Thursday, December 29, 2011

Give without holding back

It was an exhilarating run-up to Christmas. I had only three days to prepare after being away for over 2 weeks. I was grateful for the strength I had gained. We sang Christmas carols on Saturday night and enjoyed an uplifting fellowship with friends. Those timeless songs resonated the unchanging message of God’s awesome love that He gave His precious Son to us.
With the same joyful spirit we sang some more on Christmas day. We shared gifts of love, ate turkey and connected with families and friends all over the world. My Pastor in his sermon said, “God is a giving God”—this is the essence of Christmas. He gave His only begotten Son. He gave His best and most precious for us. He gave us the most precious Gift anyone could ever desire to have. He did not hold back Him back—He gave Jesus up for us.
Jesus gave up His glory and took the form of man. He gave His life to give us life. It reminded me of the chorus of the song – “I’m Forgiven” by the Imperials.

I'm forgiven
Now I have a reason for living
Jesus keeps giving and giving
Giving till my heart overflows

Jesus keeps giving and giving till my life overflows. He came to live and die so that we can live with Him in eternity. He gave to everyone who came to Him with a need. He gave without holding back. He gave freely, He gave completely and He gave His all. Truly the atmosphere was charged with the joy of sharing, giving and receiving love.

That was when it dawned on me that despite all the cheerfulness around me, it was possible not to be fully a part of it. When we are nursing a hurt or there is an unresolved issue between us and those we are in relationship with, it is easy to hold back—not give ourselves freely and completely—to love and to share with them. A hurt if not resolved or dealt with can cause us to withdraw and it becomes a barrier that separate us from our loved ones. We keep the appearances and smile on cue yet our hearts could be distant, avoiding contact or deliberately ignoring some. It also makes us to mistrust or question the motivations of others and in so doing we miss the opportunity of partaking in the joy of the moment.
Whenever we have a reason to hold back from each other, our relationship becomes superficial. We deprive ourselves of the joy of sharing a loving and genuine fellowship with one another. But we who have experienced the forgiveness that Jesus gives must be willing to forgive others their shortcomings. The first step is to identify the reason we are holding back—the cause of the hurt—and deal with it. It is only when we release those we are holding in our hurting hearts and when we let go of the hurt  that we can truly give love without holding back.

Christmas has different meaning for different people. But one message is consistent through the years irrespective of the changing times, it is a time of celebrating the greatest act of giving ever known. God gave His best to all of us. Jesus is still giving and giving—without holding back— till our lives overflows.

The godly loves to give. The righteous gives and does not hold back
- Proverbs 21:26

“For God so loves the world that He gave His only begotten Son …”
- John 3:16

May this precious Gift fill your lives with joy, hope and peace this season and bring you endless possibilities in the New Year.

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