A Love That Gives

by Brad Jolly

I love Christmas. I love looking for the best gifts to give to my wife and each of our kids. Usually, about a week before Thanksgiving, I will go to the Black Friday websites that have the ads for all the retailers and get some ideas there. I remember the first year that Walmart opened their stores on Thanksgiving evening at 8:00 to start their Black Friday sales earlier than all the other retailers. I was there at 6pm (when they opened their doors 2 hours early) standing in line to get one of the 100 Microsoft Xbox 360 gaming consoles they had for a crazy low price. My son wanted one so badly, but the price was super expensive, and he knew there was no way he was getting one. Well, I found out that Walmart was offering them for a ridiculous price, so I went early to make sure that I could get one of the 100 units they had.  I remember walking around the store after I got there and asking a store clerk where the line was for the Xbox deal, and she told me that the line started in the linens department. So I headed there and saw this crazy long line that stretched across two isles and was growing quickly. I hurried to get my place but was starting to get worried that I was not going to be one of the first 100 in line. It wasn’t long before another store clerk came by and handed each of us a ticket with a number on it which guaranteed that I was indeed going to get one of them. It took me nearly 4 hours between standing in line, getting my unit, and checking out (which took longer than standing in line just to get the thing). I hate standing in line. I hate it. I remember thinking to myself, “If I didn’t love my son so much, I would have left this store once I realized this was going to take forever”. But I knew how excited he was going to be getting something he wanted so much and not expecting it at all. But my love for him motivated me to withstand the torture of the long lines and endure. I remember getting home and my wife was just so excited thinking about how fun Christmas morning was going to be for him.

It was my love for him that motivated giving such a great gift. This is what God did for us also.

For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John‬ ‭3:16‬

I believe there is an intrinsic link between loving someone and giving. If you love, you give. God says that He loved us so much that it resulted in giving us His best Gift, Jesus Christ. You can’t separate the two. Your love for someone else motivates you to meet their need, or make them full of joy – so you give to them.

In James 2;15-16, “Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?”

God is showing us on a very practical level that love demonstrates itself in giving to others to meet their needs.

I believe that as we go about our day abiding in Christ, we will naturally see others’ needs and His love for them will flow through us to give to them. We will not even really have to think about it many times. We will just react by giving of our time, money, talents, wisdom, and even our things to help them.

Father, thank you for loving me so much that you gave me Jesus so I could be forgiven and made righteous in Him. Thank you for constantly giving to me each and every day as a reminder of your love for me. Help me as I abide in Jesus daily to give to those around me as they have needs, or to simply make their day brighter. In Jesus’ name. Amen