Jump Start # 1989
James 1:5 “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach and it will be given to him.”
One of the characteristics of God is that He is a giver. He not only gives, but He gives generously. Paul thanked God for His generous gift of salvation. Blessings, answers to prayers, forgiveness, promises, fellowship are just a few of the many gifts that has touched and changed our lives from God. Our verse today, talks about wisdom. It has often been described and defined that wisdom is the application of knowledge. It’s God’s word working on our heart and our conscience. Taking what we have learned and now putting it to use and bringing it alive in our lives is what wisdom is. Those who lack wisdom, are to ask God. He gives. He gives generously.
We are full swing into the season of giving. Christmas time is shopping, wrapping and buying gifts for our loved ones. It’s fun to do that. Some are harder to shop for than others. Some seem to already have everything. Tools and clothes and cool socks are fine gifts. Often we forget about the spiritual side of getting a gift. Here are a few suggestions:
- Buy a child or a grandchild their first Bible. They make Bibles now that are printed and designed for different ages, with all kinds of covers and colors. Inscribe your name on the inside of that Bible to make it personal. I still have a Bible that my grandma wrote her name in. I rarely use that Bible anymore, but it’s special to me because it has her name in it.
- Buy a young couple a book about parenting or marriage. There’s tons of choices, and be careful what you order. You might want to read it yourself first, to make sure that you feel comfortable giving that book to someone. A financial book would also be helpful for a young couple. Money woes are one of the leading causes of divorce today. There are many good helpful books about budgeting, paying off debts and common sense advice that is practical, useful and will make a difference in their lives.
- Get a leather bound song book for the song leader in your family. This is something that they will use over and over.
- Got a young preacher in your family or someone that is teaching Bible classes? Do some digging around and find out what they need and get them some useful and helpful books that they can use in their preaching and teaching.
- We have 22 Jump Start books available. They range from thoughts on Psalms, Proverbs, Jesus, to some specific areas such as dating, death, preachers, shepherding. Our latest book is, “Thoughts on tragedies.” These are all free and would make some great gifts to stick in someone’s stocking. If you are interested, drop me an email (Rogshouse@aol.com)
- CD’s of sermons and congregational singing can be very helpful and useful. This can help the ones that are shut in and can’t get out much. This is something that can help the young preacher. This is something that can encourage and even answer the questions that some have had. Most congregations have available CD’s and many can be downloaded from the internet. The congregation I am a part of, Charlestown Road in New Albany, IN, has mountains of these CD’s. Got a teenager who is asking questions about evolution, evidences—stick a CD in his stocking. Got a family member who is mixed up and discouraged about death? Hand them a CD. This may take a little work on your part to get these together, but most congregations would gladly send you something for free.
Surrounding all of these thoughts this morning, is that after the gifts are opened and everyone heads back home, toys are nice, new clothes are fine, gadgets are fun to play with, but what about that spiritual dimension and side of life? What are we doing to help our families spiritually? Some simply need a little boost in what they are already doing. The right tools to teach or preach is all they need. Others are a long way from Jesus. Putting something in their hands to get them thinking and to build a bridge for later conversations is something that you can do. Our families will not magically fall into the Lord’s hands. Just as we needed someone to guide us, teach us, show us and explain things to us, so do they. You can be that person. If not, you can put things in their hands that will start that journey.
Aside from life itself, the greatest gift God has given us is salvation. The spiritual side is far more important than the physical side. If we truly believe that, then we ought to be following in the Lord’s steps. Boxes of chocolates are nice. But once the candy is eaten, the box thrown away, two months later, what benefit was that gift? Maybe giving something spiritual will put something in their mind and heart that can change them forever.
When I graduated from high school, some of my classmates were getting cars and amazing gifts. My parents gave me a Bible. I took that Bible off to college. When I first started preaching, it was that Bible that I used. I wore it out studying and preaching from it. That gift is more than a distant memory. Because of that gift, the word of God stuck in my heart and changed me. It allowed me to show others the gift of salvation in Jesus. This is the power that can come from a spiritual gift.
If we can be of any help, contact us. Happy shopping!