The greatest gift God gave to you was Himself, the greatest gift you can give God is yourself. The reason God gave you life is so that you would have something precious to give back to Him. The reason God gave you more than you need is so that you would have to give to those who do not have. Our God is full of compassion and He loves to give, God is thinking about you continuously all day and night, He is constantly giving to you, every breath you take is a gift from God.

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THE GIFT
December 21, 1997

(James 1:17 NIV) Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

When Jesus came to earth as a man and suffered and died on the cross so that you could be reconciled to God, He had you in mind, even though He had not created you yet. (Acts 17:24-27 NIV) "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. {25} And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. {26} From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. {27} God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.

(Ephesians 4:7-8 NKJV) But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift. {8} Therefore He says: "When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men." The greatest gift God gave to you was Himself, the greatest gift you can give God is yourself. The reason God gave you life is so that you would have something precious to give back to Him. The reason God gave you more than you need is so that you would have to give to those who do not have. Our God is full of compassion and He loves to give, God is thinking about you continuously all day and night, He is constantly giving to you, every breath you take is a gift from God. (Psalms 139:17-18 NLT) How precious are your thoughts about me, O God! They are innumerable! {18} I can't even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up in the morning, you are still with me! (Lamentations 3:21-24 NIV) Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: {22} Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. {23} They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. {24} I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."

When you give to other people it causes the presence of God to flow through you in compassion, compassion is love in action; compassion is the presence of the Holy Spirit. There are many ways to give; you can give physical substance for a person's physical needs. You can give words of comfort or encouragement for a person's emotional needs. But best of all you can give to a person's spiritual needs; one way is to give prayer for a person, which can meet all needs. You can intercede for the person at the throne of Grace, in front of the mercy seat, before the God of compassion.

You can also feed someone's spiritual need by giving him or her the Bread of Life, the Word of God. The gospel, the good news that God loves them and has provided a way for them to enter into the kingdom of heaven, and even better than that they can be friends with the King. This year you give to the poor and the poor in spirit, give them the gospel, the good news about Jesus. I recommend that you give Bibles to people who can not afford one and have no way to get one, in Russia, China, or any other country you choose. You can do this through The Bible League, at http://www.bibleleague.xc.org/about.html they are the most cost effective ministry for getting the Word of God to the world that I know of. Jesus said in (Luke 4:18-19 NKJV) "The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the Gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; {19} To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD." For the people that receive your Bibles you will make this the year of the Lord for them.

As you give say a prayer for the recipients of the Bibles, that the Lord will direct the Bibles to the ones whose hearts He has prepared for the gospel, to those seeking Him. (Isaiah 55:10-11 NKJV) "For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, {11} So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

For many of the people receiving a Bible this will be their only Christmas present, and for all of them it will be their best Christmas present, and their best Christmas ever, because of your gift to them. The most precious thing a person can own is a Bible. It gives the knowledge of God, it makes the poor man rich, it gives hope to the hopeless, faith to the fearful, food to the hungry, water to the thirsty, love to the despised, comfort to the lonely, freedom to the prisoner, health to the sick, light in the darkness, and life to the dying. The Bible League can provide a New Testament for about 75 cents and a whole Bible for about $3.50, so little to give so much. Today will you make some people very happy? (Job 29:12-13 NKJV) Because I delivered the poor who cried out, The fatherless and the one who had no helper. {13} The blessing of a perishing man came upon me, And I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy. (Acts 20:35 NIV) In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"

Because the giver always gets blessed more than the receiver get ready for the blessings of God to come upon you. The first one will be the joy of the presence of the Lord saying thank you. (Matthew 25:40 NIV) "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' (Matthew 25:23 NKJV) "His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'

(Nehemiah 8:10 NIV) Nehemiah said, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."

(Proverbs 19:17 NIV) He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done.

(Psalms 41:1-3 NKJV) Blessed is he who considers the poor; The LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. {2} The LORD will preserve him and keep him alive, And he will be blessed on the earth; You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies. {3} The LORD will strengthen him on his bed of illness; You will sustain him on his sickbed.

(Proverbs 29:7 NKJV) The righteous considers the cause of the poor, But the wicked does not understand such knowledge.

(Psalms 112:1-9 NIV) Praise the LORD. Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who finds great delight in his commands. {2} His children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. {3} Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. {4} Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man. {5} Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice. {6} Surely he will never be shaken; a righteous man will be remembered forever. {7} He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD. {8} His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes. {9} He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor, his righteousness endures forever; his horn will be lifted high in honor.

(2 Corinthians 9:6-15 NIV) Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. {7} Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. {8} And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. {9} As it is written: "He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever." {10} Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. {11} You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. {12} This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. {13} Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the Gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. {14} And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. {15} Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

One of the best gifts God has given you is the privilege to give, take advantage of it and enjoy the blessings, and the presence of God upon you, and in you. (Matthew 1:23 NKJV) "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us." Remember the greatest present from God is that He provided a way for us to dwell in His presence, now and forever. (Psalms 16:11 NKJV) You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.


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