2017-12, Bible.org Newsletter: Imitating God - The Ultimate Giver
Christmas provides the believer with the opportunity to worship our God as the Ultimate Giver.
For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16, NET).
Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15, NET)
As Christians we should be able to think of numerous texts which encourage or even command us to give. Likewise, the Scriptures give us directives as to how much we should give (generously), how we should give (cheerfully), and to whom we should give (e.g. those who proclaim God’s Word, and those in need).
There are no commands for God to give, only instances in which He does freely give, and give generously. So, what is it that prompts God to be a giver? May we suggest that giving is God’s nature; it is God’s predisposition. He delights in giving freely, and He savors the opportunity to do so. Christmas is the season we celebrate the greatest gift ever given by God to mankind – the free gift of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. It is amazing to ponder the truth that our Lord left the splendor of heaven to come and dwell on earth, to live among sinners like us. But what is even more amazing is that the incarnation qualified our Lord to die as an innocent sacrifice, and thus to bear our sins on the cross of Calvary.
Many are the efforts to convince Christians (and, sadly others) to give, by turning to the exhortation or instructions found in God’s Word. And all of this is a legitimate use of Scripture. But the ultimate basis for becoming a giver is because God is a giver, by nature, and when we come to faith in Christ we become partakers of His divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). We should not be surprised, then, when the first thing we read about the new believers in Jesus in the Book of Acts is that they gave, and gave generously (see Acts 2, 4, and 11). And saints like those in Macedonia gave gladly and enthusiastically, even with their limited means (2 Corinthians 8-9).
We may think that our giving nature is adequately expressed by giving gifts to friends and family at Christmas time, but we should give this matter more thought. The magi did not come with gifts for Mary and Joseph, but rather with gifts for the Lord Jesus. To what use were these gifts put? We are not told, but one plausible option is that these gifts were the resources which sustained Jesus and His parents in the years they spent in Egypt. The gifts supported the person and work of the Savior.
May we at Bible.org challenge you to consider the privilege that is yours to be a generous giver, because you share the nature of a generous, giving God? At this time of year, consider giving to support those people and ministries which proclaim and practice the gospel. Consider giving to bible.org so that we can continue to give the resources on bible.org for free to users around the world. Give, not just because you are instructed by the Scriptures to do so, but because it is your nature and predisposition to do so, as it is with our Great Giving God.
Merry Christmas from the staff of Bible.org.
Related Topics: Christmas