Summary: Two forces at work – grace and gravity – (pulling us up or down) offerings & Christmas-time amplifies that reality...
The Grace of Gift-Giving
* 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!