Acts 20:35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
I don’t know why it’s tough for me, but I get a bit anxious in giving gifts. I want to make sure it’s just what is wanted, needed, desired, or so unexpected the one receiving the gift is blown away. I’m sure I overthink it all, but deep down I do love to give gifts. What I need to be is more like a few of my grandsons. This past week they gave me a gift. It was awesome!! What made it so special was they had thought about it, talked with their parents, and got it all together to give it to me. The night they came over, the boys burst into the house, “Paaaapaaaa, we have a gift for you!” I wish you could have seen their faces: impish grins from ear to ear, with a twinkle in their eyes, and a sideways glance that said, ‘I have something so amazing for you will not even believe it.’ They presented it as if they were one of the wisemen giving gifts to Baby Jesus. I was so fun, and I loved it. The gift was a notebook to hold my Pokémon cards (yes, we have some at the house so the kids can trade and play with them, and they are quite interesting). It was a notebook like each of theirs. We sat down and loaded it up. Of course, they had a particular order and helped me organize my cards. It was such a joy to experience the fun of them giving gifts.
God encourages us to give to others:
Proverbs 3:27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,when it is in your power to do it.
Not only that, God desires for us to give with joy:
2 Corinthians 9:7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
The word ‘cheerful’ means with exuberant joy, hilarious, meaning that giving can and should be fun! God encourages us to have fun with generosity. It is part of the nature of God.
Matthew 7:11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
Being we are created in the image of God (see Genesis 1:27), we are like Him, and our bent, our deep tendency, is to act like Him. We only need to look at Jesus and see so many examples of His kindness, love, and how He gave of Himself (see Matthew 9:35-36, Mark 5:21-43, Luke 7:11-17, John 4:46-54). We are more ourselves when we love and give like Jesus.
So how could we bring in the fun of gift giving this Christmas? The familiar story of the visit from the wisemen Matthew 2:1-12 speaks not only of the very expensive gifts they gave to Jesus, but the incredible expense of the travel and time it took to meet Him. How could we put a bit more into the gifts we give? It could be as simple as a binder for some Pokémon cards!
We can learn about the generous nature of God and the fun of giving at church and Christmas is a great time to attend church. If you do not already have a church you attend, we would like to invite you to view or visit Neighborhood Church. We love Christmas and would love for you to join us! Our website has all the information you need for times and locations of all our Sunday gatherings. You can also find us online at neighborhoodchurch.com. As well, if you would like to view any of our past worship gatherings or videos, visit our YouTube channel, or just search Neighborhood Church Cypress or Neighborhood Church Los Alamitos on their YouTube site.
Embracing the fun of giving gifts along with you,