35 “... and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Acts 20:35 (ESV)
For many of us, hoping for reward is what drives us. We want trophies, titles, banners, championships, promotions too. Am I right?
What accomplishment rises to the top for you?
Jesus invades our championship dreams and declares there’s one greater blessing than receiving applause, recognition, reward. It’s giving it. It’s gifting others. It’s serving them. It’s contributing to their needs and welfare.
Jesus repeatedly reinforces this when He says, “The greatest among you shall be your servant“ (Matthew 23:11). The giver gets the greater blessing.
In Acts 20, we see the apostle Paul demonstrating 10 ways to give to others:
- Target others who really need encouragement and give it to them (Acts 20:1).
- Go out of your way to acknowledge others -- greet, affirm and stage great goodbyes (Acts 20:1,20,36-38).
- Be generous with your time for others, even if it hurts (Acts 20:7,23,31).
- Let personal compassion rule the day and night (Acts 20:10,31).
- Express no partiality or prejudice. Give everyone a fair shake (Acts 20:21).
- Give based on the need, not the personal comfort you’ll receive in return (Acts 20:22,23).
- Testify to the gospel. People need to hear the best message/greatest story ever (Acts 20:24).
- Love others enough to tell them the truth, warning them as needed (Acts 20:27-31).
- Carry your own financial weight and invest in others at no cost to them (Acts 20:34).
- Pray with others, not just for others (Acts 20:36).
Reflect: How much are you experiencing the greater blessing, the gift of giving? Which of Paul’s Big Ten from Acts 20 could use more playing time in you?
A prayer to consider: LORD, You’ve declared an important truth to live by, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” I want the greater blessing. Selfless service is the way.
Free me from wanting worthless reward here and now. Thank You for Jesus who gave so freely and fully, and for Your Spirit who keeps on giving. Amen.