Christmas is quickly approaching and for many it is an occasion where family and friends spend time together as they recognize the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This time of year we are also reminded of those in need who are less fortunate than ourselves. Although we think of those people in need, we often times are satisfied with having had sincere thoughts and sharing kind words. We often fail to fulfill any actual giving or physical assistance to those same individuals. The Bible describes this very concept in James 2:15-16.
When we think of being selfish or greedy, we tend to think of mean spirited people who are engrossed in themselves and their needs and not of the needs of others. While there are people in this world who exhibit this Scrooge-type personality, the truth is, all of us demonstrate some greed and have self-centered tendencies. This tendency can get in the way of our willingness to give or to help those in need. The Bible tells us the importance of helping others throughout the scriptures including Proverbs 21:13, Proverbs 28:27 and in the parable of “The Good Samaritan” (Luke 10:25-37).
Why is God so concerned about us giving to and helping others? God tells us in Genesis 1:27: “So God created man in His own image. This indicates that we are to be like God and to take on His traits. To be like God is to give. Our God is a giver and that’s imminent in the scriptures. However, the most important thing God gave came around 2,000 years ago. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
The Bible also tells us to be Christ-like (Philippians 2:1-3). When you read the Gospels, you will see Christ consistently helping those in need. Therefore, God wants us to give in order that we may be like Him. When we become more like Him, we are growing in God spiritually and are able to fight off the enemy (Satan). The Bible tells us that a “giving spirit” cannot be forced; it is something that must come from the heart and should be an enjoyable act from within (2 Corinthians 9:7).
This time of year we are reminded to give to those in need. However, the concept of giving should not just be contemplated around Christmas. It should continue throughout your entire life in order that a Giving Spirit may take over. When you become focused on being a Giver instead of a Receiver, it will change your life forever. Giving is something God intended for us to do to others just as He does for us when we face adversity. The Bible tells us that if we give like Him, we will be blessed for it (Proverbs 22:9).
Pastor Ryan Black
Cedar Springs Christian Church
340 West Pine Street, Cedar Springs