“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ; that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9
A search on the word ‘generosity’ brought the following; “the habit of giving freely without expecting anything in return. It can involve offering time, talents or assets to aid someone in need. Often equated with charity as a virtue, generosity is widely accepted in society as a desirable trait.” The attached photo is of the gifts for my daughters, son-in-law and three grandchildren. My friends from Haiti that read these devotions on the Trinity/HOPE web site will look with awe at the tree and packages; thankfully the room was dark and the crumpled and crooked wrapping paper is hidden. The real earthly treasures for me in this photo are the clock my dad made, the beer stein my sister brought back from Germany and the green baby blanket under the tree that my mom made and the photo of my dad a week before he celebrated Christmas in Heaven. Hopefully, the ‘stuff’ under my tree will bring smiles and memories to my family but last month I sent a gift to Trinity/HOPE that will bring many more smiles to Haitian children than I will ever know; but it brought a smile to my face. Too often, we evaluate the size of our spiritual life by the ‘things’ that we have done and continue to do for our Heavenly Father. We keep track of the hours we spend serving on Church boards, the amount of our tax deductible giving, the miles we drive to make visitations to shut-ins, the times we sing in choirs and keep track of our time spent in Bible study. These are certainly all good things to do for our Triune God, but it’s not about what we have done or can ever accomplish within His kingdom that truly matters; it’s all about what He has done for us. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ humbled Himself to become like us in flesh and died on the cross for our sins. When it comes to generosity, you cannot do more than what He did for you; generosity begins and ends with Jesus Christ. Before you crawl under your tree this year spend some quality time giving thanks for the priceless gift you received from our Heavenly Father. An unknown soul wrote the words for the hymn ‘Let us all with gladsome voice’ in 1632 and seemed like a wonderful way to close today’s devotion.
“Let us all with gladsome voice praise the God of heaven, Who, to bid our hearts rejoice,
His own Son hath given. To this vale of tears He comes, here to serve in sadness, that with Him in heaven's fair homes we may reign in gladness. We are rich, for He was poor; is not this a wonder? Therefore praise God evermore here on earth and yonder. 0 Lord Christ, our Savior dear, be Thou ever near us. Grant us now a glad new year. Amen, Jesus, hear us!”
Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.
May God be with you…Jay