"Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly
or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." 2 Corinthians 9:7
Welcome to the Season of Giving!
We've enjoyed Thanks Giving - such a special time for family, food and faith.
And then Black Friday - when everyone searches for that perfect Gift for Giving.
(Well, not everyone. Personally, I boycott Black Friday or any other day that involves masses of crazy people crowding into a small space. At least if I can help it.)
Oh, I love shopping, don't get me wrong. And buying gifts for those I love? I am there!
Just not on the same day of the year when every other person in town is squashing into the Beyond aisle of Bed Bath and Beyond. (Family joke.)
Total aside: One year my son was shopping for me at Bed Bath & Beyond. When a clerk asked if he needed help, my son responded sarcastically, "Yeah, I'm looking for the Beyond section."
Isn't he hilarious? And that wasn't SO far off the subject of giving. 😉
Then there was Giving Tuesday. And hey, if anyone is interested in giving to help pregnant women in need this Christmas, please check out Sanctuary Of Unborn Life. SOUL helps pregnant and new mothers with support and housing. Since I work for this particular nonprofit, I personally recommend it! CLICK HERE to check out SOUL.
Now that it's officially December, we are in full swing for Christmas Giving!
What a blessing to celebrate an entire month of GIVING!
At our house, we sometimes call it "catalog season". Look at all the catalogs and flyers we received in just two days!
Wow. What a lot of trees were used to send these catalogs - which will eventually end up in the recycle bin.
In the meantime, we'll enjoy choosing a special gift for each other and each of our children. Since both of our kids married last year, we have FOUR children now. How exciting is that?!
Imagine how thrilled I'll be when GRANDchildren come along! But I digress.
While you're giving, please first remember your local church.
Tithing is an act of faith and obedience. Tithe literally means ten percent, the amount God requests in the Bible.
For most of us, that's a LOT. So how do you give ten percent when you already don't have enough?
Start small. If you're not giving at all, begin with whatever you feel comfortable giving. The price of a cup of coffee. Whether that's Starbucks coffee or McDonald's coffee - start with something.
What if you are giving, but can't afford ten percent? Figure out the percentage that you normally give, and add one percent.
Even - or especially - when you don't see how you can afford to give more, watch how God increases your finances with that small act of faith. Each year as God blesses you - and He will bless you - increase your giving by one percent until you reach ten percent.
We've seen this happen in our own finances. When we freak out over a setback and stop tithing, our financial situation gets worse. When we continue giving regardless of how scary that looks on paper, God always comes through.
The interesting thing we found? When we were most financially strapped, we weren't tithing. And when we obeyed our Lord's directive? You guessed it. He blessed us.
I mean, like praying for $200 to pay a bill when the money's not there, and a check for $200 miraculously shows up. Or the refrigerator's grinding noise stops. Or the check engine light on the car blinks off.
God blesses obedience. Believe it!
Just like we believe in the Christmas Story. A virgin gives birth to God's only son.
Do you believe it? And He grows up to be crucified on a cross and pay for OUR sins?
The same God who performed miracles in the Bible performs miracles every day in the lives of His children - those who believe.
It's Christmas. Believe.
Christmas comes but once a year. Enjoy each moment, hold loved ones near.
Enjoy this season of giving!
"He told them to celebrate these days with feasting and gladness and
by giving gifts of food to each other and presents to the poor.
This would commemorate a time when the Jews gained relief from their enemies,
when their sorrow was turned into gladness and their mourning into joy." Esther 9:22
Actually, all of them will eventually.