The Joy In Giving
Tis the Season for giving! As we enter into a season of Thanksgiving, and Christmas, we are reminded of giving. We give our time, our energy, and money to causes, to others, to gift giving. Hurrying from place to place, Thanksgiving meal, to another, and store to store. We are rushed, stressed, and overspending most of the time. What if we slowed down the pace, stopped and thoughtfully examined what we are doing, and find the joy in giving.
Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away, I know Thanksgiving is such a special time for my husband and I. We met putting on a “Feast Fit For A King,” and fell in love. We were giving. To the poor, the homeless, and those who couldn’t get out, or had no family. It was a memorable day!! It was the second time I had done this special feast! I can’t tell you how many exactly, but we think there was 150- 200 homeless that came through, including dinners that were delivered. It was beautiful to watch these men and women cry as they felt the love and presence of God, some said for the first time. There was also 2 men baptized in Jesus name! What a wonderful day!!
Sometimes we get so caught up in us, that we forget to give, or we do it begrudgingly. We think about us, and the time we need to get to one family event to the next. Forgetting the reason for the day, we fill it with football, family, and food, and shopping and end up spending more time fighting the crowds, then loving our families. But when we slow down, and think about all we have, thanking the Lord for it, and remembering those who have so little, we can reach out and find the joy in giving.
Our Church, New Life Fellowship in Terre Haute does something very similar, they put together turkey baskets and deliver them to those in need! Last year as we went to try and help assemble baskets, there were so many helping we couldn’t even get inside! What a great thing!! People at our church love reaching out! We are thankful for such a wonderful church who doesn’t just feed people once a year, but the pantry does it every month!! There is joy in giving!!
Closer To Home
It is wonderful to reach out, and give to those who don’t have, but what about your family? How are you giving to your family? It’s a great question to ask yourself. I ask myself, how am I giving of my time, energy, and love to my family? Sometimes, we have to look inward, and see if we are showing to those closest to us that we care. To slow down, be intentional, and be present this season. I want to cherish the moments I have with my family. We are not promised tomorrow, so don’t waste a moment. I want to make memories and I want to do it with joy!!
With all the preparations, the decorating, the family gatherings, work, bible studies, ministry, and keeping up our home, etc., I know I need to spend time with the one I love, my dear husband. He needs me, just like I need him. Your spouse needs your time, love, and energy, given with joy!!! Sometimes you are tired and have given your all, to the day, work, cleaning, obligations, children, you may just be flat out tired. Let me tell you the importance of having alone time with your spouse!! It is pivotal!! It is more important than all the rest, because you are one! Give them your best and do it with joy!!
Where Do I Find My Strength
I find the strength to do all the above with spending time with the Lord!! It all starts with Jesus! Giving thanks, praying, praising, loving, being intimate with my Savior!! He has to have my best, and my first, for me to give with joy to all the rest!! He is my strong tower, my shield, my buckler, my rest, my comforter!! Giving to my Lord with Joy, and He gives back more than I could ever gain anywhere else. If I don’t spend time with Him, I am empty, used up, irritable, weak, and void of any love or joy. I can’t do it without Him! My Joy comes from the Lord!!
Monday: Acts 20:35 says, “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he Himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Praying today for a heart that gives!
Tuesday: Luke 14 says, “And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highway and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” Pray today you invite those who may have no one into your home this thanksgiving, if you have room at your table, pray God lays someone on your heart.
Wednesday: 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 says, “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” What you give it will come back, and how you give is important too! Praying today for a cheerful heart full of joy!!
Thursday: Proverbs 19:17 says, “He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.” When we give God blesses us! We can’t out give God!! Praying today to give to other less fortunate with joy!
Friday: James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” Thinking about all the good God does and gives to us, praying today to be careful with our words and being intentional with our time and love to our families that we may be like our Father in heaven.
Saturday: Proverbs 3:27 says, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.” Pray over your relationship with your spouse and see what you can give that is good and do it with joy!
Sunday: John 15:9-11 says, “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” Praying today to know this scripture and obey so we might have a fullness of His joy!!
Our prayer for you to day, is to slow down, think of why and what you are giving, and do it with Joy!! Take time each morning to spend with the joy giver! To love, worship and pray to the One who is a giver of all good gifts! As you do remember to reach out, take time with family, and spend time with your spouse! Most of all do it with joy!!
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