Giving is an attribute of God. "For God so loved the world that HE GAVE..." When I think of God's giving to us, I feel so stingy and tightfisted. God gave His best. Jesus gave His all. Yes, He pours out upon us spiritual gifts, but more than that, He gives us tangible gifts every new day. He just loves to give. Any little desire to give that we have in us comes from God Himself.

Matthew 7: 11 says, "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" We love because He first loved us. We give because He first gives to us.

Therefore, in my humble opinion, the more we can give the better. The more we give, the more we are like God. I think we should encourage the spirit of giving, not discourage it.

As parents, we give every day to our children. We give our time. We give love, encouragement, care, food, and clothing. And of course we give our children a godly home in which to grow in the Lord and seek to pour into their lives His Word of truth. But, there is more than the day to day. God loves celebrations and I think celebrations are time to give EXTRA, just because we want to give. As one person stated, "We can give without loving, but we can't love without giving.

Some love to give gifts at birthdays, some at Hanukkah, and some at Christmas and other occasions, but whenever it is, let's give, and let's get into the spirit of giving. Let's give liberally.

The anticipation of giving gifts at celebrations is one of the greatest memories for children.
When our children were growing up, we gave them everything they needed to live and thrive throughout the year. But, when it came to Christmas we loved giving them gifts, and they loved earning; money to give to one another. Now, these gifts were not useless gifts. They were often things they actually needed, or special things they longed for and waited with anticipation all through the year to hope they just might get it at Christmas.

Isn't anticipation the most wonderful thing? There are so many children who have no idea of what it even means today. We are so affluent and children are used to getting something every time they go to the shops. As a child, I can remember the actual pain of anticipation as I waited for a gift at Christmas!

I have never believed in telling our children a lie and so they always knew that Santa Claus was not the spirit of Christmas and he was never included in our celebrations. But, when they were little (as well as the gifts they opened on Christmas morning) we used to put a pillow case of little things at the end of their bed on Christmas night. They knew that these gifts came from us. We would often pop in a few packets of raisins and even an orange, along with some little toys. Later, when asked, "What did you get for Christmas?" they would answer "A packet of raisins!" They remembered that more than some special gift they received! It's not the price of the gift but the joy of receiving a gift.

And did I say "an orange"? Yes, back when I was a child it was an amazing treat to receive an orange at Christmas! Things have certainly changed!~

Now, here I am talking about giving liberally, and yet I am not able to give a lot this year. And yet what I am giving is so exciting. I have been wrapping presents just before I came to type this post. Annie Johnson Flint writes, "For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again!" Sometimes I dream of having riches to be able to REALLY GIVE what I want to give. But, to give what we can is still exciting.

I love these words...
Love ever gives, forgives, outlives,
And while it lives, it gives!
For this is love's prerogative,
to give, and give, AND GIVE!

Love from Nancy

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