Living In Thanks And Giving
As we approach the beginning of the holiday season, Thanksgiving seems to set the tone for the unfolding of all the celebrations, parties, and gatherings with family and friends. Thanksgiving is not just a time of feasting, but a time of giving thanks. But what if this holiday could be lived out in a fuller measure in life?
There’s something about having gratitude in life that is also a catalyst for creating a magnanimous spirit. The holidays exemplify giving with people shopping and buying gifts for loved ones, or for numerous charities like the Angel Tree, Salvation Army, Toys for Tots, and more. And that attitude of gratitude and seeing others be generous sparks generosity in others as well.
When we have a heart full of thanksgiving, we can’t help but be generous to others. Being thankful does indeed lead to giving. When we realize how much our Savior has done for us, it can’t help but create a generous spirit in return.
As the holidays begin to unfold this year, let us examine our hearts for all we have to be thankful for in life: the blessings, the freedoms, for family, for friends, for our jobs, for health, for this country God has blessed us with, for the freedom to gather and to worship God. The list is endless. But in examining our hearts with gratitude, let us then be spurned to even greater acts of generosity. Let us look for those who may be struggling to buy groceries or buy clothes for their family, and let us give. Let us look for greater ways to share our abundance because of the many blessings God has entrusted our lives with.
I have a family member who has a street ministry to reach out to the homeless and many who are lost and bound up in drugs, mental illness, or just a hard life. Ben takes to the streets regularly to seek the lost, to help the hurting, and to give to the lonely and afflicted. He loves the seemingly unlovable because Ben has experienced the saving grace and delivering power of Jesus Christ. He and my nephew, Paul, regularly give Bibles to the homeless as they trust God for their ability to give generously. Paul also works in his church’s soup kitchen, though he already has two jobs. Why? Because Paul has gratitude for all that God has done for him. Paul’s acknowledgment is expressed in serving and giving to others year-round.
My nephews are inspiring me to examine my heart, and in turn, to find ways to give greater thanks and greater giving—not just this holiday season, but year-round. Like Paul and Ben, when we realize all that God has done for us, thanksgiving turns into acts of serving and giving.
When your heart and life are truly touched by Me then let that gift of thanksgiving flow out of you in expressed acts of love and radical giving. You will encounter more and more of My life when life flows out of you in words of praise and acts of giving. Let it begin with you, beloved!
“Give thanks to the LORD, call on His name. Make known His deeds among the peoples...” (Isaiah 12: 4)
“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” ((1 John 3:17)