Written and Media by Maggie Schoepke.
It’s that time of year again. Everyone is out and about, searching for the perfect gifts for their loved ones before Christmas. Many people have already taken advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday to get the best deals. However, it’s easy to get carried away with sales and spend a little too much in your favorite store. In the midst of shopping, don’t forget about the gift of giving.
When Christ suffered on the cross, He gave more than anyone in this world ever could. His intentions were pure and genuine because His sacrifice included surrender. What can we learn from this selfless act? Jesus humbled Himself when He came down from heaven for about thirty years and gave the Ultimate Gift to humankind on the cross. He was able to do this because He put others before Himself. This required exhausting His own resources for those who were in need. To apply this selflessness to your own life, you might have to give up your time and personal needs to help another person.
Another perfect example of what it looks like to embody a sacrificial mindset is Luke 10:25-37, the Parable of the Good Samaritan. In this passage, Jesus tells the story of a man who was attacked by robbers and left naked and half dead. He was at the mercy of other people, which included a priest and levite who did nothing for him. It wasn’t until a Samaritan stopped that he received help:
But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came to where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him.”
The Samaritan went above and beyond rescuing the man by paying the innkeeper to assist him. This is what Christians should be doing for other people; go the extra mile.
You should always give with a cheerful heart, just as the Samaritan did. 2 Corinthians 9:7 reminds us of this by proclaiming,
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Examine your intentions when giving and make sure it’s out of love for the other person.
There is also a great need for thankfulness among receivers because how you receive is just as important as how you give. In such a materialistic culture, more people than ever are dissatisfied complainers. The constant drive for more does not create a thankful heart. As a culture, how do we recover from this illness of being ungrateful? Look up. God gave His only Son to die for our sins. Lovingly receive His gracious gift of salvation.
Sometimes we act like ungrateful children who begrudgingly accept a gift we were not hoping for. We don’t give much thought to the sacrifice Jesus Christ gave for us. As Christmas approaches, think about our eternal gift and meditate on it. Be a little more appreciative of the debt that was paid and demonstrate Christ’s love with the tangible gift of giving.
Based on a previous article written by Maggie Schoepke at ladies-of-the-press.blogspot.com.