By Rev. Dalton Lilly
I remember a Christmas years ago when my sister and I were very small. My father received a wonderful box of assorted milk chocolates. It was a large box with layers of assorted flavors and surprises within. My sister and I circled his chair as he slowly opened that marvelous surprise. After watching him open the gift we were astonished when he announced that he would put the candy away to enjoy on some special day in the future. Disappointed and completely bewildered, how could he do such a thing we thought.
Later as I recall it was a dark and cold winter’s night in mid-January nearly a month after Christmas when my father retrieved the special box of chocolates from his dresser. He sat down in his rocker before the fireplace where my sister and I circled him anxiously watching and waiting to share his most excellent gift. It wasn’t long before the wrapping was cut away by his bone handle jackknife. The layered box of candy was immediately shared with Mom and my sister and me. During what seemed to be a forever long wait there was never a doubt in our minds that my father would share his incredible gift from Christmas morning. My father was a loving man and above all things was known for his generosity and giving.
Did you know that God is also a generous giver? God is the essence and author of love and generosity. He is the ultimate giver. Did you know that giving is Godly? God wants us to be givers. He demonstrated the power of giving through Jesus. He gave His only begotten Son to the world as a sacrifice for the sins that you and I are guilty of (John 3:16). Because he gave Jesus, we have life eternal.
Every sin ever committed has been paid for by God’s only Son, Jesus. It was on the cross that Jesus shed His blood, suffered, and died for my sins and yours. His gift was given over 2000 years ago, but you can open His gift right now and receive Him this very day. We do so by turning from sin and asking God to come into our life (Rev. 3:20).
When we receive God we receive His Spirit. His Spirit is the Spirit of love, kindness, and giving. God inspires us by His nature to be givers. If we want to imitate God in our lives we must be generous in love for others and in giving. God loves a cheerful giver (2nd Cor. 9:7).
When we give to others we bless those who receive our gift and then a wonderful thing happens. God blesses our life for our acts of kindness and generosity. The Bible tells us, “Be not deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” (Galatians 6:7) What kind of seeds are you sowing in life? Are you sowing seeds of selfishness and gain or seeds of love, generosity, and kindness?
Do you look for ways to give to others? You may ask what do I have to give, not realizing that God has already blessed you richly. He has given us all a measure of time, talents, resources, skills, abilities, and most of all the gift of love. If we fail to share these precious gifts with those around us, we miss the opportunity for great spiritual reward in this life and in heaven to come.
God is our ultimate example of the perfect giver. His desire is that you imitate Him in your life today. Why not start now? Practice being an outrageous giver! The blessings from God are unending and unimaginable.
May God bless you richly and often.
Rev. Dalton Lilly, Narrow Road Ministries, Fredericksburg Va. 540-785-9919
~~Photo credit: Owen Pearson