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The Joy of Giving

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45

I would say for most of us, the Christmas season brings forth an assortment of feelings and emotions. Some feel overjoyed with excitement for a mix of reasons. Some feel exhausted and ready for it to “just be over”. Others feel defeated because of circumstances that are out of their control. And then we have others who wonder what the point of the celebration in this season even is. How do you feel right now? What words would you utter if we were sitting and chatting over coffee, and I asked you this question? – “Are you ready for Christmas?”

Would you respond with something along these lines:

  • Nope, haven’t brought the first gift.

  • Not even close, I still have three more trees to decorate

  • Yes… ready for it to over

  • No, and I’m stressed.

  • No, I’m not ready, this is a particularly sad Christmas this year because of – (fill in the blank)

Truthfully, I’m pretty sure I have spoken all of these at some time in my adult life. However, that doesn’t make them right and I hope today to open your eyes to a better approach towards Christmas this year –A way in which joy abounds throughout each moment of this season.

Last week we talked about finding the joy of the Christmas season by resting in Christ and remembering the importance of the baby born in a manger that changed everything! But why –how did Jesus’ birth change everything? The answer is simple! Jesus came to serve. From the moment of his humble beginning, the plan of His life was already laid out. The Son of Man (Jesus) didn’t come into this world to be served by the ones around Him, but rather His entire life was indicative of His service and love for others.

I often think about what would have happened if Jesus had chosen to do the opposite. What if instead of coming into the world to serve others, he served himself? What if He decided that he would walk this earth, and obtain happiness and achievement through the eyes of humanity? What if He had opted out of his service to his teaching and training of the disciples? What if He had opted out of his final service and sacrifice on the cross? It would not be the few select that surrounded Him that would have been affected. It would have been you, me, and everyone else in between. Jesus’ service and giving of himself changed everything. Without His service and sacrifice, as sinful humans, it would be impossible for us to be in a right relationship with a HOLY GOD.

While nothing is wrong with gifts and presents at Christmas time, there is a much more important means of giving. How are you giving of yourself this December? You won’t have to look far to find others that are in need of something. So, what do we do about it? Friends –we serve. We give of our time, our talents, our money, and our hearts and we serve. I can promise you that you will find it exceedingly difficult to feel like a scrooge waiting for Christmas to be over if you are spending your days attempting to bring a smile to others. Giving is truly a gift. When you selflessly give of your time baking cookies or chatting on the porch with a lonely widow, joy is brought to more than one person’s day. When you take your talents and offer them as an act of service to your community, lives are changed in the best possible ways. When you give your money to one in need – one that longs for a warm pair of socks or shoes with no holes, you not only clothe their bodies, but you warm their hearts. The truth is that it is difficult to focus on our own circumstances when our hearts are set on giving of ourselves to help the ones around us.

But don’t miss the most important part of giving and serving. Our good works will never make us right with God. You could work day and night to earn God’s favor but without you trusting in Him as your Savior, those good deeds only serve to make others smile. And while absolutely nothing is wrong with bringing smiles and happiness to those we meet –we are called to be imitators of Christ and give of ourselves for the purpose of bringing Glory to God. Service, giving and good works towards others should simply be an overflow of your love for God.

You may be moving through this holiday season with reasons that you may say prevent you from serving. I don’t pretend to know the happenings in your life. Your reasons may be because of busying yourself with things that make you wildly happy and nostalgic or maybe you are burdened and weighed down by happening that have made you unbearably sad. Whichever spectrum greets you this holiday season I hope to point you all in the same direction. Give of yourself, serve your family, friends, and community, help the ones in need and show the love of Jesus to all who cross your path. Instead of looking the other way, and leaving the opportunity to someone else, boldly step up and offer yourself in service. Jesus is our example and there was nothing in His life that ever pointed toward serving Himself. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve.

Dear sisters, we are the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. Today, in this Christmas season let us make it our mission to selflessly give to a world that is broken and hurting. In this place, you will find Joy in giving for the glory and honor of the Almighty.

If I can be praying for you in any way over this Christmas season, please click the button below, type in your prayers and I will add you to my prayer journal.

This month I will not be sending out a Bible reading plan. Instead, I would like to encourage you to find daily advent devotions to read to prepare your hearts for Christmas and the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If you are looking for Advent Devotions, please contact me and I will gladly send a few of my favorites.

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