A Message for You

What Gift to Give? 

by PASTOR MICHAEL CISLER
North Kent Bible Church

Here we are again, sneaking up on Christmas. Maybe you have already started your Christmas shopping or maybe you won’t do so for another three weeks. Either way, take a moment to consider what gifts you give to others and what gifts they give you.

In Isaiah 58, God speaks through the prophet Isaiah concerning what He desires in fasting. Fasting had turned into a practice that was more about other people seeing our fake righteousness, than the desire that God had for it from the beginning. In this chapter, God talks about wanting people that are involved in loosening the chains of injustice, setting the oppressed free, feeding the hungry, providing shelter for the homeless, and meeting the needs of those in need.

In Isaiah 58:10 it says, “…and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.” Now what does this have to do with Christmas gifts?

Are there people in your life for whom it is difficult to find just the right gift? Are there people in your life who just love whatever you give them? Have you ever considered replacing some of those gifts with gifts that could help others in need? What if, rather than buying a $30 sweater for a sibling, you donated that $30 in their name instead. It is amazing what $30 can do to bless those in need. North Kent Community Services can turn $30 into an astonishing amount of food to give to our neighbors who may need some assistance. In fact, through some organizations a donation of $20 can buy enough food to feed 100 orphans in Malawi, Africa for an entire week.

I think now is a good time to begin talking to others with whom we exchange gifts for Christmas. Consider encouraging them to give to others in need in your name. Consider giving to them a donation to others in need in their name. “…and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.”

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