Encouragement ExchangeHow could you give encouragement to someone today?
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give what you have
Last year, a few foreign exchange college students from Saudi Arabia celebrated Christmas with our family. When they arrived, they told us they had never experienced a Christmas in the US and were looking forward to it with great anticipation.
When it came time to exchange gifts, we carefully explained to our guests that the tradition of giving gifts to those we love was one way we celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ—God’s greatest gift to the world (John 3:16).
As one who has received the gift of God’s Son, I sometimes wonder what I can give in return. It’s helpful to realize that God simply asks us to give what we have (Romans 12:6). He doesn’t ask us to be more than we are. He simply asks us to do our best with what He’s given us.
Each of us has something of substance to give. We can give our time to assist a person in need. We can give our money to support a kingdom effort. We can help by volunteering our talents in helping others. It doesn’t matter how much natural ability or resources we possess. What matters to God is whether we make good use of what we have been given for His kingdom, whether big or small. Paul wrote that whatever we do for God with the gifting He’s given us, we should do it “well” (v.7).
Doing our best is the best gift we can give Him in return for sending Jesus to rescue us and for the gift of new life. What we give back won’t be enough to bring His kingdom to earth as it is in heaven, but it will help.
As the apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Corinth, “Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless” (1 Corinthians 15:58). —Jeff Olson
In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you (v.6).
Meditate on Philippians 1:6 and apply it to the way you use your time, talents, and treasures today.
How can you put the talents and resources God has given you to better use? Why is it important for us to give back to God?
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