Giving is a richly rewarding practise. Our giving has changed over the years. We used to run up our visa bill to purchase toys and gifts for our children. They have grown and we are also better stewards, and do not ring up more debt. One year we had a very ‘modest’ Christmas as we were saving to send our daughter on a mission trip to Mexico. We called that Christmas “Have Yourself a Mariachi Christmas” we made presents for one another. It was quite fun and some of those gifts remain as personal treasures. We stopped buying and mailing a lot of Christmas cards instead we buy livestock for third world families and tell our friends we do it in their names.
We often know Christmas as the ‘Season of Giving’ and rightfully so. A letter from Dr. Charles Stanley highlighted this for me as he listed gifts and gift givers associated with the season.
- Mary gave her physical body and reputation (Luke 1:26-38)
- Joseph gave protection and provision (Matt. 1:18-25)
- Caesar Augusts gave a decree (Luke 2:1-7)
- The angel gave an announcement (Luke 2:8-14)
- The shepherds gave their testimony (Luke 2:15-20)
- The Magi gave their gifts (Matt. 2:1-11)
- God gave His only begotten Son (John3:16)
- Jesus gave His life (Matt.20:28
We see in these scriptures a picture of lavish generosity and such generosity stirs us to follow in kind and in kindness! None of the wondrous gifts listed above came from Amazon or via Visa but were costly, nevertheless. Self-sacrifice has seemingly gone out of fashion in our culture, but it is at the very heart of the counter-cultural life to which God calls us.
Years ago, I preached a sermon “It is Better to Receive Than Give.” In that message I emphasized John 1:12 “But to as many as received Him He gave the power to become the children of God.” God’s wonderful gift of a Saviour needs to be received! Once we have apprehended this abundant salvation we join the ranks of the generous.
This week we travelled to Teen Challenge to meet two applicants. It was so heart warming to hear their stories of God’s love and mercy. One of the guys will join us at Threshold House in January. This is exciting because we already have another fellow coming at that time and we have found it is a great advantage to have two starting at the same time. The other fellow was also quite impressive though he has not been a Teen Challenge for long and so we are going to stay in contact and look forward to future prospects.
Someone is donating a turkey so on the 23rd we are going to celebrate our own Christmas Threshold House Family Christmas.
We have an agreement with our parent organization Threshold Ministries which enables us to continue to grow in a sustainable way.
We are grateful to all our prayer and financial supporters for their generosity. God is Good!
One thought on “Generous Gift Giving”
Thank you for your inspiring message. God bless you both in this Christmas season.
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