I love to spoil my grandchildren. I recall times when I was accused of spoiling my children. When I say spoil, I don't mean give them whatever they want, but I certainly have a soft heart and sometimes give them what they want even when it might be a little outside my budget. Why do we tend to be so generous? Because we love, and love gives.
Jesus is the ultimate picture of giving love. The Bible says God demonstrated his love by giving Christ to atone for sin, even while we were still sinning. Love gives, in fact the Bible's definition of love is what it does and does not do, it always hopes, always gives and God's love never fails.
Jesus taught many things about God's giving love, one scripture I think has great application for everyone is found in what we call "The Sermon on the Mount."
Matthew 7:7-12, "Ask and it will be given you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks the door will be opened. Which of you, if his son asked for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So on everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the law and the prophets."
Jesus said just like when your child asks for something good, you're not going to give them something bad - that's how God is. So keep asking, keep seeking and keep knocking in prayer because if we fathers and grandfathers love to give good gifts to our kids, think about how much more generous God is.
Now some people want to take such scriptures and make Jesus into some kind of Santa Claus, but that's not what the Lord's teachings are about. That's why Jesus ends that text with what we have termed "The Golden Rule." Christ was trying to teach the deeper lesson of treating others and being generous to others and always using God's generosity as your model.
Have you called out to Christ for the greatest gift he gives? It's the gift of salvation - and it's by God's grace through faith in Jesus as Lord and savior. That gift is eternal and should be the first gift you pray for. If you've never come to true saving faith - today is the day. Jesus never casts out anyone who comes to him. Call on the Lord for salvation today, begin life with Christ as your Lord then go tell your local pastor what you have done and he'll help you learn about the Spirit-filled life that makes you generous.
Pastor Rich Lammay of High Sierra Fellowship is a memberof Carson Valley Ministers'Association.