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Summary: Two forces at work – grace and gravity – (pulling us up or down) offerings & Christmas-time amplifies that reality...

The Grace of Gift-Giving

II Corinthians 9:6-11, 15

* Two forces at work – grace and gravity – (pulling us up or down) Christmas amplifies that reality

* Most unusual Christmas message – while most preachers work at emphasizing Christ, turning our attention away from presents…I’d like to look at grace’s heart…a giving heart…gifts and grace.

* While I will concede that most of us are far too gone in the commercialized “Holiday”…there’s still much to learn

* Its funny: that difference between Wal-mart and Church…when it comes to $100.00

* Giving gifts helps balance us out…it opens our minds, our hearts and even our wallets and purses to others. *It counteracts our selfish streak that seems to dominate far too often! (Ill.: 2-3 years ago – my Christmas gift: Grumpy mug)

Why Grace makes Giving so attractive:

Grace makes giving personal – it individualizes the gift (verse 7)

* Personal “from” and “to” … “it’s the thought that counts.”

Grace makes giving joyful and fun – (verse 7) – “with hilarity”

* Watch the one who’s giving – not the one receiving (Psalms 22:24)

* The Lord did not turn his back…He was watching us!

* We should be able to give willingly – without expectancy, without duty

Grace links me to God’s supply (verse 8)

* (8:12) – Start by giving of what we have (my boys…) not by what we don’t (‘Hello Visa”) and then God blesses it…seed, fruit and bread (them, us, future) (That’s a win, win, win situation I’ve put myself into!)

* My dad…”Buy the boys gifts for us and we’ll give you the money. “I know I would be reimbursed…Trust him!

* When you give:

* Be willing and joyful when you give

* Give of yourself

* Believe that God will take care of you!

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