“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15).
Paul certainly thought so. When he reached the end of all he wanted to say about giving in 2 Corinthians 8-9, his mind went back to the greatest gift of all, the gift of God’s Son. In verse 15 he says Jesus is God’s “indescribable gift.”
It means something like this. If I were to go to the bank and withdraw all my money and give it away, and if I were to sell my car and give the money to the poor, and if I were to give the clothes off my back and the food off my table to world missions, if I were to give everything I had and then gave myself as someone’s slave, I would not have given as much as God did when he gave his Son.
God can never owe us anything because all we are and all we have comes from God. Everything is a gift. Nothing is earned; everything is given.
Your life is a gift.
Your health is a gift.
Your career is a gift.
Your intelligence is a gift.
Your personality is a gift.
Your possessions are a gift.
Your accomplishments are a gift.
Your wealth is a gift.
You own nothing. Everything you have is on loan from God.
When I begin to pat myself on the back for being such a wonderful person, God bids me to look at the cross and see the bleeding Son of God.
Jesus is God’s indescribable gift. Anything I do pales into insignificance by comparison.
As you think about giving to others, I encourage you to remember your local church, the missionaries you support, and ministries that spread hope in Jesus’ name. You’ll never regret being generous to God’s work around the world.
Somewhere I read the story of a wealthy layman who loved to give money to support Christian ministries. At one point in his career, he suffered a series of financial reverses that cost him nearly everything he had. As he struggled to put his life back together, a friend asked if he regretted all the money he had given away over the years. “Oh no,” he replied, “I only lost what I kept for myself.”
We give at Christmas because God first gave to us. Be generous this December because God has been generous to you.
Heavenly Father, teach us that we only keep what we give away. Save us from spending our lives building castles of sand. Make us like Jesus who gave himself for us. Amen.
Musical bonus: Accompanied by the Piano Guys, Placido Domingo sings Silent Night.
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