This time of year, many don’t think twice about volunteering in a food bank, in a soup kitchen, or in taking a neighbor some extra peanut brittle made for an office party. This time of year, it doesn’t take much prompting for someone to drop some pocket change into the rounded-metal canisters sitting near to those folks who ring the hand bells incessantly as you enter your favorite stores. This time of year, everyone seems eager to want to give just a little bit more to ease someone else’s burden. Everyone seems a little more cheerful and wanting to make someone’s day a little brighter. This time of year, one might argue that the world gets a small, albeit, misguided taste of what it is like inside the church year-round.
It is a beautiful thing to know that regardless of circumstances, the church will be there for each other. Jesus said it beautifully when He said, “and everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life” (Matt. 19:29).
When the first congregation was established in Jerusalem, they counted all things common to one another and gave sacrificially for one another when brothers and sisters needed help (Acts 2:44-45; 4:34-37). Later, in other cities, the early church gave to brethren they had never even met simply because they heard that they needed help (2 Cor. 8:1-2). They gave urgently and willingly (2 Cor. 8:4). They gave, the Bible says, because “they first gave themselves to the Lord” (2 Cor. 8:5). Thus, Paul could hold congregations up (like Macedonia) as examples of the grace of giving.
Have you thought about how you will grow in the grace of giving this coming year? Have you made a commitment to give to the Lord more sacrificially in the work of the church? In a season of giving, why not purpose for the coming year to trust God more with your money?
Graeber Road church of Christ