How are you? How is your week going? Have you been living in generosity and integrity?
I don’t know why, but there is always a bigger push for giving at the end of the year. We see Santas asking for donations for Salvation Army. We see holiday gift drives or Thanksgiving/Christmas dinners for the less fortunate. Even churches push for giving at the end of the year for tax purposes and new year pledges!
What are we to think of this? Should we partake in the spirit of giving during the holidays?
I believe we should rejoice when we and others give to Christian organizations that proclaim Christ. We thank God that He is glorified and the gospel is shared through both Word and Deed. We praise God that the helpless are being helped in this way.
At the same time, we realize that this spirit of giving should not be only during the holidays at the end of the year. We remember God’s call for His people to live in generosity all year round. We see this in God’s law like this past Sunday.
God’s heart is for the hurting, poor, needy, helpless, and broken. God’s community is called to provide for them in various ways. This requires us to live in generosity, sacrifice, and intentionality. This call to generosity is NOT an option.
Do we have God’s heart for the broken and the poor? Do we have God’s heart for the needy and the hurting? Do we live sacrificially in generosity, intentionality, and integrity for the sake of others and for the glory of God?
It’s easy to feel really condemned by the passage we reflected on this past Sunday. You may feel more discouraged than encouraged after reading this Word of Encouragement.
But you should be encouraged. Know that this spirit of generosity and sacrifice is in you. Know that you have the power to give to the poor and help the helpless. How? It’s because Christ did it for you.
While you were poor in spirit, Christ lavished on you the riches of His grace. While you were helpless, Christ helped you. While you were broken and needy, Christ served you. While you were oppressed, Christ freed you.
He did all of this by way of the cross. He became poor for us in our sin on the cross so that we may be rich. He became helpless on the cross to help us. He became broken and emptied on the cross so that we may be restored and full. He received the most oppression as He received the wrath of God for our sins to free us and to serve us.
This is a word of encouragement and not discouragement, because of Christ. It is because of what He has done for us. It is because He has loved us and freed us to be like Christ to this world.
As we approach this holiday season, reflect on your heart. See if you have God’s heart for the poor, helpless, and broken. Ask the Lord to give you a generous, sacrificial, and intentional spirit, which is the spirit of Christ, not just in this season but in every season!
See you on Sunday for Lord’s Day Worship! Hope to see you at Topical Study afterwards! And hope you can come out to our Fall Festival at 4pm!
In Christ,
Pastor Tim
Photo Credit: Here