Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. For me, it’s truly a magical time and the snow and sleet this week made it even more so.
I love the decorations, time with family, the sweet treats, and the warmth of a roaring fire on a cold night. It’s easy to get caught up in the magic of Christmas and miss out on the opportunity it gives us to be generous.
This week, I get to help our K-2 graders learn about generosity and as I’ve dug into God’s story, I felt the need to share it here. Our kids’ memory verse is 1 Timothy 6:18.
Paul writes, “Command the rich to do what is good. Tell them to be rich in doing good things. They must give freely. They must be willing to share.”
1 Timothy 6:18
In his letter, Paul is helping Timothy to better understand how to lead people who are just starting to follow Jesus. Paul’s letter shares three things each of us should do:
- Do what is good.
- Give freely.
- Be willing to share.
At first glance, you may disqualify yourself because you read the bolded word “rich.” But, think again.
After visiting our Haitian friends, it’s easy to see how “rich” we actually are. Though we may not feel rich when compared to celebrities or pro athletes, the majority of us do not worry about our next meal, running water, electricity, or shoes on our feet. These are true struggles for many people – right here in Raleigh and others in Haiti or around the world.
Being rich in good works isn’t reserved for only those who are wealthy.
Each of us has the unique opportunity to share our prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness to all in need.
I hear you moaning and groaning. You think I’m talking about money. Sure, money is one part of the equation, but the list of good works we can do to bless the lives of others without spending a dime is limitless. Let me help you for a moment. Share the gospel with a neighbor. Pray with someone in need. Offer a word of encouragement. Visit a shut-in. Provide a meal to a needy family. Write a note to someone who is sick. I think you get the picture, right?
As a church, we also seek to do good with what God has graciously provided. Since becoming debt-free in 2011, Asbury had intentionally invested more of our financial resources into missions. Last year, we gave $154,737 (15% of our income) to local and global missions. I’m not sharing that to brag, but to show that we as a church feel that it’s important to who we are as a people and as a congregation.
What an amazing opportunity for each of us to live out 1 Timothy 6:18 and make a difference near and far.
Are you looking for a way to give back this Christmas? Support Christmas is Not Your Birthday. Not only do we celebrate Jesus’ birthday, but we can be generous with all that the Lord has blessed us with.