Nov 18 2012

Giving Truly Is Divine!

Today I want to give thanks for those who recognize the importance of giving and who actually make a practice of it.  I have just come home from a meeting where members of my church made a decision to give away a significant amount of money for church and mission causes.   I am thrilled by what they did and am also very proud of them.  I believe with all my heart that we are all supposed to be givers.  As individuals who were created in the image of God, and who receive countless blessings from Him every single day, we are meant to give.

There can be no denying that God is a giving God.  As Christians we affirm that God is “the Giver of all good gifts.”  (James 1:17) We also acknowledge that God is responsible for all that exists and that everything we have should be viewed as a gift from His generous hands.  The Bible not only speaks of God’s generosity, it also explains why He is so giving.  God is love.  It is as simple and as profound as that.  In one of the New Testament’s most familiar verses we are told “For God so loved the world He gave His one and only Son…” (John 3:16)  God is such a wonderful giver because God’s very nature is love.

We see evidence of God’s love and propensity to give throughout His Creation.  In fact, the world itself should be viewed as a gift.  And what a priceless gift it is!  In a universe that contains countless galaxies God prepared a planet in our own that had just the right conditions so that life might exist in a magnificent manner.  He gave us a planet that has just the right temperatures and atmospheric conditions for life to thrive.  God created a world with the water, soil and air needed so that humans and a vast host of other creatures and species might be able to live together.  But not only did God create an inhabitable planet, He also made one that is absolutely beautiful.  I doubt that many people regularly stop to give thanks for this awesome planet we live on but we all should.   This planet, like the Son of God who would show up on it later, was presented to us as a gift of God’s love.

The testimony of Scripture and God’s “Other Book” make it clear that God is a giving God.  We can also learn from these that we, too, are meant to be givers.  Humans have the distinction of being the only living things on earth that were created in God’s image.  This is certainly an exalted status but God has made it clear that with such blessing comes responsibility.  Adam and Eve learned this right away.  God had work for them to do.  They were to tend to and care for the world God had made.  In other words, they were to be caregivers. (Genesis 2:15)  God would later reveal that we are also called to share His love, as well as our own love, with one another.  He likewise made it clear that those who were blessed with material wealth are supposed to give to those who are less fortunate.  Interestingly enough, when the Son of God did come to earth he talked more about giving and the proper use of our possessions than anything else.  He wanted to make sure we all understood just how important giving is, wanted us to recognize that giving is divine.

My life has been so richly blessed by people who understood the importance of giving.  I suspect yours has as well.  We should all remember to give thanks for and to those who give, but also bear in mind that we, too, must give.  It is through giving we show ourselves to be the sons and daughters of God.

–Chuck

(I took the top image of the Cheyenne River in South Dakota.  I photographed the whitetail deer and ferns were photographed in Tennessee.)