There are only 12 days until Christmas.
How are you getting ready? Putting up decorations? Listening to Christmas music? Planning get-togethers with family and friends? Buying and wrapping presents?
Oh, the presents. I keep re-writing this. Trying not to sound preachy or self-righteous or like a cheesy Hallmark Original Movie reminding us all of the true meaning of Christmas. I’ll try to keep it simple.
We are so rich. There is so much need in the world. Statistics prove there are enough resources, money and food in existence to provide for every human alive today. Most of us will never understand what it is to physically need something and have no way of getting it. But for so many others, unfulfilled need is a daily reality. A reality that could be changed by we who have more than we need.
What should we do?
There are huge sacrifices and small contributions. If all of us made just a small contribution, it would add up to a make a difference. If we all made huge sacrifices, we would begin to approach what God has called us to.
It’s OK to start small. This Christmas, consider a gift that could be the difference between life or death, hope or despair. Here are a few of my current favorite charities. There are so many more. Give where your heart is led.
World Vision World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.
World Vision provides hope and assistance to approximately 100 million people in nearly 100 countries. In communities around the world, we join with local people to find lasting ways to improve the lives of poor children and families. Give year-round by sponsoring a child or make a one-time gift to meet a specific need through World Vision’s Gift Catalog.
The Sparrow’s Nest Maternity Home The mission of The Sparrow’s Nest Maternity Home is to provide a Christ-centered shelter and to educate homeless, pregnant and parenting young women by providing a wide range of services that empower them to make positive and healthy life decisions for themselves and their babies. The Sparrow’s Nest Maternity Home hopes to open its doors in 2012 in St. Charles County, Missouri. Through the grace of God, powerful prayer and a strong volunteer base we hope to make a impact on our community that will last generations. This is our legacy. Learn more on the Sparrow’s Nest blog and donate here.
Voice of the Martyrs The Voice of the Martyrs is a non-profit, inter-denominational Christian organization dedicated to assisting the persecuted church worldwide. Our ministry is based on Hebrews 13:3 “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.” VOM helps, loves and encourages persecuted Christians through our five main purposes. Donate here.
In honor of the 12 days of Christmas, here are 12 Bible passages regarding giving. There are many others.
1. Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Isaiah 58:6-7
2. Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Matthew 19:21
3. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. Matthew 5:42
4. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Matthew 20:26-28
5. Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” Luke 21:1-4
6. In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, “It is better to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35
7. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. 1 Corinthians 10:24
8. Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares…Do not let us neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Hebrews 13:1-2, 16
9. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich…Your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. 2 Corinthians 8:9, 14
10. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. James 1:27
11. What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith, but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? James 2:14-16
12. Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” Then the righteous will answer him, saying, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?” And the King will answer them, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” Matthew 25:34-40