Scripture: “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” (Acts 20:35)

Observation: Paul is in Ephesus, on his way to Jerusalem. He has reminded the Ephesians that he has worked hard with his own hands in order not to be a burden on them.  Why did Paul do this? He certainly believed that a worker deserved his wages (1 Tim. 5:18).  Paul did this to model generosity and also to free up their resources to be generous to others.  Paul’s sacrificial gift to them allowed them to experience the blessing of giving to others.

Application:  We’ve heard this saying, “it’s more blessed to give than to receive.” But it’s not just a saying.  I know it to be true in my life.  I’ve experienced first hand the joy of giving to people – to my kids, to the needy, to homeless people, and to the church.  It’s difficult to describe the feeling that you get when you realize you’ve made a difference in someone’s life!  So this causes me to wonder.  Why don’t I do it more?  Is it fear? Is it selfishness?  Probably both.  But today’s reading is simply a reminder to me that neither is a good motivation.  First Fear – God promises to provide everything I need… so what do I have to fear?  And Second Selfishness – Jesus says it’s more blessed to give than to receive. I actually rob myself of the blessed joy of giving when I hoard things for myself.

Prayer:  Lord, help me to truly take to heart this message of Christ that it’s more blessed to give than to receive.  Thank you that Christ gave all He had for me – His very life.  May I be more like Christ in my generosity.  Amen.