Two essentials to give in 2017

The holidays are past and the gifts have been given. Does that end the season of giving? It shouldn’t.

God always commands his people to be givers (Leviticus 19:9-10; Proverbs 19:17; 1 John 3:17; Luke 6:38).

So, what should we be giving to others in 2017?

First, give Jesus in 2017. Nothing is more important than the Savior of the world (John 3:16). He provides the peace that “surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:17, NKJV) and “No one comes to the Father except by [Him]” (John 14:6).

When we come to Christ, we find all spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3). Therefore, we’re called to share the good news of Christ with the entire world (Matthew 28:18-20).

He is the greatest gift we can give to others.

Second, give unconditional love in 2017. Dictionary.com defines it as, “affection with no limits or conditions; complete love.” It’s one of the most empowering forces in existence.

“One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving” (Paulo Coelho).

When we love unconditionally, it elevates and liberates the source of our affection because they don’t have to earn our love. It’s there consistently, and they feel safe in our hearts. A child who errs should know that they are loved completely regardless of what they do.

Unconditional love is about delineation and wisdom. It never excuses sin or irresponsibility but it shuns banishment.

So much of what we call tough love is rooted less in rehabilitation and more in spite and petulance.

While salvation is conditional (Acts 2:38), the Lord loves us unconditionally because he is consummate love and goodness (1 John 4:8). Even when we sin, he still loves us and awaits our restoration.

Unconditional love is about maturity. Sadly, many people who have known only conditional love distrust it because they’re always waiting for the hidden motives.

Often that’s a hindrance for them accepting God because they can’t imagine love without an agenda. Never distrust God’s complete and empowering love. It’s completely genuine and safe.

Our loved ones need the same from us.

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Richard lives in Florence, Alabama and is married to Deirdre. They have three daughters. He is an avid reader, devoted writer and lover of history and research. He is the author of "The Most Important Question" and is working on more books.

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