites are on the way to the promised they ran into a small logistical problem, “how are we going to feed all these people?” Moses prayed to God and God delivered manna each day. Literally, bread fell out of the sky to provide for the people.
Later as the people grew tired of bread, they put in their request for meat. So, God sent quail-bombs from the sky and delivered enough meat daily for each family.
When water was in short supply, Moses asked God, and God provided water out of a rock.
In 1 Kings 17, when a devasting famine spread throughout the region, God used a Raven to deliver food to Elijah. A little later he provided not only for Elijah but a widow and her son, by extending the amount of a small jar of oil and flour to make bread.
The point is this; God is not limited by my resources or situation to provide for me!
When it is in your power to give, give freely, and be assured that God is your provider and He is able to take care of you.
One of my all-time favorite verses in the Bible is Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” This is God’s promise to you. When you live for His kingdom, He makes sure you have all that you need.
Put your hope and trust in God and remember that God never breaks a promise.