Saturday, November 19, 2011

Gratitude, Day 18 (Giving)

Let each one [give] as he has made up his own mind and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion, for God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, "prompt to do it") giver [whose heart is in his giving]. 2 Corinthians 9:7 (AMP).

I'm so thankful that God so generously gives to us: are we passing along those blessings to others?  There are so many ways we can give of ourselves.  Today I'll mention one of those - the giving of our time.

I know we all have busy days, but if we purpose to spend just a few hours per week in giving of our time, think of the changes we could effect in others lives and in our own!  One way I like to offer my time is to call or email someone who may be going through a difficult time and let them know I am thinking of them and keeping them in prayer.  There is nothing more uplifting to those who are feeling low than to get a phone call, letter or email from someone who cares.  I know, because I've been there.  If possible, taking them a small gift, a meal or a card will brighten their day and do so much to cheer them up.  They'll be blessed and you'll feel as though you've been the one who has received the greater blessing!

I enjoy giving my time in doing volunteer work at my church.  I love making visitors and members of our congregation feel welcome by greeting them as they come into church.  Years ago someone did the same for me on my first Sunday there and I know many times it can make the difference whether they return the next week or not.  I also enjoy hosting a table, greeting and signing the ladies in for our weekly women's Bible study.  I get to know each one a little better as the weeks go by and like to ask how they're doing and let them know they were missed if they weren't in class the previous week.  I've worked in other areas of the church, but talking face to face with others is my favorite thing to do.  I want to show them God's love and let them know I care about them, too. 

Dear Lord, thank You for giving so generously to us every day.  You give us Your love, Your mercy and great grace, Your favor, Your provision and protection, but the greatest gift of all is Your dear Son and our precious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Help us to give back to You our love and devotion and to pass along Your blessings to those around us who are in need.  In Your mighty and glorious name I pray, Amen.