Pastor Laura gave us a lesson on Joy and invited us to abide in God in study and worship, read our Bible
and break the connections with the world. Joy is a sense of feeling great in life! More than happiness, it
is a contentment we feel in connection with God. It is the proof of the Holy Spirit that God is there. We
can’t tell ourselves to have joy but it is a good feeling deep in the soul. You can see it in one’s face, in
their manner of walking and speaking. It is one of the fruits of the spirit.
CHRISTMAS SERVICES ON CHRISTMAS MORNING – Regular worship services on Sunday morning will be
extra special on Christmas morning. Come and worship the newborn king. What more appropriate time
to be in the Lord’s house than on Jesus birthday?
TUESDAY, THURSDAY, FRIDAY MORNING PRAYER – at 6:40am Join! It is a blessing to
The link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85248407954?pwd=V3BBV2RQc0VWYTUxYm5pYy9CQ0VwQT09
OFFERING OF SELF AND SUBSTANCE
Nehemiah 8:10 “Then he said to them, ‘Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’” Send your offerings to the Treasurer, Sandra Albarracin at 18715 Yocam Avenue, Lutz, FL 33459, or
directly to Bank of America by using: firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is an actual story of a man who cheerfully gave a dollar to any child he saw in the street. He does not choose the child, but he merely gives. One day, he comes across a little girl. He asked her if she wanted a dollar and the girl said yes. He gave her the dollar and she ran without saying a word. The man laughed to himself thinking that he must have frightened her. However, to his surprise, he saw her running towards him with several candies in her hands. She gave some to him with a smile on her face. The man, being delighted accepted her gift and gave her another dollar. He then watched as she got more candies to give this time to some kids she saw around the neighborhood. The primary reason for our giving is the realization that we have received so much from God. He has
showered his blessings and sustained us. There is nothing that we have right now that was not first given to us. We can only give because we are given. It takes courage and humility to accept the reality that we do not own anything in this world. All our possessions are entrusted only to us. We are but stewards of God. Every single asset that we have is from above. The child in the story must have been overflowed with joy with the small gift she was given. It made her want to give back and give forward. It is thanksgiving that abounds in our heart that should be the core reason why we give; not because we are expected to but because we want to. We also want to bless others, help someone, and give from the gratitude of our hearts.
To give out of compulsion is not giving at all, it is simply an obligation you seek to fulfill. This is not how the gift of giving is defined. It should flow out of the abundance of the heart. When you realize that you are given an immeasurable gift, then you will see no reason why you should not give. To truly give is to give with gladness and enthusiasm. You give freely because you have been set free.
During Christmas, we are also reminded to give according to the blessings that he has given us. If you are given more, then extend more. After all, Acts 20:35 says ‘to give is better than to receive’. Giving is also a way of making God smile. Cheerful giving pleases him. God never intended holiday seasons for us to be weary like our common days. He desired it to be a day of refreshment. God enjoys the celebration as much as we do. As it was mentioned in Nehemiah 8:10, He wants us to be joyful in these seasons. Amid the celebration, however, he also reminds us to give to those in need. Christmas was never designed for selfish yearning. It is also the best time to remember those who cannot have what we have on the grand dining table.
When we give with all our heart, He returns it with much greater value. He supplies and provides. So, giving must not trouble anyone. Giving is an advantage we need to view. This yuletide season, don’t forget to celebrate the gift of giving. There is nothing wrong with trying to make this occasion grand and exceptional. We strive for the best celebration, for it only happens once every year. So this Christmas, give your time to the Lord in worship, give a bag of treats to the homeless person you encounter, give your family your love and caring, give with thanksgiving and joy, and give a smile to everyone you meet!