Friday, November 27, 2009

25 Days of Giving, By Kelli Zaniel

The Bible’s Great Command is for us to love God and others. When I think of loving others, I am quickly reminded of God’s great commandment which is to GIVE to others and to “DO unto others as you would have them DO unto you.” The words “giving,” and “doing,” are both action words. Words that call us to jump off the couch, get out of the kitchen, leave the laundry, take up our crosses and follow Him wherever that may be. I love the words of Winston Churchill, “You make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give.”

I woke up one morning and was challenged by God to begin a new adventure with Him. He reminded me of John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He GAVE…” God GAVE His only Son to be born in the humblest of settings…an ol’ dilapidated barn in a bundle of itchy hay. A Son who, years later, would in turn GIVE his life as a sacrifice to redeem a lost world. Christ gave EVERYTHING for me, so why wouldn’t He expect me to give EVERYTHING too?

As I was stirring a pot of chicken gravy today for Thanksgiving, I noticed a perfectly shaped floating heart in my gravy! I tried to move it with the spoon to see if it would dissolve. No matter which way the spoon shifted or swirled the floating symbol of love, the heart remained. I began to personalize John 3:16, For God so loved me, that He gave His only begotten Son, that if I believe in Him I will have eternal life. The Bible says that eternal life is to KNOW the only One true God. For me personally, the times when I really “know,” and “experience,” God are the times when I am giving.

The Great Commission is for us to “go,” and to “give.” Go out and give to others the greatest story ever told. We were masterfully designed to show love to others. Heidi and I are pursuing 25 days of “GIVING,” beginning December 1, 2009, and ending on Christmas Day. Won’t you join us?

Our giving doesn’t have to be shoveling out money we don’t have. Our giving can be “unspoken giving.” The kind of giving that requires words if only necessary. What does showing love without words look like? “Go, Give, Serve and Show…”

Go where others will not go;
Serve where others will not serve;
Give to those in need;
Showing love and forgiveness to those who may not deserve our love or forgiveness;
Showing hospitality to strangers;
Let someone go before you in the grocery store line;
Help and elderly person to their car;
Sit down and read a book with your children instead of cleaning the dishes;
Write an encouraging note to a friend
Take cookies over to an unsuspecting friend’s house before her teeth are even brushed;
Experience a joyful attitude when someone cuts you off while driving (if you are like me, that is giving to whoever is in the car with you!); or
Telling someone I love and appreciate you for no special reason.

"True greatness is a passionate love for God that demonstrates itself in an unquenchable love and concern for others," (Dr. Tim Kimmel). Giving to others gives back to God. It keeps us focused on eternity and gives God ownership of our hearts. “Giving is a joyful surrender to a greater person and a greater agenda. Giving affirms Christ’s Lordship. It dethrones me and exhaults Him,” (unknown).

Lets take this 25 days of giving challenge together so we can become more radically obedient with our time, our hearts, our homes and our earthly possessions. Lets use these 25 days to give God full ownership of everything we have so that OTHERS are “the intended beneficiaries of what He has entrusted to us!”

Heidi and I usually blog once a week but we are stepping out of our comfort zones to post blogs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the 25 days of giving so we can journey through the experience together. Posting blog comments and emailing each other our stories will be a great way to hold each other accountable (I was so blessed by what everyone wrote during our “living biblically day,” weren't you?).

We pray this will encourage everyone to intentionally pursue Christ this Christmas. We also pray that the Holy Spirit will move and inspire you to share the greatest love story ever known to a world who barely knows He exists.

**Those who post a comment or email me saying “yes,” God is calling me to participate in the 25 days of giving will enter into a drawing to win a free copy of Lysa Terkeurst’s book, “Becoming More than a Good Bible Study Girl,” (which is our new book for January)!! We will announce the winner in Tuesdays (12-1-09) blog.


  1. I'm up for the 25 days of giving! I'm excited to hear the stories and testimonies of this! I'm anticipating God giving me a great story to post!
    Love you!

  2. I am so greatful to Heidi for inviting me. This sounds like such an uplifting thing to do. I am really excited to start the 25 days of giving! Putting Christ back into Chrismas is something we all need to work on. Thanks, April West-Kieckhefer

  3. I am in! 25 days of giving! Thanks for the challenge and the accountability!!!