David Lee Brown
Giving & Receiving
“I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)
Paul was preaching to the people of Asia Minor, asking them to watch out for those that would lead them astray, and continue following the Holy Spirit’s leadership and spread the Gospel. Then he implored them to not covet silver, gold or apparel, because the Lord Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Paul was saying that those who are in need take priority over our own needs, because he knew that all those that are saved and living for the Lord, and are upholding His kingdom will always have what they need. So, instead of looking for personal gain we should be looking out for those in need. The need could be physical, monetary, food, water, shelter, health concerns or spiritual concerns. In all things it is better to give than to receive.
We as born again Christians may have occasional wants, but we can trust that our needs will always be met. Those that don’t know Christ as their Lord and Savior are not covered by that promise from God. They may live in the, “Lap of luxury” but be spiritually or psychologically destitute. They may live in poverty and die never knowing the true riches of a Christ filled, Holy Spirit led life. The main point is that something is always missing from a person’s life if they are not Christians, even if the person doesn’t realize it or accept it. Something is always missing.
My wife and I wanted to test our two son’s Christian resolve this Christmas. We purposefully hid part of their Christmas gifts and gave them a very modest Christmas (or so they thought). After they opened their modest gifts, I asked them if they had a good Christmas and if they were satisfied with what they received. They were both humble and grateful; no complaining or asking for more, no whining about not getting what they asked for, they were satisfied with what they received. I was very proud of them and so was their mother. Then I asked them to go look under our bed and bring the gifts they found there out to the living room, so we could see them open their gifts.
I don’t make a habit of testing my children, to see if they’re learning the life lesson my wife and I and the Bible are teaching them, but it sure feels good when your suspicions are proven true. They are both good Christian young men and we’re very proud of them. Hopefully, soon, they will take on the full knowledge and grace found in what Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
I hope that everyone had a very Merry Christmas, and I pray a blessing on you for a very blessed New Year in 2015, Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year to you all.