If you are like me, as we approach the end of the year, your heart and mind shift to the holidays and all you have to be thankful for.
For blessings we received throughout the year. For ways we tried to bless others. For how awesome God is. For how grateful we are for Jesus…
The famous quote in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “To be, or not to be, that is the question,” may not be the question folks are asking this time of year but rather “to give or not to give…”
The year-end stats on giving for nonprofits are interesting.
Fifty percent of annual giving happens in December, and 80% of December’s giving happens the last week of the year.
Considering we (in the U.S.) gather in November to “give thanks,” and then in December, we celebrate the greatest gift of all time (aka Jesus’ birth), it is no wonder we are in a giving mood at year-end.
It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Giving is one of the best and most important things we do as Christians.
God set the tone when He gave us Jesus. Jesus gave His whole life, including His gift of dying on the cross, for us.
The apostles, in the early days after the resurrection, shared freely and all needs were met because of their giving (Acts 4:32-34). And Jesus tells us later in Acts, “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
Just like Jesus is the vine and we are the branches, love is the root of our desire to give.
Giving is a manifestation of God’s love for us and our love for Him through Jesus. Our founder, Howard Dayton, puts it this way: “Giving is not God’s way of raising money; it is God’s way of raising people into the likeness of His Son.”
Giving is living like Jesus. It is an expression of His love through us.
God gives us special talents, time, and treasure for this very reason: To share with others. When we invest our lives and resources into giving, into the things God cares about, we glorify Him. And it works out pretty well for us too, as Proverbs 11:25 tells us: “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”
Jesus encourages us to give and multiply the gifts God has given us. In Matthew 25, He gives us an illustration between sheep and goats. We are His sheep, and Jesus tells us when we give to others, we, in fact, are giving directly to Him (Matthew 25:31-40). How cool is that?!
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.
–2 Corinthians 9:7
So, how much should we give? Only God can answer that one.
We know we cannot outgive God, and we know God does not need our money. He wants our heart. But He does give us clues…
Jesus is the reason for the season. So, as you ponder “how much” to give this holiday season, search your heart and make every effort to do both. Be bold and give big!
Give all you can to the One who gave it all for us.
If you would like to donate to our ministry, please visit: https://compass1.org/donate/.
With your gift, you are helping people walk closer with Christ, experience the freedom to serve Him, and help fund the Great Commission.
God bless and have a great Thanksgiving and Christmas,
CEO, Compass Global
P.S. You can learn more about what God has to say about giving by signing up for one of our financial discipleship studies right here: https://compass1.org/online-small-groups-studies/.