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The Giving Gift Empty The Giving Gift

Post  Admin on Sun 22 Dec 2013, 1:38 pm

December 16, 2013
The Giving Gift
Amy Carroll

"They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to
share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the
future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life."
1 Timothy 6:18-19
(ESV)

It was time to decorate for Christmas. As I set up my new artificial tree, I
pondered what to do with the old one. It still had lots of life in it and
rather than donating it to an organization, our family wanted to add a
personal touch and show love to a specific family.

We wanted to put into action what we're told to do in
1 Timothy 6:18-19,
"They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to
share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the
future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life." (ESV)

When I went to my volunteer job at the domestic violence shelter the next
week, I asked the manager for a suggestion. "I' d like to donate our
Christmas tree to a mom who has just completed the shelter' s program and moved into
her own home," I explained. The manager gave me a woman's name, and my
husband Barry and I made plans with her for delivery.

On the night we were to meet Robin* and her children, Tasha* and Nathan*,
Barry and I loaded the car with anticipation. We drove to her neighborhood
and hauled the tree and bags of lights onto the porch. Before we could fully
knock on the door, it was flung open to reveal the twinkling eyes of excited
children.
"I didn't expect a big tree!" Robin exclaimed. "I just thought it would be a
little one to set on the table!"

Tasha and Nathan literally danced around the room as Barry set their tree up
and showed them how to put lights on it for the first time. While they
decorated, Robin told me about her hopes and dreams for a safe future for her and the
kids.

As we drove away, my husband and I reflected on this truth; it truly is more
blessed to give than to receive. It's a glimpse of God's image in each of
us. We are created by a Father who delights in giving to His children.

That night, we didn't just give a Christmas tree and some lights. We shared
an evening of friendship, laughter, and joy. And gave the gift of time. We
brought the love that only Jesus can give us for those we don't know.

The Christmas season is a time we focus on giving gifts and doing good to
others, but I want to emulate God's giving and goodness all year long. That
starts by focusing on the way He gives. It's an overflow of His character and an
example of how He calls us to share what we have with others.

God gives lovingly. (Exodus 34:6)
God gives freely. (James 1:17)
God gives abundantly. (Psalm 132:15)
God gives wisely. (Romans 16:27)

As you're running errands, look to see who you can bless with a kind word or
a cup of coffee. As you're putting up your decorations, think about whose
home you could bring some festivity to. And as you pause during your day,
remember who you can give the gift of prayer and encouragement to. Let's all
develop our giving gift by giving more like our Father and by being a
blessing to others!

Lord God, You are my example for how to give good gifts. Please give me Your
heart to be generous and a blessing to others. Help me be mindful of the
receiver
and to give carefully to ensure my gift is a blessing. In Jesus' precious
Name, Amen.
elated Resources:
Visit
Amy Carroll's blog
for some practical tips and creative ideas for giving good gifts to those
who need it this holiday season.

The gift of God's Word and devotions by women living in the trenches
alongside you is always the perfect gift. Order a copy of the NIV Real-Life
Devotional
Bible for Women for a friend or family member by
clicking here. http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devo/

Reflect and Respond:
What do you have that you could share this Christmas season?

What steps do you need to take before you give to make sure the gift is a
blessing?

Power Verses:
Matthew 7:11,
"If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your
children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those
who
ask him!" (NIV)

2 Corinthians 8:7,
"But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in
complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you
also
excel in this grace of giving." (NIV)

*The names are fictitious in order to protect the safety of our friend and
her children.

© 2013 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org
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Join date : 2008-10-25
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Location : Wales UK

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