He Came to Give

"And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us,
an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling aroma."
-Ephesians 5:2-

What does it mean to give? Christmas is known as a season of giving. We run around like crazy trying to get the perfect gifts. We invest and pour all of our time into "giving" and after this season comes to a close we continue that giving in small ways. Perhaps tipping well, a random act of kindness, making an offering above tithing for a special cause. 

None of these things are wrong. They're things that I want to always keep as a part of my life. But yet, when I compare my version of giving with Christ's something just doesn't match up. They are far from identical.

Christ lived a life of real giving. His entire purpose in coming to this world was to give. He never once sought His own comfort, His own prosperity, His own gain. It was all so that others may live.

Yes He has moments of solitude, moments when He drew back from the crowd. I could try and use that as an excuse for times I want a break from giving, but lets think about what Christ did in those times of solitude. He spent time in prayer and seeking God so that He might be strengthened and built up to go give again. He never stops and that means that I must never stop my giving.

Christ never sought His own good or for Himself to thrive. 

If He had then He wouldn't have...come as a baby. That's not the convenient way. That's not the comfortable way. That's the way of meekness, denying all power and ability you might have. It's the way of absolute humility. 

If He had He wouldn't have....spent His life in serving, teaching, healing and pouring into others. His whole life demonstrated this concept of giving. He gave everything He could while walking this earth. He gave of His time, He gave of His physical strength, He gave of His wisdom and knowledge and He never stopped.

And most of all...If Christ had come so that He could thrive, He would never have allowed Himself to be arrested, beaten, mocked, persecuted and then put through the most horrifying death possible. Being publicly shamed and humiliated by the very lives that He Himself created! 

The life of Christ is the real definition of giving. 

Oh, to live as He lived! To never seek after my personal gain, to never desire to be promoted, to never put myself as more important than those around me. Jesus has so much work to do in my life!

This is the life that every one of us was created for. A life of giving. When we come to the end of ourselves and give ourselves entirely to the purpose of seeing others thrive by seeking to bring them to a relationship with the God of the universe, pointing them to Christ and giving them a clear picture of His love, this is what brings a smile to the face of our God. In the verse above it says that this, this life of giving, is an offering that is a sweet aroma to our King. This is what He is after, what He delights in seeing!

So in the midst of this season of "giving" I encourage you to pause and consider what it means to truly give your all and whatever you do, don't let that stop at the end of December. Live a life of giving, not just a season.

If you chose to seek after this kind of life, be ready! You have just chosen to go against everything this world will try to tell you to do. You will face temptations at every turn to do what makes you feel good, what will make you thrive. Don't give in! Not even for a moment! 

May your life's motto become- So that others may live!

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