THE GREATEST GIFT & GIVER
This Christmas Eve it is good to reflect on the most famous verse in the Bible. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world he gave his only Son that whoever believes in Him would never perish but have eternal life” God did not keep back his son, but he gave him for us. So the whole concept, the whole foundation of gift giving finds its root, finds its foundation in our understanding of who God is. God is the greatest giver. He is the original giver. He is the best giver. And his very best gift that he could possibly give is when he gave us Jesus.
But God’s plan involved sacrifice as all giving does. However you want to look at it, whatever way you want to see it, giving always involves sacrifice. In order to give something, you have to give up something. It may be something small. It may be something big. God’s sacrifice was big — it was the greatest sacrifice. And he was willing to give us Jesus because there was no other way for the problem of human sin to be solved.
God continues to give. Romans 8:32 says, “God did not keep back his own Son, but gave him for us. If God did this, won’t he freely give us everything else?” God’s giving doesn’t end with the gift of Jesus, it continues, it expands with Jesus. There can be no greater gift than Jesus, but there can be greater gifts. There can be no greater quality gift than Jesus, but the quantity of gifts can be far greater because over and over again God chooses to bless us. God chooses to consistently and freely give to us. What we receive in our lives is grace, gifts and blessings.
We receive from God consistently and continually throughout our lives. What should be the response to God’s generous giving? Those who have accepted the gift of Jesus, who say they are followers of Christ, should give like God gives. We will be givers because God is the greatest giver. There is no greater way to follow Christ than to be a generous and giving person. Nothing a person can do marks their Christ followership better than the way in which they are generous giver. There are so many opportunities to show our giving heart. Gift giving is greater than just Christmas.
It is a sacrifice to give. To give means there is something you are not going to have. There are going to be resources that are no longer at your disposal. But the model of sacrifice has been given to us. How can we not follow, if we are true followers of Christ? If we are Christians not just in name only but in actual practice, then sacrificial giving is a part of what we do. It is a part of who we are. It is not an occasional thing it has got to be consistent. Giving doesn’t just have seasonal elements to it. It is something we do all the time.
It is something we do willingly, just as God was willing to give. He freely gives. The Bible says God loves a cheerful giver (II Cor. 9:7.) Before it says that it tells us not to give under compulsion or because we feel forced to give. That is not the kind of giver that God wants to see in us. He wants to see a person that is cheerful, that is happy about the opportunity to give. A giving heart, a generous person doesn’t evaluate their giving by how good they feel. They give because it is the right thing to do.
Giving is right to do all the time it can’t just be for Christmas. For followers of Christ we are regular givers, we are consistent givers we don’t wait until a certain time of the year to do it. We are always looking for opportunities to follow Jesus’ example. We know what Jesus would do. God’s heart is generosity. God’s heart is giving. I hope during this Christmas season, as you are involved in gift giving it is not just a seasonal experience. But rather you see it is so important to give — to give freely, to give sacrificially, to give consistently and most of all to give generously.
About Rick McDaniel
Rick McDaniel is a noted author, international communicator and church leader. He is the founder/senior pastor of Richmond Community Church in Richmond, Virginia. The church is known for its contemporary and innovative services and has a worldwide reach through www.highimpactchurch.tv. McDaniel has earned three degrees including an advanced degree from Duke University and is the author of six books including his latest "Turn Your Setbacks Into Comebacks." He has traveled and spoken at conferences and churches worldwide spanning six continents.
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