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14 November - Why Give A Gift?

Many people start their Christmas shopping at this time of the year, and all the organised shoppers remind me of how my Dad was the complete opposite of being organised. He was well known for his last-minute Christmas shopping and annually convinced one of his children to brave the shops to help him finish his shopping on Christmas Eve.

But he always gave great presents like when knew I, would benefit from having a dishwasher, and he arrived with one. Or when I was going through a sewing phase, he bought me a new sewing machine or gifted me expensive jewellery or special little things that would last.

Now that Dad has gone to be with Jesus, I appreciate his gift-giving even more and that he made an effort, even if it was usually last minute or a little late. I still have the sewing machine, the expensive jewellery and the pictures he gave me as a reminder of him.

Sometimes we can feel like everything is too rushed, expensive, and stressful at this time of the year, and we can lose sight of the whole point of gift-giving. But gift-giving is designed to be a blessing and a way to honour, love and let people know you have taken notice of their interests and heart desires. When we give a gift, it isn’t about us but about the person we are giving to. It can be a reflection of our love and appreciation of the people in our life.

The Bible also teaches us that there is power in a gift, “Giving a gift can open doors; it gives access to important people”. (Proverbs 18:16 NLT) A thoughtful gift makes way for the giver.

God is the ultimate big gift giver because Jesus is the greatest gift we could ever receive. He is the gift that keeps giving, and He wants us to imitate him and become givers too.

Jesus, Himself, was given gifts at His birth by the three wise men. They gave significant, meaningful gifts, which later provided for Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus while seeking refuge in Egypt from the murderous King Herod. (Matthew 2:11)

Paul in the Bible said, “Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver”. (2 Corinthians 9:7)

Today if you are perhaps feeling a bit jaded or overwhelmed about the thought of Christmas and gift-giving, I encourage you to step back and see the potential joy and power in giving a gift and what it can mean to the receiver. Look for the value and blessing potential in giving gifts, and remember it doesn’t matter how it is received if you give with love and a desire to imitate God. The point is, you have given.

The world may ask, "What does a man own?" but God asks, “How have you used what you've been given?

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him”. (John 3:16-17 NLT)

Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do because you are his dear children”. (Ephesians 5:1 NLT)

Remember this: "Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 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 9:6-8)

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the ability to give a gift, no matter how big or small. The point is for me to demonstrate love in my giving and to look to bless and honour those in my life. Please give me wisdom, creativity and fresh ideas as I give this Christmas. In Jesus name. Amen.

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