Joyful Giver

“They will be my people and I will be their God. And I will give them one heart and one purpose: to worship me forever, for their own good and for the good of all their descendants. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good for them. I ill put a desire in their hearts to worship me , and they will never leave me. I will find joy doing good for them and will faithfully and whole-heartedly replant them in this land.” — Jeremiah 32:38-41

I am the worst gift giver.

For one, I couldn’t wrap a gift neatly if my life depended on it. At Christmas, there are always beautiful packages under the tree for everyone except my wife. Since I’m the one who wraps her gifts, they usually end up hidden somewhere in the back where no one can see them. When gift bags with some crumpled tissue paper became a thing, I rejoiced!

But worse than that, is that once I have purchased a gift for someone, I can barely contain myself until I give it to them. I have ruined many surprises because I just can’t help giving it away…I’m too excited! That’s the real reason that I wait until the last minute to do my Christmas and birthday shopping because then the agony of waiting to give the gift is shortened. Elizabeth’s brother and his wife usually have all of their Christmas shopping done by the time Black Friday rolls around and I think they’re crazy. If I have found the perfect gift for someone and purchased it, I don’t want it to collect dust in the closet for a month. I want to give it to them now!

Maybe I’m the crazy one…or maybe I’m just made in the image of my Heavenly Father.

When you read Scripture, you see a picture of a God who desires to bless his people. Go all the way back to Eden, and you see that when God had completed the process of creation and had fashioned Adam & Eve, he immediately gave it all to them!

Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the seas, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.
Then God said, “Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food. And I have given every green plant as food for all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, and the small animals that scurry along the ground — everything that has life.” And that is what happened.
Then God looked over all he had made and he saw that it was very good! (Genesis 1:28-30)

God had crafted the world with great care and attention, but He didn’t do it for Himself. He made the world to share it with us!

As you continue reading, you see how God was good to his people, pouring out blessing after blessing to those who were faithful. Even when the Israelites turned from Him, God declared the blessings that he wanted to give them:

“If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! Your crops will be abundant for I will guard them from insects and disease. Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight.” (Malachi 3:10-12)

And the giving didn’t stop in the Old Testament. He expanded the scope of His new covenant from “Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” He gave His only Son to show us the way, and pay the price of redemption. He gave us His Holy Spirit to empower, counsel and comfort us. He gave us each a spiritual gift, to build each other up. Like ocean waves, the gifts just keep on coming.

We often hear the phrase “joyful giver” used to describe what our attitude should be towards God when we present our tithe and offerings to Him. When we take this approach, we are simply following in the steps of our Father who delights in blessing His children. Let’s all take a minute today to count the many ways that God has brought blessing and abundance to our lives and let Him know how grateful we are!

PRAYER: Father, we just want to pause and take a minute to acknowledge the gracious gifts that you give us day-after-day. Every morning dawns brimming with promise and possibility because of Your great love. We are humbled by Your generosity to us, even though we are undeserving. We will declare your righteousness and unfailing love forever. Amen!

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