Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.
At Mars Hill Church, we always take time
during the Advent season to reflect on the incredible generosity of our God. He is the best giver of the best gifts, starting with the gift of his Son, Jesus.
In light of this, we thought it would be appropriate to share some of the great gifts from our great God to dwell on in this busy time of year.
God gives us life.
"The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life." –Job 33:4
God worked graciously at Mars Hill this year
, but none of us would even be here to enjoy it without God’s gift of life. He created us, he sustains us, and he decides when we’ll meet him face to face.
God gives us everything we have.
"A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven." –John 3:27
Everything we have—including our families, friends, church, finances, jobs, houses, investments, credit, equity, cash, businesses, automobiles, and more—is given to us by God and is part of our treasure. We are stewards of these treasures, not owners. Good stewards make every effort to manage their treasure according to the heart and will of the one to whom it ultimately belongs.
God gives us Jesus.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." –John 3:16
Of all the things that God has given us, his greatest gift is Jesus Christ. God the Father gave his Son to the world, and Jesus "[gave] his life as a ransom for many" (Matt. 20:28). In Jesus we have forgiveness, reconciliation, eternal life, and a new identity based on his perfect righteousness rather than our sinful nature.
God gives us the Holy Spirit.
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! –Luke 11:13
God is a good Dad who listens to his kids and gives them what they need. And we need the Holy Spirit. He regenerates our heart so that we have the ability to follow Jesus. He produces good fruit in our lives. He empowers our efforts so that we can participate with God in loving people and building his church.
God gives us a purpose.
"Share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began" –2 Timothy 1:8–9
Jesus transforms lives and builds his church, expanding his good and perfect kingdom on the earth until he returns to establish it forever. By God’s grace, we participate in this "holy calling," on mission with Jesus for the good of all people. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
How is your giving?
We cannot out-give God. Nobody’s going to find anything under the tree this weekend that’s better than the gifts listed above. The truth is that God doesn’t need our money, our time, or our resources, but he asks us for them. In response, we should give in grateful worship because of his goodness, and our generosity (or lack thereof) reflects how much we value and appreciate God and what he has given to us.
Through giving, God allows us to participate in what he is doing. And that’s an incredible, joyful, life-changing endeavor.
To support the ministry at Mars Hill, visit marshill.com/give.