Our church board could have made the young woman pay hundreds of dollars for the trip to family camp, or we could have simply told her to wait until next year. That would have been fair. After all, everyone else on the trip had paid. But we were Christians, and I was the pastor. We wanted to show kindness to this young lady, and we thought the camping trip would do her some good. So we gave her a full scholarship — all expenses paid.

When we made it to camp, the young woman joined everyone for the fun activities. But when it came time to work, she made it clear that she would not be doing any of the work. She thought because she had a full scholarship she was somehow exempted. No one could convince her otherwise. The young woman obviously didn’t appreciate her scholarship very much. That’s too bad for her, because she would have had a lot more fun if she participated with the other campers.

The sad thing is we do the exact, same thing when we refuse to give to God. If Jesus gave us nothing more than salvation, that alone should motivate us to give back to Him.

What can you give when you have limited resources? How about your time? Every pastor would love to have volunteers for different church projects. You might volunteer to help set up Christmas decorations. Your choir director could probably use help preparing costumes, staging, or lighting for your church’s Christmas pageant. You could spend time in prayer for the different ministries at your church, for your pastors, and for the salvation of people who attend special events you are hosting during the Christmas season. Maybe you could hold a Christmas concert for seniors at a nursing home. Be creative as you give of yourself. Most importantly, give because you appreciate the precious gifts God has given to you. It’s the least you can do.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder