“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”

Psalm 5:3

More Blessed to Give

(Please read Acts 20:35)

April 24

When Jesus said it is “more blessed” to give than to receive, did he mean that there is something somehow sinful in receiving? Not at all, because all of us receive much from God’s bounty – the gifts of nature, the gift of life, the gift of human love, the gift of divine grace, and more.

Actually, if giving is “more” blessed, it follows that receiving must be blessed. These great gifts we receive are blessings in themselves, and we are also blessed – that is, “approved by the Lord,” “fortunate,” “happy” – if we receive them in the proper way. We should accept them gratefully, recognizing that they come from God; and having accepted them, we should use them as best we can for the glory of God.

But there is a greater blessing in giving. If we are only receiving the bounty of others, we don’t have much opportunity to serve others, and that is what this verse is really about. To give of ourselves to others is to follow the example and teaching of Jesus. “Freely you have received,” he said, “freely give” (Matthew 10:8).

Look at how Paul was rewarded for a life of service, giving of himself to others. He developed a strong, confident faith in spite of suffering (2 Timothy 1:12). He had the gift of joy even as his life was “being poured out” for others (Philippians 2:17). And he was blessed with a holy character, with his life reflecting the living Christ (Galatians 2:20).

May the Lord be with us as we reap the greater blessings of giving.

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