Advent is the season observed by the expectant waiting and preparation of the coming of Jesus, not only at His birth but with His second coming. We have observed this by the lighting of our candles over the last four weeks representing Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. Then on Christmas Eve we light the Christ Candle in remembrance of the birth of Jesus. Jesus was God's present to us and God's presence among us. We continue to receive our Heavenly gifts because Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be with us to guide us until His second coming.
We celebrate Christmas time as a time of gift exchanging among each other. But what about God? Quid Pro Quo - no way could we ever get even with what we receive. But, what can we give back to God? I found a suggestion by Pastor Greg Laurie: The 3 Things We Can Give to God This Year
As we enter a new year, here is something to remember: When it's all said and done, we have three things we can offer God-our treasure, our talent, and our time. Each of these is given to us by God, and each of them should be given back in generous portions.
First, there is our treasure. I urge you to commit yourself to give faithfully and generously to the Lord in this coming year. Jesus said, "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matthew 6:21 NKJV). Whenever we put our money into something, we develop a vested interest in it. It makes sense to us that we would place our treasures where our hearts are. If we love reading books, or being entertained, or the latest technology, we spend our treasure on those things. And if our heart's desires change, that changes where we put our treasure. But it works the other way too: Where we put our treasures, our heart will follow. Do you want your heart to be in the things of God? Then put your treasures in the things of God! Develop a vested interest in God's kingdom.
The second thing we can give to God is our talent. God has gifted each believer in different ways. Everyone has something to offer for the work of the kingdom. Romans 12 says, "Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ's body. We are all parts of His one body, and each of us different work to do" (NLT).
Finally, there is our time. Let's say that one day your phone rang, and it is the president of the bank that you use. He told you that an anonymous donor who loved you very much had decided to deposit 86,400 pennies into your bank account each and every morning. At first, maybe that didn't seem like a lot. But then you figured out that it was $864 a day. At seven days a week and 52 weeks a year, those pennies add up to almost $315,000 each year! But the bank president added one thing: "The anonymous giver said you must spend all of the money on the day you receive it! No balance will be carried over to the next day. Each evening the bank must cancel whatever sum you failed to use! Remember, what you don't spend is lost."
That may sound like fantasy, but here's the reality: Every morning, someone who loves you very much, deposits into your "bank of time" 86,400 seconds, which represent 1,440 minutes, which, of course, equals 24 hours each and every day. God gives you that much to use each day. Nothing is ever carried over on credit to the next day. There is no such thing as a 27-hour day. It is called time, and you can't escape it. Time is ticking away right now. The Bible tells us to "redeem the time"-to make sacred and wise use of every opportunity.
Offer God your treasure, your talent, and your time. Live this next year as if it were your last, because it could be. Make those minutes count!
Carolyn and I wish you a Happy New Year and remember,
God Loves You and There's Nothing You Can Do About It!