We have been studying 2 Corinthians for the past few months in Men’s Bible Study. The plans of God are perfect and He planned for us to study chapters 8 and 9 about giving right before Christmas. Here is 2 Corinthians 9:13-15

13By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission flowing from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, 14while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. 15 Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!
Paul is asking the church to prepare a gift offering for the saints in the Jerusalem church because of their need. In these verses Paul brings out a double meaning of the gift by focusing them on the grace of God, ultimately the gift of salvation. The gift of grace and the gift of faith to believe begin a process of sanctification that will stir in us a desire to give.

The Jerusalem church will give thanks and glorify God when they receive the gift from the churches. For one they will be able to glorify God because he is the supreme provider of all needs. The second reason they will glorify God is because he used their brothers and sisters in Christ as a part of their sanctification.

During Christmas, gift giving is a major part of how we celebrate Christ’s birth. We have an excellent opportunity this holiday season to redeem the giving of gifts. Ask yourself how your giving of gifts can point people to the ultimate gift of salvation. There are many reasons people give gifts this time of year and sometimes it is out of obligation or a means of gaining favor or love.

We don’t have to give bibles, Christian books, or even Christian T-Shirts for the gift to have meaning. There should be joy in the giving of gifts. We do need to remember where our heart is in the giving of the gift and also ask ourselves the question of what this gift communicates the one that is receiving. My hope for us this season and beyond is that we can bring God glory in the giving of gifts, build the body of Christ, and be sanctified at the same time.