2 Corinthians 5:14-15 "Either way, Christ's love controls us. Since we believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for everyone so that those who receive His new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them."
2 Corinthians 8:7 "Since you excel in so many ways-in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us-I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving."
2 Corinthians 8:12 "Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don't have."
2 Corinthians 9:7 "You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don't give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves a person who gives cheerfully."
How much do we really give? When we think about this we must consider, "Do we give until it hurts?"
We love giving. We give what we are comfortable giving. But when it becomes a sacrifice, are we still willing? Are we still eager to give with open hands? I think when we give we are to do so with open and willing hearts, not grudgingly. It should be an offer of gracious love.
Giving is letting go of self. It is giving up self for another.
Our time is special to us. How much time our we willing to give to another? Our material things are valuable to us. Are we willing to give to help another? For every need there is someone filled with a gift to share. Many times it's material things. It can be time spent, but it takes a pure, willing heart to give. A heart filled with joy. For a gift to be passed to another in joy it must be given with a smile.
For me, I give things to the Goodwill and the Agape house. But if I am honest. It's always things I no longer need. Things I no longer want. It's not that I am really sacrificing for another. I am not giving up anything I love.
Christ gave until it hurt. He gave all He had. He gave in love. He gave willingly and gave with a pure, undefiled heart of joy.
Each day whether we choose to believe it or not we reap the benefits of His giving. Through His gift and only through His gift can we have eternal life. I want to have a heart like Christ. I want to give until it hurts. Just think what our world could be like if we all gave like Christ. What a beautiful place we would be in. Can you see the joy? The priceless gift of giving touches a heart and leaves a legacy of love. An imprint of Christ's love, passes from His heart to our hands to another. That is just sheer beauty.
May today be the day we decide to die to ourselves. To die to our wants and give to another willingly, with a smile. As we open our hands to another, it opens their heart to see a picture of Christ. Our bodies should be a living sacrifice for Christ to live through. In our giving we are sharing in all He has given us. What a valuable way to show others who Christ is. As we have today, there may or I should say there will come a day where we will be the one in need of something. On that day we will want others to reach out to us, opening their hearts. When we share with others it just brings a bond between us. There is something special that passes between the hands giving and those receiving. I believe it is called simply, love.