In preparation for the upcoming Christmas celebration, many people are now busy buying gifts for their families, friends and colleagues.  Besides the Christmas season, it is also a common practice that we bring gifts whenever we visit someone.  In fact, the more we esteem the person, the more valuable the gifts would be.  So why would anyone come before the most important person in the universe empty-handed?

In Deuteronomy 16:16-17, the Israelites were commanded that “they shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed.  But every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing that the LORD has given him.”  In addition, 2 Corinthians 9:7 reminds us that “each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

Do you remember the poor widow who offered up her two copper coins in Mark 12:41-44? Jesus commended her faithful act when He said to His disciples that she had “put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything - all she had to live on.”  How many of us have the faith of this poor widow?

        Would you agree with me that our motivation to give should come from a thankful heart?  Every man shall give …. according to the blessing of the Lord your God that he has given you.  Deuteronomy 8:18 says “But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.” 

The psalmist sang praises to the Lord in Psalm 13:6 because he knew that God had and would continue to deal bountifully with him according to His steadfast love, just as a mother would lovingly nurse her baby.  The Apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:19).  Can we speak boldly, like Paul and the Psalmist, to others about God’s love and provision?

Our heavenly Father has given us the greatest gift, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Rom 8:32)

May I suggest you remember how Jesus commended the poor widow who offered her two copper coins, and stretch your faith by regularly giving more than what you have set aside as tithes.  Consider giving to organisations (whose purpose is to advance God’s Kingdom), families in need or bless someone whom God has impressed upon your heart.  You can also refer to today’s announcement on GPC Christmas 2021 “The Missing Peace”: Give to charity.  Let your sacrificial giving be a joyful act of worship.