As a kid, I never tired of giving gifts. Each Christmas I would make a list of everyone in my family and begin brainstorming ideas for Christmas gifts. We’re talking grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, everyone!
Naturally, the result of this was that I spent all the money I made throughout the year from my lemonade stand and bake sales on my family at Christmas. I loved doing this!
On occasion, my mom tried to remind me that as a kid, I was not expected to get every single person in our entire family a Christmas gift.
Because I loved giving gifts, I kept at it year after year.
Sadly, though, somewhere along the way, whether it was during my teen years or as an adult, I began losing my fervor for giving.
Rather, I turned my focus to tasting the delight of receiving.
It wasn’t that I’d never enjoyed receiving gifts, but giving had always been more enjoyable for me.
I started dreaming of all I wanted to receive for Christmas, or what I wanted to buy myself. Eventually, I began feeling as if I just didn’t have enough money to go around anymore. Over time, I began believing that in order for me to receive everything I wanted, I would need to hold back money for myself.
I’m delighted to share that, although the shift from giver to receiver was a big one in my life, our great God is nothing like me!
He delights to give.
And give some more.
He, who did not withhold His only begotten Son; how will He not, along with Him, graciously hold nothing back?! (Romans 8:32)
He, the great God of love, freely and fully bestows upon His children lavish love and magnificent grace! (Romans 5:1-5)
This unrestrained generosity is what I am most reminded of when reading the beautiful words of John 3:16.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son,
that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Romans 6:23 further elaborates,
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God
is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
What do these passages tell us about the giving heart of God?
Consider with me for a moment what it requires to give a gift:
You Give Something Up
When you give, inherently, you are not keeping it for yourself. When God the Father gave us Christ the Son, He was giving Him up on our behalf. He sent Him to earth as the only possible perfect sacrifice, paying our penalty for sin which is death.
While God the Son took our sin upon Himself,
it was necessary for God the Father in His holiness
to turn His face away, forsaking the Son.
Imagine the pain!
The broken unity which had eternally existed!
Still, He gave.
You Pay A Price
Gifts always come with a price tag. Sometimes it’s giving up what we own, but often it means parting with our money in order to give a special little something. God the Father paid a heavy price in order to give us the gift of His Son. He paid the price of fellowship with His much-loved Son, that we might benefit from His sacrifice for all eternity.
You Demonstrate Selflessness
True generosity, always puts someone before self.
God as Father, Spirit, and Son collectively counted the cost of breaking their unity and taking on the consequence of sin for us. God cared more for us, our opportunity to spend eternity with Him, and our freedom from sin and death, than He cared for Himself. What a powerful representation of the depth of His love for us!
Why Don’t We?
That which stands in the way of us living out sacrificial generosity in everyday life to others as Jesus modeled is pride.
Pride says it’s all about me, my happiness, my needs, and my recognition by others.
All throughout the Bible we read of the destruction that pride and selfishness brings.
David went after another man’s wife.
Judas betrayed Christ in exchange for 30 pieces of silver.
Jonah desperately attempted to flee from God to avoid preaching redemptive forgiveness to his enemies.
Pride is nothing more than the complete opposite of love.
To shower upon others the love of Christ just as it has been lavished upon us requires a willingness to lay down our dark, disgusting sin of pride that we might take on the posture of humility, love, and sacrificial generosity.
Plain and simple, we don’t deserve the gift of Christ.
Not in the least.
But our Lord God loves us so incredibly much that, in the midst of our not deserving Him, He still chose to give us the gift of Christ.
If that won’t fire you up to give the gift of love to someone today, I don’t know what will!
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