Luke 6:38 (NASB)
38 “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”
Often at Christmas, gift-giving becomes a chore rather than a choice. We fight crowds and frustration and spend more than we can afford to give gifts from a sense of obligation. Perhaps we buy an expensive boxed set of body lotions and powders for our elderly relative to add to the collection she has of those she’s never used in previous years. Maybe we give our children the latest electronic gadget or toy so they have everything their friends have. The elderly relative would be so much happier with a handwritten note promising a weekly or monthly visit. The children would learn to value material things less and spiritual things more if we give them gifts from our hearts rather than for impressing friends and neighbors.
And in today’s Scripture, Jesus promises that if we give generously, we will be rewarded even more bounteously. Visits to a loved one in the nursing home will reward us with the joy of making someone else happy as well as precious time and memories that will be treasured for a lifetime. The gift to a family activity—whether it’s a trip to an amusement park or a game party at home—will bring the family closer together and demonstrate to us and the children the importance of godly values. Giving a small tool to a loved one who is passionate about a hobby will show them that you pay attention to their interests and notice even small things. That not only makes your loved one happy, it gives you a deeper bond.
We can give to those in need, not because we feel that we have to, but because we want to show the love to Jesus to those who are hurting. Even a small financial donation can make a big difference in the lives of people who are suffering. And volunteering to help with a party for women and children in a battered women’s shelter or to collect food/clothing/gifts for a Christmas drive at church can bless us more than any material gift in the world.
This year when choosing gifts, give from your heart and not from obligation. You will be rewarded bounteously for your generosity.
Lord God, Who gave us the perfect gift—His Son to forgive our sins and give us eternal life—fill us with the joy of giving. You want us to give from our hearts—and when we give joyously and generously, You reward us. Show us how to give good gifts to those we love. In Jesus’s name. Amen.
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