“Living By Giving”

Posted: December 4, 2013 in Christian Life, Christmas, Compassion, Giving, Resurrection, Salvation, Security

               Christmas is the time of the year when people give gifts to each other as they celebrate a birthday – the birthday of Jesus Christ, the God-man, and the rightful King of the Jews (Matthew 2:2; 27:11).  Unfortunately, He is the One who is often left out of the festivities.  There was no room for Him in the inn when He came the first time, and there is no room for Him today in many people’s lives (Luke 2:7).

                First Coming.  When He arrived on earth 2,000 years ago, He was rejected by His own people (John 1:11).  So He postponed the setting up of His kingdom on earth (Matthew 16:20; 23:37-39).  But He will return to establish a literal kingdom here on the refurbished earth that will last for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:1-7; aniel 2:44, 45; Isaiah 2:4; 35:1; Zechariah 14:9-21).  Then after the Great White Throne judgment (Revelation 20:11-15) He will destroy the present heavens and earth and create a new heavens and earth where righteousness will finally settle down and feel at home (2 Peter 3:11; Revelation 21:1; Isaiah 65:17).  The righteous, believing Jews will inhabit the new earth (Matthew 5:5; Romans 4:13).  Where will you be in eternity future – with God and His people, or suffering forever with the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:30, 41, 45)?

                Quote.  While Jesus was here on earth He is reported to have said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).  He demonstrated this for us when He left the ivory palaces in heaven (Psalm 45:8) and came down to this sin cursed world to live among us and then die for our sins and rise again bodily from the dead (John 1:1-18; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8).  His resurrection guarantees our resurrection, each one in his own order (1 Corinthians 15:22-24).  Do you know in which one you will participate?

                Giving.  Christians can/should demonstrate Godly living and giving, not just during Christmas or for birthdays, but throughout the year as an expression of their gratitude to God the Father for His indescribable gift of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 9:15).  Unlike the Jews in the Old Testament, Christians today can/should give cheerfully because we have been blessed, not because we want to be blessed (2 Corinthians 8, 9; Ephesians 1:3). 

                List.  Perhaps, in addition to the gifts that you may give to your family and friends, may we suggest that you put these things on your list of things that you could do to brighten someone’s day? Why not mend a quarrel and forgive an enemy (Romans 12:18; Ephesians 4:32)?  What about releasing a grudge or apologizing if you’ve been wrong (James 5:9, 16)?  Seek out a forgotten friend (Acts 11:25).  Dismiss your suspicious attitude (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).  Send a note of encouragement to someone who may be hurting,  an orphan, or a widow in need (1 Thessalonians 5:14; James 1:27; Matthew 25:34-40).  Be gentle and patient with an angry person (Proverbs 15:1; 2 Timothy 2:24-26). Express your genuine appreciation to others (Philippians 1:3; 2 Timothy 1:3; Philemon 1:4).  Smile and speak kind words to strangers (Proverbs 17:22; Hebrews 13:2; Luke 10:33).  Enter into someone’s sorrows and joys (Romans 12:15; Micah 7:8; Romans 12:8).  Listen attentively to others (James 1:19).  Take a walk with a friend (Genesis 5:22, 24).  Be a servant like Jesus was (Galatians 5:13; John 13:14).  – Adapted from Chuck Swindoll, “Growing In The Seasons Of Life

                Paradigm Shift.  Rather than focusing on what you can get, why not see if you don’t derive more joy from giving than receiving?  A maturing Christian is learning how to be content in whatever state he may be, with what he has, knowing that God is with Him, and will never forsake him (Philippians 4:11; 1 Timothy 6:8; Hebrews 13:5).

                A Free Gift?  Have you received the gift of eternal life from God yet?  If not, why not accept it now?  Simply believe on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day.  Yes, it’s that simple and yet people won’t believe God’s Word because they are led to believe that they must do something to earn their way to heaven.  No, it’s a free gift from God.  Our deliverance from hell to heaven is not based on our good works lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5).

                Help.  If you aren’t absolutely sure that you will go to heaven the moment you die, we’d like to help you see from God’s Word how you can be certain that you will have a home in heaven some day (1 John 5:13).  Call us at 805-238-7665 or visit our website at www.kelseypeach.com

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