Jesus said in Acts 20:35 that, “it is more blessed to give then receive.”
This famous statement from the lips of Jesus is not found where you think it may be. It is not in Matthew, Mark, Luke or John, it is in the book of Acts. Jesus must have shared this with Paul during Paul’s three year discipleship program in Arabia.
This statement could be called the forgotten beatitude. A beatitude is a sentence that begins with the words, “Blessed…”
Jesus very frequently spoke in beatitudes. He began his ministry by saying, “Blessed are the poor in spirit. Blessed are those who mourn. Blessed are the meek. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness…” (Matthew 5: 1-6
Later he said things like, “Blessed are your eyes because they see.” (Matthew 13:16)
And, “Blessed are those who hear the Word of God and obey it.” (Luke 11:28)
In fact the word ‘blessed’ occurs 42 times in the Gospels but there is only one time when the phrase “more blessed” occurs. It is more blessed to give than to receive. I believe the Lord Jesus wants to lay this beatitude on our hearts today.
By reading this carefully, we can see that Jesus was really describing two great blessings in life. He was talking about giving and He was talking about receiving. He did not indicate that one is a curse and the other, a blessing. He indicated that both are blessings but one is a greater blessing than the other. He was comparing two different blessings.
First, there is the blessing of receiving. When you receive your paycheck at the end of the week, there is a blessing for which you are thankful. It enables you to pay your bills. It provides food and clothing and the necessities of life.
When someone remembers you on your birthday with a nice gift, that’s a blessing. When someone does you a kindness, how thankful you should be. It is a blessing to receive.
And think of how much we have received from the hand of God himself. All we have is from Him. All that we are and will be – all is from Him.
Our homes and possessions, our families and friends, our souls and bodies, our hope and future – all is from Him. Forgiveness of sin and eternal life, daily peace, His constant, abiding presence…all is from Him.
John 1:16 says, “from the fullness of His grace, we have all received one blessing after another.”
Secondly there is the blessing of giving. When you finally get to the point in your life when you not only trust God with your money, but also become a generous giver, it truly changes your life. Jesus was teaching us that when you give, you are investing in someone’s life. You are making an eternal investment.
Giving is a heart issue and helps keep us from being greedy or materialistic.
Do you believe Jesus ? Have you proved Him in this area of your life?
There are two blessings but the greater was is to give!