11 In every way you will grow richer and become even more generous, and this will cause others to give thanks to God because of us, – 2 Cor. 9:11 ISV
Starting today, we need to prove to God that we are truly thankful for all the blessings He pours into our lives. We can do that by sharing those blessings, whether they be talent or time, words or worth, things or thoughts.
Someone you see today and every day needs a kind word, Take a second to smile and greet them. Someone you see today and every day needs someone to just listen to their story. Stop and listen, really listen. Someone you see today will be hungry and/or homeless. Feed them, naturally and spiritually. Someone you see today is feeling worthless and unloved, take the time to assure them of their worth and value in God’s scheme of things. If we make it a habit to do these kinds of things daily, we will not only be proving to God that we are truly thankful, but the world will know that we have been with Jesus. When we share our blessings, at the end of the day, each of us will find that we are the one who was truly blessed and received the greatest blessing.
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’— Matt. 25:40 NIV
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
8 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult.On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For,
“Whoever would love life
and see good days
must keep their tongue from evil
and their lips from deceitful speech.
11 They must turn from evil and do good;
they must seek peace and pursue it. — 1 Peter 3:8-11 NIV
After the fact that Christmas is a celebration of the birth of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, the next best thing is the acts of love and kindness that we see this time of year. I would imagine that there is more compassion shown in the days from Thanksgiving through Christmas than there is in the other eleven months total. There are more smiles in the malls and more greetings spoken than at any other time of the year. It is a time of remembering old friends and family. Through this season, we can even tolerate those we would normally find abrasive. Everyone, even those who don’t profess to be Christians, is affected by and participate in the charitable acts and greetings. Perhaps, if we lived this lifestyle all year round, we might attract more unbelievers to Jesus. Maybe, this year, our gift to Jesus on His birthday should be a covenant to show His love all year long, to seek peace and pursue it on a personal level as well as “world peace”. After all it isn’t Santa who is watching us all the time!
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” — 1 Peter 3:12 NIV
9 Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 10 And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, 11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. — 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12 NIV
God hates sin, all sins, but He loved sinners enough to send His Son to die for us. And not just die, but to be crucified cruelly and mocked publicly. This is His example to us of how much we should love others, not just family and friends, but also strangers and enemies. The people that Paul was writing to at this time were those who gave of their resources to others who had needs and also gave to support Paul in his missionary work so that he could meet the spiritual needs of others and spread the gospel. How do we show our love for Jesus? By being obedient and helping those in need. Not just physical needs by giving of our resources, which we should do, but also giving of our time in caring for those with spiritual and emotional needs. A smile, a handshake, a hug, a word in season, a minute listening are all gifts that we can give each other and they are often much more appreciated than any monetary gift that we could give. These gifts we can give over and over since they don’t affect our budgets. So, we can do more and more. We need to be very careful of how we spend the time God has given us. The majority of our time should be spent in doing those things that will win the respect of outsiders and build up the Kingdom of God. By making it a habit to do these things, we will soon find that it is our heart’s desire to do them more and more. Not only will we receive a great blessing here and now, but we will also be laying up treasures in heaven.
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. — Matt. 6:19-21 NIV