In John 3:16 God provides us with the greatest gift of all. His son Jesus’s life for our eternal salvation. A gift that gives us a new relationship with a most holy and righteous God.

In Romans 12:7 Paul admonishes believers to give generously. The Bible heading in my bible calls this section of scripture “love in action” — “If it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”

The majority of Jesus’ teachings were all about giving. We are called to give our coat, food, time, gifts, treasure and most importantly of all our experience of salvation. We are called to give to the Lord, to our families, to our church and to the community as a whole. Cheerfully and generously.

The holiday season which seems to begin earlier every year, is the season of giving. We start looking for the “right” gift for loved ones. We begin looking around for gifts for the office Christmas party and social events with friends. This is the natural gift giving direction we look each year.

But this year I would suggest that we all consider looking at our community and the many needs that are abounding due to the financial, emotional and health challenges that COVID has brought. If you have the resources to help others in need please do so.

The Christmas season is about the one special gift from God above of his son born in a manger. This gift grew up and allowed himself to be crucified so that we could choose to spend eternity with God the Father. This is a gift of ultimate sacrifice. And thankfully God doesn’t ask us to do anything so extreme, but he does call us to help those in our community who need support. Whether the need is financial, emotional or spiritual we are called to give.

Let this year be the time when we are all looking around for ways to give good gifts to our neighbors. Take the gift of eternity that God gave us through his son and pay it forward with generosity and cheerfulness.

Lisa Scarborough is the director of Love In Action.