I love this time of year because of the sense of expectation and celebration. This past week, we spent Thanksgiving in praising God for how He has blessed us. Now, we’re looking forward to Christmas, when we celebrate the birth of Jesus, and devote ourselves to our loved ones through giving gifts, breaking bread, and spending quality time with one another.
Even for those who don’t identify as practicing Christians, Christmas is significant because of the spirit of giving in the season. In the midst of even well-intended generosity, however, giving can become a burden, rather than a grace, as God intended it. Commercial chaos and financial stress can cause us to focus on ourselves even while buying gifts for others or giving charitably.
When we understand that God is a giver and that we are recipients of that generosity, we can begin to answer the higher call to give to others not out of compulsion, but out of grace, knowing our heavenly Father provides for us. But in order to begin to understand the grace of giving, we must first understand two fundamental aspects of God: a) God is a giver and b) God has a limitless supply from which to give.
God is a Giver
God modeled perfect generosity to us from the beginning of Creation. When He created man, He gave him dominion over all the earth, a perfect environment, and companionship with Himself. Even after we separated ourselves from God in the Garden of Eden, He made a covenant with Abraham, and in the latter part of his life blessed him abundantly with wealth (Genesis 24:1, 35).
Under the New Covenant, God gave us the greatest gift we could ever receive: His Son, Jesus Christ, in whom we have received redemption and salvation from sin, perfect union with the Father, and every spiritual blessing in Christ.
For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16-17)
It is God’s nature to give. He is a loving and perfect Father who delights in giving us more than what we need to survive, but in giving us the desires of our heart. We must ask God, and be specific in our prayers, in faith that He will answer. Jesus explained this principle to us when He said,
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:7-11).
A parent can understand the joy of seeing their child’s face light up when receiving a gift that he or she has waited for. As a parent and a grandparent, I still take great delight in giving gifts to my children and young grandchildren. How much more will God take delight in providing for His children? Unlike humans, however, God has a limitless supply from which to give.
God Has a Limitless Supply
As Christlike givers, we can see our situations through Father God’s abundance to us as His children, regardless of our financial circumstances. Jesus encouraged us not to be anxious about anything, but instead to make our requests to God, trusting He will provide. (Philippians 4:6)
And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)
This promise assures that God will provide. Note that it says “needs”, not “greeds”, so while I believe that this Scripture does assure His provision, I do not see it as justification for His meeting our every whim. Our heavenly Father is a good Father; just as a good earthly parent would do, He supplies for our legitimate needs and gives us blessings and gifts, but not every material thing we want.
God gives to us out of “His riches.” Everything belongs to God; we are frequently reminded in Scripture of who God is and what He has.
The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof,
the world and those who dwell therein,
2 for he has founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers. (Psalm 24:1,2)
We can never exhaust God’s supply with our needs. He is both willing and abundantly able to provide everything we need. When we are struggling with doubt and discouragement, it’s essential that we remind ourselves that God is changeless, totally trustworthy, and He faithfully keeps His covenant promises to us.
The Blessing of Generosity
It is foundational to our understanding of God that we acknowledge and trust that His abundant and joyful generosity to us is not contingent on our character, but on His. When we can trust and know that much has been given to us, and much will be given, we can live out of a place of provision rather than lack. Ultimately, this will allow us to respond by giving joyfully to loved ones; to those in need; and to our communities. We have received the ultimate free gift of grace in Christ Jesus; let’s continue to remind ourselves of the riches of His abundance and give Him thanks and praise in return this Christmas season.
Here are some resources to help you dive deeper into God this Christmas season, through generosity, love, and .
- My book The Grace of Giving will help you understand God’s abundant provision and activate you into a life-altering spirit of generosity.
- Love & Respect in the Family, by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, is a practical resource on developing mutually loving and healthy family dynamics.
- Crazy Love is a New York Times bestseller on God’s radical love for you, and how to live radically in response!