Tis the Season

Every ministry I’ve ever given to sends me emails and snail mail at this time of year to encourage me to give even more. After all, Christmas tis the season for giving. And this giving season begins in Advent, right on the heels of “Giving Tuesday” just a couple of weeks ago.

I can’t help but sometimes feel irritated. But, when I step back and think about the needs these ministries address and the good they do for our communities, my irritation wanes. I begin a mild chastisement of myself and own up to just how blessed I am.

How Blessed are You?!

What about you? Take a moment and think about how blessed you are. When I ask seminar attendees to share their blessings I hear the answers you’d expect: family, job, home, health. Yes, of course. Add to these the astounding truth of God’s unconditional love for us, His lavish mercy and forgiveness – wow! And more, the incredible fact of Jesus suffering and dying on the cross so that by our faith in Him, we can have eternal life with God in heaven – oh my goodness. It is overwhelming. This amazing truth invites a response.

Think about the gifts you give to your loved ones. How do they compare to gifts given to acquaintances and business associates? Where does God rank on this list? Does your giving accurately reflect how much you love God?

In this season of Advent, we joyfully await the gift of Jesus coming into our lives. Let us give back like God gives. As disciples, we should strive to be like Him (Mt 10:25). Whenever we give, we are being like Him. When we give, we experience a unique closeness to God, our Father that only comes to us as we are generous. Like all parents, God wants to see His children being kind and generous and loving. God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor 9: 7).

May we give in proportion to our blessings, and in proportion to our income. It is in doing that that we help ministries overcome their increased inflationary costs. And giving to them makes us a part of their mission. Helping them helps us make an impact and gives purpose to our lives.

Blessings to you this Advent season. It is in giving, in acts of love and generosity that we best prepare the way of the Lord. May we all open our hearts and give this Advent and always.

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