Friday, December 18, 2020

Giving Is Already Our Lifestyle

In the midst of a global pandemic people are struggling trying to find a way to celebrate the holiday season. The entire year has been challenging and even as it wraps up, it still shows no sign of letting up on the relentless assault on our lives.

In years past, people of various faiths and religious beliefs have furiously battled over the appropriate way to deal with the holiday season. Even within Christianity there are debates about the way December 25th  should be celebrated, or if it should be celebrated at all.

Over the past few weeks we have been offering very important points for us to consider for making a Godly response to the pagan origins of December 25th. As Faith Leaders and Community Life CARE Coaches, we have decided to provide practical answers and solutions for you and your family.

Here are the three points we asked you to consider for responding to people who are caught in the midst of the Christmas controversy:

1.) Become all things to all men - 1 Corinthians 9:18-23 

2.) Don’t allow your freedom to cause your brother to stumble 
- 1 Corinthians 8:4-13

3.) Use the opportunity (holiday) to bless your enemies - Matthew 5:43-45

This week we are offering the fourth of five responses:

Response #4: Continue steadfast in the early church lifestyle of giving - Acts 2: 40-47

In the early church, they developed a lifestyle of sharing with others and making intentional efforts to help those in need. This was not a practice that came out of pagan rituals. The Church did this as part of the overflow of the life of Christ within them.

Never think of gift-giving and helping the needy as only a holiday thing. It's simply a Godly response. Christmas just happens to be a great time to do what should come naturally for Believers all year.

Many people claim that they give presents to others because December 25th is Jesus' birthday. Hopefully, we have made it clear that Christmas was never intended to be celebrated as the birth date of Christ, but instead, the celebration of the fact that Christ came into the world to take away the sin of humanity.

Therefore, even though the reasoning behind the gift-giving claim is a bit misguided, the practice of gift-giving is not.

Today, we are urgently trying to communicate that in spite of the historical facts, controversies and conflicts that surround December 25th, Christ must truly become YOUR reason for this season and all year round. 

The world will continue to celebrate the SUN god (in all its many names and forms) as part of their annual winter celebrations. WE must celebrate the SON of God and give a Godly RESPONSE to our non-believing family and friends, and to our Christian brothers and sisters who may not have this insight.

Many religious leaders are preaching strongly about the negative issues that surround the winter holiday season. However, we believe that it is one thing to expose all the problems with December 25th, but it is another thing to actually offer a way for people to RESPOND in this season and bring Glory to God the Father.

Yes, we must speak the truth about December 25th, but what does it matter if we cannot present TRUTH in LOVE and take advantage of the opportunity to lead people to a genuine relationship with God through Jesus Christ?

Giving gifts and helping the needy is more than a December 25th thing; it's a Godly thing. God gave us the gift of His son. For God so loved the world that He gave.....

Chris and Carol Green have been called under-the-radar leaders in rebuilding, restoring and renewing hearts and homes. The Greens are certified professional life CARE coaches who founded C and C Connections, LLC, a coaching and consulting business that specializes in equipping leaders in the principles of CARE (Compassionate Awareness with Respect and Empathy); and the Fruitful Life Learning Community, a Spiritual Wellness Hub that provides personal and professional development for Christian Leaders and Apostolic oversight for home groups, house churches, and ministers.