103/365 days of blogging
When I was a little kid I would hear stories from my parents how they got only one gift at Christmas time and how overjoyed they were to get it. They waited all year to see what small token they would receive. There is a picture of my mother and her sister, each holding their very own dolly that they had gotten for Christmas. They looked so proud of them. I asked her once what made those dolls different from any other gift they had received on any other Christmas and she replied “Because they were toys that my brothers wouldn’t play with and it was one of very few presents that we couldn’t eat or drink. You see they usually got treated to some candy or a bottle of pop or something that was gone in a very short period of time.
Now when I say I heard these stories as a child, it was coupled with stories of “how very fortunate we were” because many times presents for me and my three brothers would spill out from the bottom of the tree on Christmas morning into the living room floor. Oh how happy we were when we got up each of those mornings and after the question of “is that all there is?” we would actually have to decide which toy to play with.
The last few years I have not been in a financial position to dote on my children for Christmas. And surprisingly, my children are ok with this. I have never been able to “spill presents from the bottom of the tree” on any given year but I have been guilty of buying too much, well more than they needed anyway.
So I have had an idea for Christmas in our home from this day forward and I would hope that my daughter, the only one left at home, will share in my idea. (she is a good kid that always thinks of others before herself 🙂 ) I would like to find children that are getting no presents at all, and use the money that we would spend on our Christmas and give them something. Other organizations make sure that kids get things they need for presents. My goal would be to get them at least one thing they WANT. Not sure how to make this come to fruition, but it is a dream.
Acts 20:32-35 “ “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me. I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
This verse is set in the context of Paul’s moving farewell speech as he met with the elders of the church in Ephesus before going on to Jerusalem where danger awaited. He said that none of them “will ever see him again.” He enjoined them to keep watch over themselves and “Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood” (20:28)
The apostle gave an account of his faithful stewardship, and before they knelt by the seashore, prayed, and tearfully embraced, he gave to them his final benediction: “Now I commit you to God and to the word of His grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified” (20:32)
Paul reminded his hearers that He had supplied his own needs and the needs of his companions. He stated that the Christian life is expressed in the servant role — that of “hard work” and to “help the weak.” Then he quoted the highest source for his now familiar statement, “the words the Lord Jesus Himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”
These words reverse the world’s order of values, which believes that it is more blessed to receive. But the Christians model is Christ, who made the ultimate sacrifice of Himself so that we might know the eternal riches of the kingdom.
When is the last time you gave of yourself selflessly?