Give The Gift That Keeps On Giving
by Dee Bowman

That’s a trite expression, albeit a true one. It makes sense to give a gift that lasts. Gifts that don’t keep giving are superficial, impermanent. Gifts that last say something special about both the giver and the recipient. They suggest that there was considerable thought which went into the giving. More often than not, if a gift keeps on giving it shows that the giver genuinely cares for the recipient. May I suggest some gifts that keep on giving? Please be advised, they are all gifts that anyone can give–not matter who they are, rich or poor.

            Be kind. Kindness is a gift, one not given much today, but a great one nonetheless. Kindness is a gift that procreates itself. One kind deed may generate dozens of similar acts before it wears itself out, or someone breaks the chain. It keeps on giving because there are so many different ways to give it. It costs nothing and yet it’s worth a lot. If “brotherly kindness” is “in you and abounds,” it brings forth wonderful fruit (2 Pet. 1:8). Kindness is a great gift–one that keeps on giving.

            Say something good. “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver” (Prov. 25:11). Words paint beautiful pictures, most of the time moving pictures. Good words travel fast; they tend to generate more good words as they move along. Say something good to someone early in the morning and it will likely move around all day. “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life,” Solomon said (Prov. 15:4). Remember, all that good fruit started with just one little seed. Did you ever notice that when you compliment someone, they can’t wait to return the favor? See? Kind words just keep on giving.

            Be a friend. A friend is a gift that never stops giving. Want to give a great gift? Be a friend. Who can calculate the value of a friend, one that “loveth at all times” (Prov. 12:17), one that is always there, day after day, through all kinds of weather? Good friendships grow over time; they keep on giving. A good friend is a gift from God.  And, “what a friend we have in Jesus!” He is at once the Gift and the Giver; and He never stops giving the gift.

            Give yourself a gift. Read more Bible. “The entrance of thy words giveth light, it giveth understanding to the simple” (Psalm 119:130). Light and understanding are continuous gifts that come from the word of God. You can’t exhaust them. The more light you get, the better you see. The more understanding you get, the better you do. Bible reading enhances every relationship in your life. If you read the Bible you will be a better parent, a better teenager, a better worker, a better grandparent or friend. You’ll even be a better enemy. Bible reading gives, and gives, and gives, all the days of your life.

            But we’ve not yet discussed the gift of all gifts. There is a gift you can give that keeps on giving past this life and all the way into eternity. It is a gift that never quits giving–never. Think about that–never. It’s the gift of salvation.

            You want to give the gift of gifts? Bring someone to Jesus. Bring them to know the Lord. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving!

            In John 1:41, we are told that Andrew first found Peter and brought him to Jesus, saying, “We have found the Messiah!” Look at all the good that came from Andrews’ bringing Peter to Jesus. Thousands and thousands of people were saved; and are still being saved. And it all began with that simple gift Andrew gave his brother and the gift of “the keys to the kingdom” given him later by the Lord. You can give that same gift of salvation to someone.

            You can give no greater gift than to bring someone to Jesus. You don’t know what may come of it. It could be the reason for many persons being saved. It’s the gift with eternal consequences. Bring someone to Jesus and you give them the most precious gift of all. Oh, Gift of all Gifts! It just keeps on giving.

www.folsomchurch.com

The Gift of Giving
by Dee Bowman

Giving is a part of who and what we are. Your father gave the seed and your mother gave you life. The rains fall and give life to the trees, plants, vegetables; the tree, plants, vegetables give bear fruit and give seed. We came into being by it and we are sustained in it. It is part of the human psyche.
God is the great giver. He gave the seed in the first place. “…seeing that He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things. And “…in Him we live and move and have our being.” (See Acts 17:25-29). God is the primogenitor of us all. Not just the progenitor, mind you, but the primogenitor of us all.
We are constantly involved in giving. We give a day’s work, expecting a day’s pay. We give attention to our studies in order that we might train ourselves. We give ourselves to certain activities, hoping to achieve some satisfaction.
But most of the giving we do is out of necessity; it is done to satisfy a need or achieve a purpose of some sort. And while it is necessary to life, and we would do well to continue it with wisdom and intensity, the kind of giving we do ordinarily is not the highest kind.
The highest gift you can give is one with a motive, one where you seek satisfaction for another, one where you give of yourself so that someone else will have pleasure and enjoy some delight—particularly one that is unexpected. The highest gift ever given was not deserved, nor could it be earned; furthermore, nothing could be given in return for it. That is, nothing but the acceptance of it with gratitude and great joy. “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (Jn. 3:16). An oft quoted but seldom meditated upon passage.
We are never more like God than when we are giving. Giving without the expectation of any remuneration at all, that’s God’s kind of giving. Giving whether or not there is any understanding on the part of the recipient. Giving when it would be easier not to. Giving when he who receives the gift has done despite to you. Giving when there is a disregard for the gift. Don’t you see? God did all of these.
The greatest gifts you can ever give are not of much monetary market value; and if they are, you’re giving them for the wrong reason. Giving your time to a project that is worthwhile, one where God is glorified—that’s a good gift. Giving your energies to help someone who needs you. Giving money without recognition for having done so (true philanthropy). That’s a good gift. Giving a word of encouragement to someone who needs it. That’s a good gift. Even giving a politely stated, lovingly presented criticism may be one of the best gifts of all.
I don’t know who first said it, but the sentiment is from God: “It’s not love until you give it away.” ‘Tis so! ‘Tis so so!
Now, don’t you see to what we’ve been coming. The greatest gift you can give is yourself. It’s the essence of discipleship. “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me,” said Jesus (Matt. 16:24). “I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service” (Rom. 12:1-2). It’s reasonable because it’s actually the only life that makes any sense at all.
Let us not forget the greatest gift of all—Jesus Christ. And let us give to Him our best.
www.folsomchurch.com