Have and Hold

gift

2 Corinthians 9: 6-15 NIV

Biblegateway.com

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written:

“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
    their righteousness endures forever.”

 

10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

For one to have is one who possesses, owns, or is blessed.  They have received gifts and in combination, may be uniquely owned.  As we develop our faith in Christ and walk closer to a full Christian life, our blessings multiply.  We give our love of Christ cheerfully to others, we in turn are blessed.

The commitment needed for these blessings is insurmountable.  Each blessing for which we are given responsibility has a value.  Our cup will run over and the overwhelming need to just let some slip away will become our only method of survival.  How could blessings become burdensome?

When we slow down to recognize the wonders in which we possess, our gratefulness and thanks are easy to say in our nightly prayers.  Yet, when the blessing becomes trouble and seen as a burden, our cries for freedom from them take hold.  Our haves of home, family, friends, work, and things seem to be a trap to snare us into worry, anxiety, and stress.

Did our God punish us in His gifts?

11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

To hold is to keep, grasp, care for, cherish, and value.  When given these gifts from above, our first instinct is to hold them tightly as if a thief stalks at night.  We desperately focus on the preservation.  At times to the point of exhaustion and frustration.  How often they don’t cooperate with how we want to put them under lock and key.

Yet, has God given them to us for safe keeping?

Our duty as a Christian is to recognize the service we are expected to perform.  We are given the awesome responsibility of taking the blessing and giving it away.  This giving is to be done freely, without reservation, and with a big smile.  Instead of reflecting and soaking up the beauty of what you hold, we need take it and share it with everyone.

As we let go of what we hold on so tightly to, we will be rewarded with knowing that we have given God our thanks.  He will receive the glory and others with praise Him by praying for us in turn.

My heart is warmed by the thought of this type of giving.  But, what does this look like in our fast paced, greedy, self driven world?

It’s opening your home to others.  Inviting others over who need a friend.  Taking time to share God’s word around your dining room table.

It’s sharing your belief and praying for family and friends.  Using God’s word to direct your interactions and your words so they are softly spoken with love.  Taking time to forgive wrongs and allow each of these dear people many chances of redemption.

It’s taking the skills and talents you where generously given and using them for the purpose of God’s will.  Sharing His love in the workplace.

It’s giving away possessions to those in need.

In all of this, we find our true to have and to hold.  To cherish the blessing and hold on to the grace that you have received by sharing God’s goodness with all people.  We are God’s hands and feet carrying His ways and His wants so that love will conquer the broken world.

James 1: 16-18

16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.

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