09 Dec Christmas and Generosity – Jay Rivenbark
Christmas and Generosity
Christmas is, at its very core, a time for generosity. Its story can be summed up in what is perhaps the most familiar verse in the Bible, John 3:16. References to this passage can be seen at sporting events and venues around the world, but how does it relate to generosity?
- God Gave. Plain and simple. He was, He is and He will always be a generous God. His loving nature motivated Him to give and so will ours. The motives of our heart will be demonstrated by our acts of generosity to God and to others.
- God Gave his Best. I must admit that sometimes I shop the clearance aisle in an attempt to find the very best bargains for those on my Christmas list. God however, chose the most costly of gifts (His Son) to give to us. True generosity will at times demand we give of our best.
- God Gave Sacrificially. He gave what He cared about the most. He gave until it hurt. I’m reminded of the widow lady who gave a couple of coins and Jesus said she had given more than those who had given large sums of money. How is that possible? It is because she gave sacrificially and they gave from their abundance.
- God Gave Knowing Not Everyone Would Accept His Gift. His generosity was not determined by the anticipated response of the recipient. He was generous because He loved. Romans 5:8 reminds us that God demonstrated His love for us by sending His son Jesus to die for us while we were still sinners!
As the intended recipient of any act of generosity, when we reject a gift we reject the giver of the gift. During this Christmas season, let’s be intentional about not only demonstrating generosity that is motivated by a heart of love and compassion, but also by accepting whatever forms of generosity that are offered to us. May we model our efforts by those examined in the John 3:16 passage. May we give, give our best, give sacrificially and give without reservation as to how the recipient may respond. Christmas is a season of generosity. May we keep God’s gift of Jesus at the center of all we do and generously share Him with everyone we meet. Unlike the temporal gifts we give, He will never wear out, break down, go out of style or need replacement batteries! He is the gift that lasts forever.