Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Giving

By Stephen Piersall 
Deliverance Ministry Central NY
"So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Corinthians 9:7)

The countdown of Christmas shopping is dwindling down and the gift-swapping event will commence. The old saying “It’s better to give then receive” comes to mind especially during the holidays from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve. However, are we giving enough and to where it can make a difference?

The world celebrates the birth of Jesus, on December 25th and we call it Christmas. If you research this you will see that Christmas was originally a Pagan holiday, and looking at the calendar of today compared to the calendar back in the day, you will find out evidence that Jesus was born more so in our spring season, but the exact date cannot be identified. Now as they say, “You can’t fight City Hall”, and to try to change the world of beliefs and traditions of Christmas is a battle no one can win but should.

Therefore, the world will continue to go shopping and spending our money excessively this time of the year. So I ask and challenge you, if giving is better than receiving what are your commitments toward giving to the needy?

Have you stopped Tithing at your local church to be able to buy more gifts?

Are you just digging into your pockets for loose change instead of peeling off a few dollars to put in the red bucket outside of major retail stores?

Have you considered as you make your large family Christmas meal of donating to the local food banks?

Are you aware you can give your old cell phones to an organization that will ship them overseas to the military to use for the holiday season?

Storing old eyeglasses in a drawer or simply throwing them away is a waste in many ways. Give the gift of improved vision, and help a stranger see the world much more clearly, so they can read their Bible too.

Let me give you a partial list of charities that may appeal to you:

Animal Rescue
Local Churches
Make a Wish Foundation
Red Cross
Salvation Army
Soup Kitchen
St. Jude Children’s Hospital
Toys for Tots
Wounded Warrior Project

How are we to give?

God wants us to give according to our ability. Jesus told His followers, "give alms of such things as you have" (Luke 11:41). God never asks us to give more than we can. “Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. In addition, many who were rich put in much. Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites. So He called His disciples to Him and said to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood" (Mark 12:41-44). Planned giving should cover all options of family, friends, and charities. Is it really giving to the needy if we just offer what exists after spending on so many gifts for others?

Make this Christmas a special one; follow the path that Jesus laid out for us to follow. 

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