As we say goodbye to Thanksgiving and greet the Christmas season, I have been reminded of a common thread that ties the two together … generosity. You see a heart of gratitude produces a spirit of generosity, and the season celebrating our Savior’s birth is all about giving. That being said, generosity is at the heart of both of these holiday seasons. How clever of God to providentially cause America to celebrate Thanksgiving just a month prior to Christmas. The Lord knows that a grateful heart produces a generous one!
I particularly love verse 8 which says, and God is able to make all grace abound to you … so that having all sufficiency in all things …
The word for grace in that verse is charis which means good will, loving-kindness, favor, of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues.
In this instance, I believe Paul is saying that God is able to influence our souls to the extent that as we pour out ourselves to others (as a result of His influence in our lives), we will desire to give graciously and He will be faithful to provide sufficiency for us in all things.
The word for sufficiency in verse 8 is autarkeiawhich means a perfect condition of life in which no aid or support is needed, sufficiency of the necessities of life, contentment.
WOW! Isn’t that amazing? The more we give, the more content we will be!! That’s why I love the fact that Thanksgiving is before Christmas. God prepares our hearts to be grateful so we can be prepared to give generously during the season of “giving,” and in turn He gives us all the provisions we need. And as if that isn’t enough, He puts a big red bow called contentment on the very top of it! I love that!
I was reading a friend’s blog recently and she gave testimony to this very idea. Read my sweet friend, Lorie’s Blog and be encouraged by her story. (By the way, Lorie will be our keynote speaker at our Women’s Retreat in Feb.)
You see it’s true, even in the most difficult of times God wants us to give. Why? Because He gave His most magnificent gift to us in the most difficult of times – when we weren’t loving Him or caring about Him or giving back to Him – He gave us His Son, Jesus!
Ask yourself the following questions …
- Am I a “cheerful and generous” giver?
- What can I give this Christmas season that will cause me to trust God more fully to be my provider?
- Who has God placed on my heart to bless today?
So as you begin this wonderful season of Christmas, give! Give a smile, a hug, some cookies, a visit, a present, whatever! Just give! Give with a generous and grateful heart seasoned with God’s grace and wrapped in His perfect love.
Blessings to you my sisters!