Gospel Engine's December 2016 Indie Artist Spotlight - Shelton Dowd
About Shelton Dowd
Born in Rocky Mount, NC a true praise and worship leader from a young age. Shelton has devoted his time to spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. He is a songwriter and singer who has sung with many different artist across many different states. Shelton developed a gifting for singing at a very young age; that Gift was cultivated and mastered by the Church; where he grew to understand that "with God" all things are possible. He is currently working on his first Solo Album entitled "take control" where he has found that when you allow God to take control of every aspect of your life you will not go wrong. He believes that it is not about him; but about leading people into the very presence of God; through producing a willing body for God to use.
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Make this a Christmas of Giving
by Richard Cox, Author of I, We, Us: A Journey of Personal Growth and Development
“Do not forget or neglect to do kindness and good, to be generous and distribute and contribute to the needy [of the church as embodiment and proof of fellowship], for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” Hebrews 13:16(AMP)
Christmas is a time when we celebrate the wonderful birth of Jesus Christ the Messiah. God gave us His best gift, Jesus who was born to redeem us from our sins. In John 3:16(AMP), it says “for God greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.” In honor of God’s gift to the world, it’s only fitting that we as Christians make giving a focus as our gift back to God. Our Christmas gifts of giving should be about giving more love, more joy, and more happiness in the lives of others in our homes and communities. It is a way to imitate Jesus generosity to the world.
When most of us think about Christmas we automatically associate a time of giving. Our giving shows our generosity to our family, friends and community. It’s a means that we use to nourish our love in our personal and professional relationships in life. Christmas is not about just giving material gifts only but reaching out to the needy during Christmas. There are many homeless shelters, women shelters, and many more outreach organizations that need our help and contributions during this season of giving. You can volunteer hours, and donate useful goods to worthy causes in your local areas. Reach out this Christmas and give your love, time and money to help a needy family or a lonely senior citizen in your neighborhood and community. You can also give supportive words of encouragement, and be a good listener to someone who’s feeling hurt and sad during this holiday season. You’ll experience and witness fulfillment in your soul in the process of giving to others.
Reflect on some of these Biblical principles about giving:
1. Give Yourself. God wants us, not our money. When we have surrendered ourselves to the lord, our giving with fall in line. In the Bible, 2 Corinthian 8:5 (AMP) says, “nor [was this gift of their merely the contribution] that we expected, but first they gave themselves to the Lord and to us [as His agents] by the will of God [entirely disregarding their personal interests, they gave as much as they possibly could, having put themselves at our disposal to be directed by the will of God].” In giving we follow Jesus, who gave everything for us. So it is appropriate to give what we can.
2. Remember Christ example. He gave everything to enrich our lives. The riches we have in Him are the true riches, not material wealth. 2 Corinthian 8:9 (NIV) states, “for you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” We find that giving is sharing. It is meeting desperate needs so our brothers and sisters can live a more enriching life.
3. Giving is like sowing. Giving is an investment in our eternal future. 2 Corinthians 9:6 (NIV) it says, “remember this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” The bigger the investment the greater the return.
Remember to keep the right attitude as you give this Christmas. You should not give for the wrong reasons to impress others or get notoriety for yourself. By giving you’ll activate and release many forms of God’s blessing in your life to give even more in the future.
Here are some benefits you can receive from your giving:
* Gain a deeper understanding of God’s grace and nature - In Ephesians 2:8 (AMP) it says, “for it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is a gift of God.” Grace is that unique gift given by God to man. It cannot be earned by anything a person might do.
* Experience joy and purpose - You’ll find in 2 Corinthians 9:11(AMP) where it says “thus you will be enriched in all things and in every way, as that you can be generous, and [your generosity as it is] administered by us will bring forth thanksgiving to God.” God is able to meet our needs and to provide much more, so we can give joyfully and without fear to bless others.
* Reap eternal rewards - Matthew 6:19-21(NIV) states, “do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” By having a personal relationship with God it will free you to value heavenly rather than earthly treasures, that really can transforms our values.
As you give this Christmas season do it in love. God gave us His best gift, Jesus Christ because He cared about redeeming mankind, He loved us and He still cares for us. We cannot out give God. We need not hold back but we can give generously. Since all we have is from God, He deserves our best. Christmas is really about giving from your heart with a personal touch to make a different in someone’s life. Your gift of giving could be that unexpected miracle someone has been waiting for this year.
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