Have you spent countless hours trying to figure out what to get for everyone on your Christmas gift list this year? It may not cost much financially, but there’s a sure way to up the ante on whatever you give this year. Read over James 1:17 and reflect on the gift of loving relationships. Afterward, take time out to write a small note of encouragement for each gift recipient, letting them know how much they mean to you. Pray for them as you hold their note and then add it to whatever gift you give!
Our culture consistently reiterates the value of having material wealth, but the heartbeat of Christianity reflects true wealth in another way. 1 Timothy 6:18 commands us to be rich in good deeds. Make a list today of one person you can do something kind for each day this week. Maybe that means cleaning up the break room so that the office Intern doesn’t have to do it. Perhaps it means helping a friend move or spending extra time with a loved one. It could even be as simple as writing an encouraging note to a roommate on their bathroom mirror. (Just be sure to use a dry-erase marker!)
Celebrating an Upside Down Christmas doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be relatively simple to reinforce the true meaning of the season—generosity and love. We can act on a simple exercise of generosity found in Luke 3:11 where John encourages anyone with two shirts to give one to the poor. Go through your closet today and pull out anything that you haven’t used/worn in a while, or something that doesn’t fit right anymore. Wash or clean those items, bag them up, and take them to a local shelter or tent city. Generosity isn’t so much about the money you spend as much as it’s about the love and care that you are sharing. What are some other ways you can embrace an Upside Down Christmas?
Matthew 6:21 reminds us to examine what we truly value. One of our core values at Eikon is that we will lead the way in generosity. We want to be a church that will go above and beyond to give to the work of God in our city. In fact, this past Sunday, we were able to invest generously into our city through the First Gift Offering that will go towards community engagement in 2019! Join us in prayer today that God will continue to use us—individually and collectively—to impact Hays County for Christ. Pray for not just financial investments, but relational and spiritual investments as well!
As we read the narrative of the Macedonian church mentioned in 2 Corinthians 8:1-7, we see that they exceeded expectations towards the grace of giving. The original Greek word for the grace mentioned in verse 7 is CHARIS (khar’-ece). It is used to express an attitude of blessing, kindness, and favor. As you wrap gifts or place them under the tree this weekend, pray a blessing over the recipient of the gift. If you see any of those people today, ask them if there’s anything that you can be praying about for them. In addition to their requests, pray that they would experience God’s love as they encounter this Christmas season.
TALK IT OVER
- What is something good in your life? (Your home, your family, your material possessions, your relationships, etc.)
- What is your favorite thing about Christmastime?
- What’s the best non-spiritual gift you’ve ever received?
- Name one thing that we do (as a church) to give back to the community, that you love being a part of.
- In light of 1 Timothy 6:18, what does it mean for you to be rich in good deeds?
- Share about a time that someone has gone out of their way to do a good deed for you.
- What is something that God has given you (tangible or intangible) that you would like to regift to others this Christmas season?
- Is there anything we can be joining with you in prayer for during this Christmas season?