Season of Giving

Our society attaches significance to special days, months or times of year. After setting aside time to be thankful in late November, we enter into what is often called the season of giving. The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas tends to get materialistic if we are not careful, but generally the things we are buying are intended for others instead of ourselves. Like so many of our special days, months and seasons in America, the season of giving is designed to be a way of life for Christians. It is not something we are called to do only in December. We are to give throughout the entire year and our entire lives.
Some form of the word “give” appears in the Bible more than 2000 times. Giving is clearly something that God wants us to understand and do. What does He tell us about giving? 
  • When God’s people recognize their blessings from Him, they give back to Him. In Genesis 28:20-22, we learn that Jacob does this by giving 10% back to God. “Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house. And of all that you give me I will give a full tenth to you.”
  • We should give to help those in need. In Deuteronomy 14:28-29, God gives instructions to His people to make sure those in need are not overlooked. “At the end of every three years you shall bring out all the tithe of your produce in the same year and lay it up within your towns. And the Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance with you, and the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, who are within your towns, shall come and eat and be filled, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands that you do.” This is just one of many commands in scripture about giving to others.
  • When we focus on things, we are not focusing on God. Jesus talks about the dangers of materialism several times. In Matthew 6:19-21, He reminds us that things are temporary and an indicator of where our hearts are. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
  • Giving is voluntary, brings joy and pleases God. “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7)
  • God wants us to give ourselves to Him. Paul tells us in Romans 12:1 that our very lives are to be a gift to God. “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”
  • We give because God gives. The greatest Gift He has given us is His Son. “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:16-18)
Let’s strive to be people whose lives are a season of giving.

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