Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas giving

And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

I was talking with a local man who doesn’t attend church.  One of my favorite things is talking to people about the fact that God changes lives.  We shared several stories and talked about the vision of the Dream Center.

This man said something that hit me and is part of the DNA of what we do and who we are.  “Giving makes me feel good.”  I agree, and I bet you do too.  Giving is an awesome thing we can do.  Not only does it help others, but it meets a need in our lives.

That is one reason why I want to teach my kids and those I lead that it is better to give than to receive.  We are more like Jesus when we are giving.  We put ourselves and our wants to the side when we help others, BUT you have to check the reason you give.

Do you give just to feel good?  Wrong reason.  Do you give to others to make yourself look good?  Wrong reason.  Do you give to get a tax credit?  Wrong reason.  Do you give to bless others because you have been blessed?  Right reason.

God gave.  That means we should give.  God loves us.  That means we should love others.  Real love gives to others without a thought of what it will get in return.  I pray that this Christmas and in 2012 that we will be givers.  I pray that our giving will bless people and help lives to change, beginning with you and me. 

In the coming days and hours take a few minutes to see that Jesus is given the proper place in your Christmas.  Enjoy the giving and getting of presents, but through it all lift up Jesus.  Let others see your joy.  Let God use you and me to help others find hope that last long after Christmas.

“It is possible to give without loving, but it is impossible to love without giving.” — Richard Braunstein

Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the LORD your God will bless you in everything you do.

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