“And now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you an inheritance among all who are sanctified. I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. You yourselves know that I worked with my own hands to support myself and those who are with me. In every way I’ve shown you that it is necessary to help the weak by laboring like this and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, because he said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:32-35
The words of Jesus tell us, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ Paul was reminding them that Paul would work to support his own needs and to take care of others. Paul’s encouragement here reminds us that generosity is not limited to giving money. Paul provided for himself, he was not a burden, and he gave to support others to name a few ways that he was generous. When we Give, we can be a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, a strong back, time, or just about anything else.
As much of a blessing it can be to receive gifts from others. Our Lord tells us that giving to others blesses us even more.
Have you ever given something to someone and got that warm and fuzzy feeling when you see their reaction? I remember a few years back we partnered with other churches to provide school supplies to the community we were in. Seeing the look on the parents’ faces when they were handed several bags of school supplies was very moving. The look of relief on their faces when they realized that their kids would have everything on their school supply list, touched us deeply. The parents’ relief and the joy on the kids’ faces made the weeks of planning worth it.
When God gives us the opportunity to see how our generosity impacts others, it proves that Jesus’ words were true. It is more of a blessing to give than it is to receive.
“Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2
For the complete column, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.