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A word from Tim to you

Dear Friend,

I love this time of the year! There is so much giving going on. For me, this time of the year is especially meaningful because our daughter Darcy and her husband Greg will give birth to our first grandchild, which is a great gift to us. Trudy and I had three girls, so having a boy is going to be a new experience for us (I can tell you that little grandson is in for some major duty grandpa spoiling!).

One of the verses that is often quoted during this Christmas season about giving comes from Luke 6:38 where Jesus says, “… give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you” (ESV).

Many times, people use this verse to encourage you to give. Although I really believe that God does bless us when we give and that “giving to get” is really misplaced giving, that really isn’t what Jesus is talking about in this passage. If you read the verse in context, you can see that He is talking about judging, condemning, and forgiving people.

What He is saying is this: If we give judgment, then that judgment comes right back at us. If we give condemnation, that condemnation comes our way. And if we forgive someone, then we can expect forgiveness to come our way. But just not at the same level that we judged, condemned, or forgave. No! The judgment, condemnation, and forgiveness are “pressed down, shaken together, running over”—far beyond anything we could give.

I really love that forgiveness part. Wouldn’t it be great to know that when you mess up, because you gave forgiveness, then you can expect a great wave of forgiveness to come your way? That’s exactly what Jesus did for us at the cross.

So this Christmas season, I want to encourage you to give something beyond the “regular” gifts of time, talent, and treasure. Let’s give the gift of not judging someone. Let’s not jump to quick conclusions, but rather keep an open mind and seek to understand. Let’s not condemn, but let’s build up and encourage each other. And finally, let’s give that gift of forgiveness. God has forgiven us of so much, so let’s forgive each other. That’s love. That’s powerful giving. And that’s Christmas.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go spoil a grandchild.

Blessings,

Tim

“… give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you” (ESV)

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