Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen
The Gifts we Give
by Erik Momsen
The giving of gifts brings out the best and worst in us. It taps into our generosity and offends our stinginess. It calls us to be mindful and thoughtful of others and their needs. It also wakes the mall monster in many. The giving of gifts is the best of times, it is the worst of times.
Christmas is a time of giving. On the negative side consumerism is rampant and shiploads of stuff is bought and exchanged. On the other extreme caring people give to those in need and their struggles are lessened.
The T.V. craze of giving things away taps into the "feel good" factor. Oprah does it, Tyrah Banks copies and the "Extreme Home Makeover" gives houses away.
WHAT IS THE TRUE HEART OF GIVING?
Giving is at the heart of God for He is kind and generous, and likewise His children need to be. Most of us need to give a whole lot more but we must focus on the heart and mind of our giving.
The mistake believers make is that we observe the mindlessness of society and we recoil in disgust. Believers need to ask, "What is God's heart of giving?"
It is The Thought That Counts!!!
The thoughts of God are on us. He thinks about us and plans our direction and blessing (Jeremiah 29). Psalm 8;4 asks God "what is man that You are mindful of him?"
I'd rather have a thoughtful, prayerful and prophetic word from someone than a gift wrapped something. It says I was thinking and talking to God about you and this is what we think.
The gift of time
Thoughts should nudge us into giving them time. All are lonely in the crowds for nobody is listening to us. The time spent in shopping centers would bring much more joy if we just sat down and talked.
The gift of hospitality
One of the true Godly treasures is the table set with bread and wine. Note the center of our faith practice is the Lord's table. Jesus wanted to spend His last night on earth eating and talking with His friends. He knew that He was the greatest gift to them and likewise them to each other. They needed to be fed by each other's fellowship.
The gift of sacrifice
Jesus said to them at the table, "This is my body broken for you." The greatest gift was the sacrifice of His life. God would make any sacrifice to get His children back. Any gift that is worthy of that name must have an element of sacrifice in it. Of the greatest gifts by people is the sacrifice of their lives piece by piece to feed, clothe and educate their families. Millions do it every day and there might be very little wrapping paper involved.
Gifts to those who need
" ... your Father knows what things you have need of, before you ask Him." (Matthew 6:8) The Father does not give to win favor, or because He is embarrassed to arrive without a gift, or because it is the done thing. The Father give because He loves (John 3:16), He knows and He gives to the needy. Especially to those who know they are needy.
"I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted and the right of the poor." (Psalm 140:12)
"He who gives to the poor shall not lack, but he who hides his eyes shall have many a curse." (Proverbs 28:27)
The gift of our Hearts
The greatest command to us is to love God and your neighbor. Most people know about God but choose not to give their hearts to Him and love and obey Him. The Love of God makes new people of us who are able to live the love of God and share it
Gift of Gold, Incense and Myrrh
The gifts brought to the infant Jesus spoke of wealth, worship and death. Gold for a King, Incense for worship and Myrrh the bitter embalming herb.
"Gold I bring to crown Him again
Incense owns a deity nigh
myrrh is mine, it's bitter perfume - breaths a life of gathering gloom."
Date Added: 2007-01-09
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