Summary: We need to think about our giving? DETERMINED GIVING? What will you give Jesus for a birthday present? Are we giving? Are we at the beginning of the end? Or are we at the beginning of a new beginning?


By Wade Martin Hughes, Sr.

Anyone that knows about my ministry knows of an experience I had many years ago at my Mom and Dad’s house. My Dad has been a pastor all my life. I was raised in a parsonage. I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly in people, not just church people, in all people. With tears of regret I tell you this story. Linda and I had been married 6 to 7 years before we had a child. We did Christmas day with my parents. We all had are place to sit around the Christmas tree as the gifts were given to each person. My older brother Charles never did Christmas with us and he felt it important to stay with his family. Dad was in the traditional chair, Mom and Linda handed each gift to the rightful owner.

My Mom was the biggest giver I ever knew. We were raised kind of poor, but joy was always around the tree. I was teaching school. I had a pile of gifts at my feet sitting in the floor. Dad had gifts surrounding him. My brother Tim, then Jeff, Nina, and my baby brother Howard gathered around. Excitement was in the air. My Dad always bought mom a watch for Christmas, no matter what she asked for he wrapped a watch for her. The gifts were distributed to the proper owners, and we started opening the presents. We were so careful with the paper as one year a gift was thrown away. We celebrated, the Bible story was read of Jesus’ birth. When we finished unwrapping and laughing with joy…. I HAD A BROKEN HEART, AS I REALIZED A VALUABLE LESSON…

IT WAS JESUS’ BIRTHDAY AND THERE WAS NOT ONE PRESENT, NOT ONE UNDER THE TREE FOR JESUS. I WENT IN THE BATHROOM AND I CRIED. I was so sorry, I ask Jesus to forgiven me. How unthoughtful could I have been. In the parsonage we forgot Jesus the babe in the manger? How could we have forgotten Jesus? I said Jesus, NEVER AGAIN WILL I ALLOW THE CHRISTMAS TREE TO BE BARREN OF A GIFT FOR HIS BIRTHDAY! I said if I ever have the opportunity to speak after Thanksgiving, I would always remember CHRISTMAS IS JESUS’ BIRTHDAY, not mine.

Ever since that Christmas I have worked had in December to have a present for Jesus. I have pastored almost 40 years. I have always remember THE THOUGHT “GIVE JESUS A PRESENT FOR HIS BIRTHDAY. He is worthy of honor and praise. I find myself with another opportunity to TEACH THE LESSON OF GIVING…


Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Luke 6:38 (MSG) Give away your life; you'll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity."

For years I have lived beneath the poverty line. But I have never forgotten to GIVE TO JESUS. I taught my sons to work on a gift. One year during a hard season for my family we POOLED OUR MONEY and bought a CASE OF THE SWEETEST YELLOW APPLES TO GIVE TO THE OLD PEOPLE IN THE REST HOME. The boys wanted to eat one, if they did there would not be enough for all the people. LINDA AND I GOT A CART and placed the case of apples and we went room to room, sang a song and gave them an apple a piece. They can’t chew? We brought knives and peeled the apples, the boys ate the peels, and we quartered the apples and watched the people smile and eat. My sons will never forget that year.

One year we bought socks? One year we played and sang in every rest home in our area? One year I went to jail 10 times and got permission to be locked down with each cell block? One year I made 2 gallons of fruit salad and took a little bowl around to the SHUT-INS? I started giving to people that had been mean to me… wish you could have seen their eyes when they opened the door to the preacher? God healed some relationships that year? One year I drove 3 hours and placed a big bowl of food and fruit salad in the seat of their car. I called from down the road and told them to look in their car. (Before caller id)

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