Christmas Series: Generosity and Charity

Two of the most important aspects of Christmas is generosity and charity.

Often however that is forgotten in all the chaotic planning, in all the fun things like movies, events, light shows, caroling and sometimes even at church.

In the world they make the getting more important than the giving and even when the world mentions giving its really about the getting, as in getting your money.

The truth is giving, generosity and charity is so important to not just Christmas but the Christian life in general.

I have a Christmas story to tell about both generosity and charity.

Years ago, my wife and I were involved at a church that was definition of a family church. Every member except maybe 5 people (including us) were relatives of each other. The church had a wonderful heart but was a bit impulsive. One year they gathered brand new Christmas presents for children in need. They ended up with three large black garbage bags filled with toys. I couldn’t even count how many there were.

One problem, they had no idea where to take them to. The Pastor called me panicked asking if  I knew anyone who needs them. I told him I thought of one family but that’s it he told me to just take the presents to them.

Now this family was dirt poor and were on the brink of eviction. They kept managing to hold on to their apartment through help from others but at this point they were out of options.

We arrived and gave the presents to the children.

The two children, one boy and one girl were overwhelmed with happiness. The mother who had been raising them on her own was weeping from what had occurred. She revealed to us that the children had no presents for Christmas and she felt so ashamed of her situation.

The generosity and charity the church had shown her and her children brought joy to them in a seemingly hopeless situation.

Joy is another important aspect of Christmas but more on that next week.

Money and possessions isn’t the only thing that can be given. You can give your time, generously use your talents, love and complements are free, give those in plenty.

Be generous and charitable in your actions, in patience, kindness and forgiveness.

Be generous and charitable in the ways of God.

Have a Blessed, Generous and Charitable Week,

The Importance of Generosity and Tithing

One of the biggest things I’ve seen Christians complain about lately is Ministries asking for money. I’ve read people attack Pastors on YouTube for asking for money to help run their ministry. They point out they never ask for money for their online ministry. Well, while I never would want to criticize a ministry. Many times you see their ministry is just themselves with a webcam at their dining room table. You don’t NEED money for that. When someone runs a ministry that employs people, has a physical location, helps the community, does mission trips, etc. Money is needed. It’s not a luxury. When a Pastor talks about investments or finances, you see people attacking them. Saying they’re worshiping Gold and Silver or focusing on Earthly treasures. In reality God is not anti-money or anti-earth like so many say. He wants you to put him OVER other things. He wants you to use your money for good. Making money is not the issue, holding onto it and being greedy is the issue.

So if you are unwillingly to give to Christian Churches, you are the one putting money over God, because you aren’t willing to invest in the kingdom of God. How are you using your money to further Gods work? Are you spending it on movies or fun things or treats? Are you holding on to it because you are afraid you can’t afford to give? God said he would provide for you. Matthew 6:25-27 “25 Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air: They do not sow or reap or gather into barns—and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his lifespan?”

Do not worry, be generous.

Remember Jesus praising the woman who gave out of poverty?  Mark 12: 41-44, “41As Jesus was sitting opposite the treasury, He watched the crowd placing money into it. And many rich people put in large amounts. 42Then one poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amounted to a small fraction of a denarius.

43Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more than all the others into the treasury. 44For they all contributed out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.””

Nothing is too little, God appreciates your offering more than that of the rich man. Tithing is so important. The Bible gives instructions and points out its importance. How were the temples built, then run? Tithing.

Generosity is so key. Jesus relied on generosity. He needed it for food, shelter and clothes, along his journey in all the towns He and the disciples visited. He trusted in the Father to provide and people stepped up knowing he truly was the Son of God.

Also remember, the first Christians relied on each other, they shared everything in their communities.

Of course you don’t have to just give to a church. You can give money to the homeless. You can also give extra food or clothes to those in need. Maybe even make something. Your time and energy is just as valuable. If you are poor and can’t give any physical things, volunteer or spread the word. Tell others about how God provides for you and/or what he does for you. Show why God is so important in your life. Speak about him, write, sing, whatever you can do to praise him and show the World God’s love and His work. Build his kingdom, be the hands and feet of Christ. Be the Child our Father deserves.

God Bless