This Season of Giving

When I hear the phrase “Season of Giving” I immediately think of all the gifts I need to buy for my family before December 25th. Yet the other day I was reading through the book of Luke and came across chapter 12. In verses 33 and 34 Jesus gives us a straightforward command. “Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (NIV)

Give to the poor. I find it interesting that this command comes on the heels of the section where Jesus commands us not to worry about having enough. It appears Jesus is saying ‘God knows we need food and clothes, therefore go out and give to the poor.’

Isaiah 58 also talks about sharing our food with the hungry, providing shelter to the poor wanderer, and clothing those who are naked. James1 likewise commands us to care for widows and orphans.

Give to the poor. I love giving Christmas gifts to my family, but no where in scripture am I commanded to do so. I am told by scripture to love and provide for my family (1 Timothy 5:4). But…my family can hardly be described as poor. Our pantries and closets are bursting at the seams.

Give to the poor. Actually, Jesus said to “Sell your possessions and give to the poor.” I do have a couple of automatic donations that come out of my checking account every month, but the money I give does not require me to sell anything. I have been challenged this year to give more. Much more.

See the source image

I pray that you will join me in this challenge. When you give to a large ministry through mail or online, be sure to check out its rating with groups like GuideStar and Charity Navigator. Don’t forget local needs as well. Local food banks and community organizations touch people right where you live. And it is great to give money, but they also need volunteers to give of their time and talents.

Join me in reaching out to the widows and orphans this Christmas season—and all year long.

Give, but give until it hurts.

Mother teresa

Here are a few ministries which I support and highly recommend.

  1. CompassionInternational  https://www.compassion.com/
  2. Special K Ranch   http://specialkranch.org/
  3. Four Corners Home for Children (Navajo Ministries)  http://www.fourcornershomeforchildren.org/

Leave a comment: Which ministries do you recommend? Why are they important to you?

Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa

 

Excerpt from: Conversations with Mother Teresa, A Personal Portrait of the Saint, Her Mission, and Her Great Love For God  by Renzo Allegri

 

“You should come visit us in Calcutta,” she said. “You could better understand the real spirit of our community and understand the profound significance of the work Jesus has called us to do.”

“I would like to visit Calcutta,” I said. “I should definitely come. If you give me your address and phone number there, I will write to you and come for a visit.”

Mother Teresa took the notebook that I had nearby, which I carry to jot down my thoughts. She opened it to a blank page and wrote her address. Then, smiling, she told me; “One day in America, I met an important person who was very rich. He gave me his business card and asked for mine. ‘I don’t have one,’ I told him. ‘What?’ he exclaimed, surprised. ‘A famous woman like you should have business cards. In America the people who count pay close attention to those. I advise you to get some as soon as possible, and you will see that they are very useful.’

“I listened to that man and had some cards made. But I did not put my title and credentials on them since I do not have any. I am less than nothing. Instead, I wrote a few sentences that represent the principles I live by.”

Mother Teresa rummaged through the pockets of her sari and took out one of the cards and gave it to me. It was a dull blue rectangle of poor-quality paper with words in English:

 

The fruit of SILENCE is Prayer.

The fruit of PRAYER is Faith.

The fruit of FAITH is Love.

The fruit of LOVE is Service.

The fruit of SERVICE is Peace.

 

On the left side of the card, there were two hands folded in prayer.

“This card,” she explained, “allows me to follow the custom of important people whom I often encounter. They give me their card, and I give them mine. That way I can share a good thought, a good message. Who knows if someone reading these lines might not reflect on the importance and significance? I can do some good in this way too.”