Exhortation for church this Sunday.
“Help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35
This sentence has worked its way into the vocabulary of our culture to the point that it has become a cliche. Cliche’s often convey truth yet are used so often we forget or fail to think about the nature of its truthfulness. Paul is reminding the elders at Ephesus that these are the very words of Jesus.
Pause to consider what this means for us and how Jesus lived it out. Our default in understanding this promise may be that it is better to give our money or possessions away rather than receive them from others. Indeed that is part of it, but not the whole. The whole is that we, as Christians, are to be marked by generosity. Did generosity mark the way you spent your free time this week? Did generosity mark the way you used your words with others? Did generosity mark the way in which you loved your children?
Jesus lived this out in the ultimate sense for he was generous with his life to the point of death on the cross. The generosity of laying out his body to be tortured and his name to be brought to disrepute purchased freedom for those that would repent and put their trust in him alone. Jesus’ death on the cross was the most generous act in all of history.
The promise of Acts 20:35 is that we are blessed when we give. When we are generous out of a heart that is satisfied in God we are blessed. It means that we get more of God in our giving. We experience a deeper delight and joy in him. We are not really giving anything away when we live out generosity, we are getting more of God.
Let’s come before God, confess our sin and ask him to work in our hearts an obedience that would give us more joy in him.