I don't know about you, but when the month of October hits, I am thinking HOLIDAYS! It's the time of year when many of us reflect on God's goodness in our lives and we share that with others. The "Holy Days" come with an opportunity to bless people you love and to be thankful for all God has done for you as you enjoy the harvest of your crops...well maybe not crops...but you get my drift.
In addition to giving and sharing with our friends and family members, the importance of blessing people who are in need cannot be overlooked. God wants His people to be generous! He wants us to be known for loving Him and loving others. It is one of the best ways that we can bring Him glory when we obey His word. Matthew 22:37-39 challenges us to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind," and to "Love your neighbor as yourself." To do this, you might choose to buy gifts for children that are less fortunate, or put together shoeboxes filled with gifts for children in other countries. (By the way, please consider Operation Christmas Child as a great opportunity to bless kids around the world this holiday season!)
When it comes to kids, they more often than not get such joy out of giving to others, especially when it becomes the culture of your family. During the month of October, you can involve them in "loving your neighbor as yourself" by baking something you love and packaging it with an autumn theme. Allow your children to present it to your actual neighbors or even consider visiting a nursing home or an Alzheimer's home to bless a complete stranger. Take a few "blessing bags" to a chemo treatment center and see cancer patients' eyes light up when the love of Christ is shared with them during a difficult time. Have your kids write little notes that tell others how much God loves them and include some favorite encouraging Bible verses.
"Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, 'Come back later; I'll give it to you tomorrow' when you have it now."
This verse reminds me that when I hear of a need, I can respond to it in some way. Sometimes responding means that you faithfully pray for someone in need; sometimes it means that you send them an encouraging card or note; and sometimes it's cooking a meal or another act of kindness meant to lighten their load. I don't have to try to meet every need, but God does want us to think of others more than ourselves. This is an important lesson for your kids, because they respond to what you value as a parent. When you place a high value on the needs of others, they grow up to be caring and kind and compassionate too! Giving to others isn't about us...but it is good for us! This holiday season, just do it...give generously and feel your heart grow in compassion and love for others.
I'm interested in hearing from you about ways you plan to give generously this holiday season and the blessing you received from it. Please email me and let me know!
In His service,
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