It’s probably hard to believe but as a teenager I struggled with disrespect. My mom was frustrated with me and decided to take me to the store just her and I so we could talk. She had a long heavy talk with me about my attitude and how important it was for me to understand respect. We ended up at Big R where there were a bunch of baby ducks in a tank. We enjoyed looking at them and then she said I could have one. We got the duck and I named it “Selah” which is after many verses in Psalms giving direction to ponder the previous passage or prepare for worship. Ultimately that duck became an ongoing reminder to me for some time to consider my character, my testimony, and my relationships. It was a gift.
Gifts bring joy, they satisfy needs, and they give us something to do or talk about. Gifts change us. Everyone talks about the gift of eternal life but what gifts are for the here and now? Why are gifts so important?
2 Corinthians 9:6-15
“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.” 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. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others 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. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”
2 Corinthians 9:6-15 NIV
Joseph gave Esau gifts to rectify their relationship after stealing his birthright. God gave Abraham gifts. The Bible is full of gift giving examples. We are to give and receive gifts. We are also to be expectant of gifts and God blessing us.
“Caleb said, “Whoever attacks Kiriath Sepher and takes it, I’ll give my daughter Acsah to him as his wife.” Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s brother, took it; so Caleb gave him his daughter Acsah as his wife.
When she arrived she got him to ask for farmland from her father. As she dismounted from her donkey Caleb asked her, “What would you like?” She said, “Give me a marriage gift. You’ve given me desert land; Now give me pools of water!” And he gave her the upper and the lower pools.”
Joshua 15:16-19 MSG
Recognize this was such a monumental thing the same story was told again in Judges.
“Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s brother, took it, so Caleb gave him his daughter Acsah as his wife. When she arrived she got him to ask for farmland from her father. As she dismounted from her donkey Caleb asked her, “What would you like?” She said, “Give me a marriage gift. You’ve given me desert land; Now give me pools of water!” And he gave her the upper and the lower pools.”
Judges 1:13-15 MSG
In spite of it all Caleb was disrespected for 40 years. Ultimately they took the land and he was able to bless his daughter with the best. It was a nice gift. We love the gifts we get and give but the daily important gift must not be forgotten.
““Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage. “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.”
Matthew 5:13-16 MSG
Here is your gift, every day in everything you do and touch let them see Jesus, self-reflect. When you are driving, talking, eating, working, and thinking. Give gifts, receive the gifts, but most of all give the gift of Christ to everyone you see.
“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
Galatians 6:10 NIV
You never know you may have been their last hope. I believe and thank you for your gift to the community. People are so blessed by you and I really believe you are my gift and the gift to others.
Philip Lukens is the senior pastor of the Carr Community Church. To receive updates please enter your e-mail address below and click subscribe.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.