Christmas is over and the wrapping and bows are cleaned up and stored, but our spirit of generosity need not be put away till next year. I was thinking about gifts we can give that don’t cost us a dime.
Long after the gifts we gave or received have been used up, set aside, or even stored, these priceless gifts keep on giving week after week, month after month. Dare I say, the value of these gifts far outweighs the most costly gift given this Holiday season?
Consider giving these priceless gifts in 2018.
Gift #1: PRAYER –
Everyone needs prayer whether they know it or not. It doesn’t take up space or need to be stored. A promise to take your friend or family member before the throne of grace every (pick a day) for 2018 is a precious gift and all it will cost you is time.
I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. Ephesians 1:16-21
Gift #2: ENCOURAGEMENT –
Even the most upbeat person has times of discouragement. It doesn’t take but a moment to encourage another person. It may take just a simple, genuine smile or perhaps a word or two.
Try to give encouragement that is specific. Rather than, “You have a beautiful voice” perhaps, “When you sing I can understand every word and that allows me to worship.”
Who do you know that could use encouragement today? Perhaps a quick phone call or even a text or card. Encouragement is a wonderful gift that often has long-reaching effects. Can you remember specific words of encouragement you have received in the past? I can. Encouragement is a gift that keeps on giving.
And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 1 Thessalonians 5:14
Gift #3: BEAR ONE ANOTHER’S BURDENS –
We all have them… burdens. Whether it is ailing parents, wayward children, mounting medical bills or health issues – we all have issues of concerns. Having someone come alongside of us to bear those burdens with us lightens our load. What a precious gift we can give someone else. Come alongside them and bear their burdens with them. Give a listening ear, pray with them, reminding them of God’s promises.
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
Gift #4: LOVE
What does the gift of love look like? I’m not talking about the warm fuzzy feelings; I’m talking about loving when it’s not easy or even natural. The gift of love will not cost you a dime, but it will cost you. It will cost you giving up what you want to meet the need of another with what they want or need. It may be sacrificially giving to a missionary family in need of medical funds or serving a meal to a homeless family. It may be choosing to listen rather than talk or compromising rather than demanding your own way. It may be seeking unity rather than making your point. I realize this list could go on and on but the gift of love is as unique as you and your situation.
If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. James 2:8
Gift #5: FORGIVENESS
This is the most costly gift of all. Forgiveness will not cost you a dime, but it will cost you everything. It will require you give up your record-keeping, your bitterness, your grudge, your anger, your justification, your self-righteousness, your indignation, your self-pity, your pride and resentment. You will have to release that which you hold so tightly.
Forgiveness is a precious gift that you give both the offender and yourself.
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3:12-14
Let’s make 2018 a year of generously giving priceless gifts to one another.
Diane Hunt serves part-time on the staff of America’s Keswick providing ministry support from her home in North Carolina. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.