Christmas: A Time for Giving (From Charles Stanley)
Christmas is one of the happiest holidays because during this season, people are more generous than at any other time of the year. The practice of giving is not a recent innovation—it began on the first Christmas when Jesus was born. Everyone in the story had something to give.
• When Mary submitted to God's plan, she gave her body to be the first home of the incarnated Savior (Luke 1:30-38).
• She also surrendered her good reputation in order to fulfill the Lord's calling for her life.
• Joseph offered his love and protection to Mary and the child who was not his own (Matt. 1:18-25).
• An angel gave an announcement of the Messiah's birth to some lowly shepherds who were watching their flocks at night.
• A heavenly host of angels offered praise and glory to God.
• The shepherds shared the first personal testimony about the Messiah.
• The wise men relinquished the comfort of home to seek the newborn King and give Him gifts worthy of royalty (Matt. 2:1-11).
At first glance, these gifts may seem to pertain only to the first Christmas, but they each have application for us today. Believers are called to give of themselves to the Lord and to one another in similar ways.
Look at this list again. What gifts could you give to Christ today? Maybe you need to submit to God's will in a difficult area or endure misunderstanding in order to obey God. And how about others? Who needs your protection, love, or perhaps the good news of love in Christ?
I encourage us to think over what Dr. Stanley presents here. How will we approach this Advent and New Year? I hope you have a Merry Christmas as well!