Some people love to give. It thrills them to share with others the blessings God has given to them. My observation is that most givers also love to receive gifts. It’s their love language. I think it might also be God’s love language. As I think about what I’ve learned about the Father and the Son this year, His joy in giving should not be overlooked.
This year I studied, meditated, and prayed through Ephesians 1 and 2. I am impressed with His heart to give out of His riches for the glory of His grace. He gives us ALL the spiritual blessings in heavenly places because we are His adopted children, giving us first of all even His name. He gives us the same love that He gives His Son (amazing!). We receive His forgiveness, His inheritance, His gospel, His faith, His Holy Spirit, His security, His redemption, His hope, His power, His headship, His mercy, His grace, and His workmanship in our lives. God loves to give, and it makes sense that He is pleased to receive our gifts to Him, as well.
I’ve come to see His generosity to me and His giving in and through me differently this year as I’ve gotten to know the Father and the Son better. Instead of centering on my relationship with God, I’ve focused on the heavenly Father’s relationship with His Son in me as He gives to others through me. This focus has resulted in a beautiful paradigm shift when I think about giving. Because of what I’ve learned, I would like to help you think in a fresh way about what is happening in you from God’s perspective when you give.
1 Cor. 1:30-31, But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
Gal. 2:20, I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
Rom. 6:10, For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
Eph. 2:10, For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Phil. 2:13, For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
The Father and the Son are Always at Work in You
Can you see this truth in the Scriptures above? God put you in Christ so that Jesus could live His life to the Father in you. Meditate on that, and let it sink in until it amazes you. You are not expected to live and die for God. He gave you His Son to die and live for you. That means several things:
- God is the source, the outpouring, and the recipient in our living.
- He is the supplier, the giver, and the receiver in our giving.
- The Father and the Son are always at work in our lives, and
- Giving is one of the glorious ministries He performs in us.
The Father Gives the Son Opportunities to Give
As Jesus lived here on earth, His life consisted of one opportunity after another presented for Him to love His Father by cheerfully giving. The Father obviously loves His Son, because He gave Him everything He needed in order to give for His Father’s glory. He gave Him the opportunities, and then He gave Him an abundant supply of grace. The thought I wish to place before you is that the heavenly Father is still giving His Son in you opportunities to show His love for Him through you. Is that the way you have viewed the events in your life each day? Have you considered that each person and situation you face comes from God the Father and is being presented to His Son as He lives in you?
The Son Cheerfully Gives to the Father Through Us
As each day unfolded for Jesus, He first gave Himself and then, as needed, gave healing, forgiveness, food, wisdom, protection, and eternal life, just to name a few of His gifts. I don’t think Jesus focused primarily on those to whom He gave, but instead was consumed with His Father’s will and delight asHe gave. If Jesus lives in you, I think the same is true today in your life. As opportunities arise moment by moment, if you are abiding in Him and filled with His Spirit, you may experience a cheerful outpouring of His love and generosity through you. Surely this is one of the reasons that Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:12-13).
The Father Loves the Cheerful Giving of His Son Through Us
I think when Paul wrote, “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7), he knew that only those who are moved by the love and generosity of Jesus could give cheerfully, and that’s why God loves them. In other words, He loves them because He loves the love and generosity of His Son expressed in them. We are more likely to think of these things during the Christmas season because if Christmas means anything, it means that God gave Himself to be with us and in us so that He could continue giving Himself through us for His glory.
This Christmas, Enjoy Giving as an Expression of Jesus’ Love and Generosity to His Father.
This next year, The Spirit of Elijah Ministries has many opportunities for the Son to love and give for the glory of His Father. I am excited to present to Jesus (in you) what God has placed before Elijah Ministries this next year. I am aware that you have many opportunities placed before you. I’m confident that the Holy Spirit will respond in those of you through whom He wishes to give for these ministries for the glory of God.
God has opened doors for me to give out of His riches to the following groups who cannot afford to cover either any or all of my travel expenses or provide an honorarium. When Alma travels with me, there is more expense as we cover her ticket as well as someone to come stay with Amanda. I would like to present the following opportunities to the Lord in you to see if He would be pleased to give to them through us as a ministry team.
- Travel to three Great Homeschool Conventions in Ft. Worth, Greenville, and Cincinnati. $1400
- Jan. 29-Feb. 5 and dates in Nov TBD. Global Challenge Expeditions, Jeffreys Bay, South Africa. I have been asked to return and provide training for 3 teams of young adults from around the world who will travel through 53 nations over 9 months to share the gospel and serve some of the poorest people on the planet. I would return in November to debrief and encourage the teams. I would like to have Alma go along to minister to me and the young ladies. Estimated costs: $3500
- Feb. 10-12 Living to Love Conference, Paarl, South Africa. This weekend will be focused on how to develop loving relationships. My book Equipped to Love will be the primary resource for the conference. Alma would go with me. $1200
- June 19-23 Reformed Seminary of Latin America, Medellin, Colombia. I have been asked to return and teach a week-long series on Living the Gospel to seminary students from all over Latin America. This is a wonderful opportunity to give resources we have in Spanish to these students as they can’t afford to purchase them. Alma would go with me. Estimated costs: $2500
- June 26-30 Nueva Providencia Theological Seminary, Medellin, Colombia. I will present the same series on Living the Gospel at this seminary. Alma would go with me.
- Dates to be decided: YWAM Discipleship Training Seminar in Curitiba, Brazil. This is a week-long training of young people who will be serving throughout the world for the next 6 mos. to a year. Estimated costs: $1000
- It has been my policy to not set a speaking fee. Also, I offer counseling and on-line discipleship without charge, trusting the Lord to provide so they can receive it freely from the Lord. This year I have discipled a group locally, 6 ministers online from South Africa and here in the states, as well as four other men.
- These opportunities total: $9600
These expenses are above the needs of the ministry that provide for me to serve full-time with The Spirit of Elijah Ministries. The Board of Directors and I ask your prayerful consideration with the Lord as to a one time gift or becoming a regular member of the support team in 2017. As a contributor to Elijah Ministries, you’ll receive a monthly email ministry report. Alma and I are so grateful for those of you who partner with us through the Lord’s love and generosity.