Extravagant Gifts (1)

The apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth exhorting them to “excel in the grace of giving” (2 Cor 8:7). He set the example of the churches in Macedonia, who…

  • out of the most severe trial
  • their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty
  • welled up in rich generosity
  • they gave as much as they were able
  • even beyond their ability
  • they urgently pleaded for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints
  • they gave themselves first to the Lord

Talk about extravagant giving! They were extremely poor but pleaded to have the privilege of sharing with others that were in the same plight.

There have been scientific studies done that prove the positive effect giving to others has on our overall well-being. It’s good for us to give.

My latest personal Bible study has been on all the “gifts” mentioned in the Bible. In the Old Testament I’ve found some very extravagant gifts.

When Abraham sent his trusted servant, the chief of his household, to bring a wife for his son from the country of his relatives, the servant “took ten of his master’s camels and left, taking with him all kinds of good things from his master.” (Read the complete story in Genesis 24.)

Rebekah, the future bride, was given

  • a gold nose ring
  • two gold bracelets
  • gold and silver jewelry
  • articles of clothing

Her brother and her mother also received costly gifts.

Years later, when Jacob wanted to “make up” with his brothers Esau, whom he had cheated to get his father’s blessing, this is the gift he sent him (Genesis 32:13-15):

  • 200 female goats
  • 20 goats
  • 200 ewes
  • 20 rams
  • 30 female camels with their young
  • 40 cows
  • 10 bulls
  • 20 female donkeys
  • 10 male donkeys

If this was Jacob’s gift, how big must all his riches have been? Some twenty odd years earlier he had set out with nothing!

Esau was not interested in the gift, he was just happy to have his brother back!

Close to the end of Jacob’s life, when he thought his son Joseph to be dead but learned he was a great man in Egypt, his beloved son sent him gifts and gave gifts to his brothers. (Genesis 45:21-23)

  • Carts and provisions for the journey to Egypt
  • New clothing to each one
  • To Benjamin 300 shekels of silver and 5 sets of clothes
  • 10 donkeys loaded with the best of Egypt
  • 10 female donkeys loaded with grain and bread and other provisions

I have a list of other interesting gifts, so I’ll continue expanding on the subject.

Not many of us can give such extravagant gifts as the ones mentioned above. But we can do as the churches in Macedonia did. Their “extravagant” gift consisted of themselves.

Let’s give ourselves first of all to Jesus and then to others.

It is better to give than to receive.

 

 

 

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About kelund

My name is Kerstin Anderas-Lundquist. I was born in Sweden to Per & Brita Anderas, on March 6, 1946. In 1948 we left to begin a missionary life in Chile; in 1956 we moved on to Peru. On May 1, 1969 I married an all-Swedish guy from Karslkrona: Bengt Göran Emanuel Lundquist. God blessed us with two daughters: Eva-Marie Elizabeth and Ruth Carina. We served as missionaries in Peru and Bolivia. In 1988 we moved to the United States to work at Life Publishers in Miami, Florida. I was to assist in developing the line of Sunday School Curriculm in Spanish known as Vida Nueva. I live in Springfield, Missouri, and am retired from work at the Assemblies of God Headquarters. My husband and daughter Eva-Marie have been promoted to Heaven. Carina is married to Thom Cole and they have given me four gourgeous grandchildren, even five (teen-age John). I will be writing about my life, past and present, blended with visions for the future. My deepest desire is to spread the “seed of love”–inspiration to serve God and our neighbors with love and compassion.
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