Scripture: “And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”
Colossians 2:6-7 NLT
Living in western culture in this day and age, we tend to “give” sparingly. We often think that bigger is better, getting more always trumps getting less, and giving over and above is for that 'every now and then' moment we may feel compelled to contribute a little more from our hearts. Rightfully so, we have schedules to keep, retirement to plan for, vacations to live for and we have to keep up with where everyone else is, right? Greed and it’s ugly consequences tend to fill our headlines and our hearts. C’mon, if we are honest with ourselves, most of us could classify ourselves as selfish. After all, aren't we living in the land of the American dream? Can you imagine what it would be like if we flipped around our thinking and instead of becoming greedy for more we became greedy in our gratitude? Greedy in our giving? It’s an oxymoron, I think? Can you honestly be greedy in your pursuit of learning to become a giver? God did. He become so compelled to see our lives redeemed that he didn’t just give us what was in the budget, or one that was outlined by conditions. To be quite honest, he didn’t even give us what we deserve. He gave us what was most precious to him. He didn’t send us a counterfeit or a plastic version of our Savior. He gave us in human form the “real deal” when Jesus came into the world. It’s mind blowing, isn’t it? The extravagance to which God gave to us? He sent to this earth a gift that goes beyond any gift ever given to mankind. More extravagant than Ghandi or Churchill or Mother Teresa. All amazing human beings in recent time…but Jesus? When we take a moment to reflect about this gift given to mankind…it almost borders being senseless. I mean, really? Sending heaven’s glory into the sinful world of humanity in such a humble way only to die in such a violent way labeled a criminal to many, a fool to most. But sacrificing the Son of God wasn’t just in the budget, it was a part of God’s plan to bring heaven to us so we could spend eternity with our Father in heaven. Now, that’s extravagant giving.
Are you an extravagant giver? Do you know what I’m talking about? Do you go beyond yourself, beyond your spreadsheet plan when it comes to contributing into the lives of all those around you? You’re thinking I’m talking about just money; no, that’s just the beginning. I’m speaking to all areas of your life. The way you offer forgiveness. How you treat your neighbor. The kindness you show to the hater. The grace you give to a complete stranger. If we are called to follow in our Savior’s steps, then we have a lot to learn when it comes to giving. We should be down right greedy when it comes to our ability to be thankful. Instead of waiting for everyone else, we should be first to let the world know how grateful we are for all that God has done and for all he’s going to do. This Thanksgiving season, let’s make it our challenge to become greedy givers. That simply means we become full time extravagant givers rather than allowing our gratitude for our Savior come from a shoe string budget. We have it in us to pour out our hearts from our attitudes to our gratitude every single day. So, for the next 30 days, challenge yourself to go above and beyond what you normally do to live a lifestyle that makes being thankful as easy as breathing.
ACTION STEP: Let’s start simple. Each day in November we are going to write about something for which we are thankful. It helps to spread awareness of the need to stop and give thanks and learn to be an extravagant giver. So, for today - on a piece of paper, write out a list of 10 EVERYDAY things for which you are THANKFUL. The SIMPLE things. Give it a shot. At least try and make the list as long as you can. Then, write out a short prayer to God praising Him for the opportunity to experience these things. Share it on social media under the caption and/or hashtag: #31DaysofGratitude. Share it with a friend via text or email and encourage them to do the same.
Going Beyond: Read Colossians 2: 8-23 for more discovering of what Christ has done for us.
Update your status once a day to show your friends what you are thankful for that day. Don't forget the hashtag#30DaysofGratitude
Here are some simple instructions for one way you can post each day:
Start by tagging your FB or social media platform. Then list the date: Day 30. Then write about the ACTION STEP you took for the day: Today I made a 'thankful list' of 10 Everyday Things … what’s in your every day?