Giving or Getting?

Warmer weather is again on the horizon. I see 60 degrees forecast for Wednesday, but we will wait to see if that happens. Christmas decorating continues at our lake house. My spouse has been a bit under the weather with a cold this past week, so progress has been slow.

In other news, Alex celebrated his 16th birthday last week. It was also the day he got the braces off his teeth. We observed the occasion with a trip to Red Lobster. Along with all that, he now has his driver’s license. Time marches on, doesn’t it?

Around Thanksgiving time, one of the cell phone companies ran an ad that emphasized the term “Thanksgetting.” I have to admit I had not thought of that concept. In fact, it seems to be a more fitting slogan for our modern Christmas celebration. Most of the advertising at this time of year seems to be geared more toward what will I get for Christmas, instead of what can I give?

If God is our example, we should be much more concerned with giving that with receiving. Remember, not only did He give us life and breath, He loved the whole world so much that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). James tells us that God is the source of all good things. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights” (James 1:17). The Bible lists many gifts that God has given. Here are just a few: In addition to life itself, there is the sun, plants and animals for food, water, clothing, marriage between a man and a woman, children. Also, the ability to work, artistic abilities, and many more.

In gratitude for those gifts, we should to use them for the building of His kingdom, and for a life of good works. As it says in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God has prepared in advance for us to do. Paul, speaking to the Ephesian elders, quoted the Lord Jesus, saying, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). In gratitude to God, may we concentrate this Christmas season on giving, instead of getting.

Blessings to all,
Pastor Jerry

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