As we have all listened to the “hype” about black Friday, I thought I’d take some time to talk about “Toys”. We’ve all heard the slogan: ‘The one with the most toys wins”….. As we think about that for a bit, Is it our culture or just our old nature of self that haunts our fascination with “stuff”? What does Christmas have to do with toys and giving? Is it the glitz and glitter, the parades, or maybe the carols we sing, or candles and lights? NO!!! It’s not those things that we celebrate, but JESUS that is the real reason for this season that we call CHRISTmas.
I think perhaps our perspective is askew because we fail to realize that the “one with the most toys” doesn’t necessarily win, he just leaves the most behind. Well, if we will leave all the material things behind, where should our focus be? Let’s see what scripture says.
John 3:16 (probably the most familiar of all scripture verses) tell us “For God so loved the world, that HE gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” God GAVE!!! Am I concerned more about getting or giving? Clinging or contributing? Greed or generosity? Only “I” can answer that question, but Jesus gives us a great principle in Matthew 6:20-21 “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal; For where you treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Thinking on these passages, I am reminded that God GAVE us the best that he has and that is Jesus. He is the ‘WORD” (John 1:1 ), He’s the “BELOVED SON IN WHOM I AM WELL PLEASED” (Matt 4:17), and He is the one “IN WHOM WE HAVE REDEMPTION, THROUGH HIS BLOOD, EVEN THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS” (Col 1:14). God gave us all we need in Jesus Christ–His birth, life, and substitutionary death for MY sin. We have been given the greatest gift of all—Salvation that brings abundant life (“I am come that they might have life and have it more abundantly”…John 10:10), eternal life (“…not perish but have everlasting life….”John 3:16), a life of purpose (“….go ye therefore and teach all nations….. Matthew 28:19-20), and a missional life (ye shall be witnesses unto me…unto the uttermost part of the earth …..Acts 1:8). Peter tells us that there is “…given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hat called us to glory and virtue”…” 2 Peter 1:3
If I have been born again by the blood of Jesus Christ, I already have the greatest gift of all. But what am I doing with this gift? Have I shared it, or have I kept it to “myself”? Have I given other material gifts to the ones that I love and left this greatest gift unshared with them?
When we have been given so much, should we be as focused on getting rather than giving? If it’s the “Birthday” of Jesus that we are celebrating, how is it that we give gifts to everyone except the one that we say we are honoring? One of the greatest thing we could do for Our Lord Jesus is to be His hands, and feet and mouth to the world around us!!! I can give the greatest gift of all to those around me. I can live for Jesus every day. I can be the heart of the Savior to those He has placed in my path.
Am I willing to share the Savior and miss the Sale? To be the giver and not the getter? To contribute so that others might be blessed instead of clinging to my own self-interest? Is my witness one of generosity or of greed? Those around me will see. Would you spend some time this week seeking the face of our Lord and asking what He would have you to do to share His love and gospel with the world? Will we be the ones accumulating more “toys” or advancing the kingdom of Lord?
Please don’t misunderstand what I’ve tried to share this week—there is nothing wrong with enjoying all the blessings that God has showered on us. It’s not wrong to have things but it is wrong when the things “have” us. Let’s commit ourselves to see the opportunities that God has right in front of us—to help a single mom, to give a toy for a needy child, to feed a hungry person or family, to help a disabled person shop, or decorate or just mail cards to those in jails or prisons. There are so many that need what we can do, let’s give Jesus the best gift that we can—and that’s our heart and life (hands, and feet and resources). Have a blessed week seeing what God can and will do through you.