Giving and Receiving Gifts

This is the next in the series I have been doing about how God expresses His love to us, and we express our love to God, utilising what Gary Chapman describes as the 5 Love Languages. We now come to the giving and receiving of Gifts. How does this apply in our relationship with God?

Firstly, does God express His love toward us through Gifts? Matthew 7:11 certainly indicates that He does:

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

I love the exclamation mark at the end of that sentence by Jesus. In other words, isn't it obvious? Jesus is clearly saying that our Heavenly Father is ready, willing and able to pour out His blessings on us, especially if we ask Him.

But God goes even further than that. He also blesses those who reject Him, which we read in Matthew 5:44-45:

But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

God loves all people and is continually pouring out His love in very tangible ways that we can all too easily take for granted.

What about us? Can we express our love to God through gifts?

Certainly! As we give of our time, our talent and our treasure in the service of God, we are expressing our love to Him. God has blessed us in so many ways. As we utilise those blessing for His Kingdom's sake, then we are offering it as a gift to Him. This comes down to attitude as much as anything.

Here is a suggestion. Whenever you are doing anything for the Kingdom of God, whether that be volunteering at Church, giving financially to the Church or other Kingdom causes, or caring for those around you, whatever it is, do it as an offering to God and you will know your attitude is right. You will also reap the peace and assurance of knowing you have told God in that practical way, how much you love Him.

A final thought. Giving of a gift is great, but it is only effective when the gift is received.

When we give gifts to one another, we like to know that the recipient has received it and appreciates it. It is no different with God. We know He appreciates our gifts, from 2 Corinthians 9:7:

Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

God delights in our enthusiastic giving because it shows clearly how much we value our relationship with Him.

We also need to express our appreciation to God for all the blessings that He pours out on us. It is helpful to us to be grateful for the multitude of blessings we receive from Him. This keeps our focus on Him and not on our current circumstances or the world around us.

Here is a challenge for this week: look for something new to thank God for every day.

God bless,

Tim Connelly

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