This time of the year we tend to give more than at other times. Maybe it’s because we’re more conscious of God’s giving to us. I was reading in 1 John chapter 3 this week, and I was reminded how important it is for us to show love in tangible ways like God has shown us. Our giving is a display of our love for one another. The Apostle John compares giving with Christ sacrifice on the cross. 1John 3:16-18 says it this way. (Though I usually quote from the NIV, I like the way these verses are translated in the Message.)
This is how we’ve come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves. If you see some brother or sister in need and have the means to do something about it but turn a cold shoulder and do nothing, what happens to God’s love? It disappears. And you made it disappear. My dear children, let’s not talk about love; let’s practice real love. (MSG)
I take from these words that we are instruments of God’s love. When we give in a tangible way we bless others with the love that God blessed us with. I pray that each of us will be inspired for the coming season and throughout the coming year to practice real love.