Giving and receiving this Christmas
Do you appreciate your children and grandchildren? Do the stories of disadvantaged and ill children that you see when the various charitable appeals run pull at your heartstrings? Do you think - ‘that could be me or my child’? Do you wonder how you would cope? We should be truly grateful for how well off we are! It’s another reason why we all need to play our part in giving to charity this festive season.
Recent political debates are in danger of encouraging a view that says we need to be selfish and look after ourselves. The great tradition in this country has been to be generous and look after the needy, the poor and the disadvantaged.
Have you ever wondered why there is consistently such a need? Why is there cruelty? Why are there disadvantaged children? Why does the problem never go away? What is the cause of the problem? It's one thing to give money to change people's lives it’s another to consider why the situation exists in the first place? That’s just life I hear you say! These things happen!
The Bible tells us why. It is because of sin. Our Forefather, Adam, brought 'sin into the world and death by sin'. If we are honest we are all in the habit of sinning. Sin is dressed up in many guises; pride, selfishness, lust, coveting things and people and so on. Sin rarely only affects me, it affects others as well and sadly it often affects people who have no power to do anything about it i.e. the young, the weak and vulnerable.
But the good news is things can be different! I do not believe that society can enjoy permanent reform as a result of a political solution. The Bible promises a reformed world when Jesus returns to earth but until then change is made on a ‘case by case’ basis! This is the essence of why Jesus came. He came to bring hope in despair, joy in sorrow and life where there was death. This life is of a different quality. It is the life of God as opposed to human life. It is described in the Bible as ‘eternal life’. Jesus talked about it in terms of knowing God – ‘and this is
eternal life that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent’, John 17. 3. It describes the quality of life now and well as the length of existence in the next life. This life is available to everyone because of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus but it only becomes effective in a person’s life when they repent and receive salvation as a gift from God.
Please, don't stop giving to good charities this Christmas but also give some thought to your need of forgiveness and salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
Thanks for reading this.